Cross Border Commerce: Your Digital Passport in Selling Overseas.
Vander International, Corp.
Cross Border Commerce.
Technology has become disruptive; continuously changing the way both people and product connect through multiple digital platforms. As technology continues to drive interconnectivity, merchants will need to employ strategies and tactics that will enable your brand to capture opportunity, unlocking the brands full potential.
This opportunity is called Cross Border Commerce. Cross Border Commerce is the online selling of goods to consumers in different countries.
As of 2017, merchants can actually boost sales by 10-15% on average, simply by extending products to international customers! Moreover, cross-border sales, by 2020, is projected to grow at twice the pace than that of domestic. From 2015 to 2020, an annual growth rate of 25% is anticipated; taking cross-border annual sales volumes from $300 billion to $900 billion globally by 2020.
With growth projected to continue past year 2020, it is imperative that merchants mobilize, fast!
How to Maximize Conversions on your International eCommerce Site.
The primary methods of selling across border are through localized, branded websites and in-country marketplaces. It is important to understand the difference in consumer behavior and mentality within each cross border region. According to Pitney Bowes, globally, 45 percent of shoppers said they make most or all their domestic purchases through a marketplace, compared to 24 percent through a retail site. The splits were similar for international purchases: 46 percent via marketplaces, and 22 percent via retail websites.
While statistics point to marketplaces as a viable entry point when selling across borders for the first time, it is important to understand expectations by market. For example, in Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong and South Korea, a marketplace-exclusive should be avoided. Local buyers have shown strong preferences for websites over marketplaces within those regions. So, a presence in both channels makes the most sense, tapping into the factors that draw consumers to each destination.
While establishing your digital storefronts across borders, consider the merchandising aspects per region; interests, political viewpoints, social and economic factors, as well as in-country traditions to name a few. Product offerings and featured products must mirror the interests of your in-country consumer, dependent on the region. Internally, your company should have web support that can assist in managing multiple storefronts on a global scale.
Puma, for example, has key differentiators per storefront between the US and Chinese marketplaces. Puma in the United States focuses on trending products that are relative to social issues Americans are being faced with in the midst of political restructure, as well as pop-culture, then athleticism.
The Puma Chinese website offers trending products meeting the needs of American pop-culture living in the overseas markets, and the color-ways favorable to Chinese urban streetwear.
In China, TMall, or TaoBoa.com, is where consumers purchase product they have already researched and reached a deciding factor to purchase. Note, the Puma TMall store features global athletic influencers, rather than self-made macro-influencers US brands focus on, and is highly dedicated to displaying key products, rather than enticing content to increase purchasing intent.
Site fluidity cannot be sacrificed in lieu of selling overseas. Therefore, utilizing the site functionalities that are universal are key in continuing to drive conversion and reduce bounce rate. Establishing key partnerships with third party vendors, such as Nextopia, can assist in global site strategies and reduce gaps in site functionalities. Understanding search behavior and synonyms in-country and reiterating those changes for partnered agencies like Nextopia will create a much needed synergy between your store and your consumer.
Translations, currency and marketing are key factors when pushing sales across borders. See below on the top 4 tips to drive online revenue.
Tips to Drive Online Revenue.
When selling across border it is imperative to have a firm understanding of consumer expectations. Moreover, building a roadmap that allows your channels to align to this demand. As you begin localizing your brand, here are key tips to remember that will significantly impact online revenue:
- Multi–Site, Multi-Store – The first and most impactful thing you can do as a brand is to setup a localized storefront that has country-specific currency rates and language. Before you do this, make sure that you have an eCommerce technology partner that will enable you to have one backend to support multiple storefronts. As you sell across borders, it is key to your organizations success to have a manageable platform to support your global strategies.
- Localized Customer Service – A customer call line is not always needed while selling across borders; however, having localized chat functionality is key to building the confidence of consumers in new markets. For example, in China, New Balance offers localized chat functionality on their website. This enables consumers to be able to ask key questions in the local language, resolving any concerns they may have before purchase, and significantly increasing their purchasing intent.
- Preferred Payment Methods – In many countries outside of North America and Europe, traditional forms of payment are not commonly used. In some emerging markets Cash on Delivery or In-App Purchasing are the common forms of payment. When selling across border, be sure that you audit your payment methods and ensure that you are offering preferred payment methods.
- Final Mile Delivery – As you ramp up your cross border efforts, make sure to partner with a 3PL or final mile delivery service that understands foreign markets. In many cases, carriers such as DHL, FEDEX, and UPS, offer global shipping but at the expense of substantially higher abandonment rates. Look for a partner that has established trade lanes into new, emerging markets and is willing to provide you tools, such as total landed cost, that enable you to increase your speed of delivery and reduce the chance your package gets lost en route.
Vander is the leading Global Commerce solutions provider with an innovative approach and methodology integrated across experience-driven creative, management, research, strategy, and technology. Accelerating the rate at which People and Product connect; transforming brands by re-defining their customer experience and re-shaping their Omnichannel strategies.
Today, Commerce is global and the market is disruptive. Increasing consumer demands, competition, and emerging technologies are transforming the way companies and consumers connect. With a globally distributed team and innovative approach to Commerce, Vander is enabling brands to gain market momentum by delivering complete, best in class, end-to-end solutions to enterprise B2B, and direct-to-consumer brands.
Pictured from left to right: Sergio M. Villasenor, CEO; Brittany P. O’Steen, CMO; Derek J. Sine, Managing Director; Van E. Tucker, CTO.