I’ve been thinking about what Scottish independence would mean for online retailers and digital marketers such as myself.
Personally I’m 100% in favour of keeping the union (for various reasons which I won’t get into here). But if Scotland votes for devolution then there will be consequences for online marketers and businesses:
- Any geo-targeting will need updating. This will include on any tools such as Adwords, Webmaster Tools, Qubit etc.
- Any ad copy & site promotion referencing the UK may need changing. e.g. An Adwords ad promoting ‘Free UK Delivery’ may need updating, or for an alternative ad to be launched in Scotland.
- Related to the above, delivery costs and the value proposition may need to be looked at.
- Scottish-specific businesses may want a different TLD; a .co.uk is no longer appropriate to shoppers based outside the UK.
- Checkouts & address books will need updating to include Scotland as a different location than UK. Managing this for existing addresses may prove difficult.
- A new currency will likely need adding to checkouts.
- VAT and other costs will need to be considered by retailers; an independent Scotland will have powers to set these of their own accord. In fact, this might even be possible with DEVO MAX (maximum devolution yet not full independence).
Obviously the time frames for devolution, if its voted for, will give us all time to adapt. And whatever changes we have to make to the above will largely depend on what the third-party stakeholders such as delivery companies, payment gateways and advertising platforms decide.
But its worth our planning ahead now for what may be a more significant change than some of us had expected.