Top 3 Retailers who are Mastering Cross-border Commerce

The advent of cross-border commerce has turned a game changer for the small and the medium-sized businesses. The online marketplaces have become a great investment for the online retailers. They have turned out big players and developed strategic partnerships amongst other foreign countries. This has helped them engage in both offline and online relations with various brands and customers.

While in the process, the customers also have evolved and involved a lot. They now focus on the brand shopping rather than the channel shopping. Moreover, they are more inclined towards the web rooms than the showrooms. This has completely blurred the line between the online and the offline shopping. To be specific, this has blurred the lines amongst different geographic locations.

The changing diaspora

  • With the on-growing demand for the global products and brands, there has been a constant rise in their presence in both online and offline catalogs.
  • E-commerce is gradually shaping up the world into a one-unified market. The strategy behind is to make the products and brands available locally and globally in the markets.
  • Cross-border commerce has been growing to make its presence crossing every geographical border.
  • By 2021, the Global B2C E-commerce might reach over $424 billion. This market share targets the E-commerce bloomers like Asia, North America, and Europe.

Here are 3 top brands and retailers who have scored high in the “International Retail Index” and have managed to master the cross-border commerce game with engaging customer experience over the years.

  • ASOS

ASOS, the great fashion hub and global retailer, is ranked number 3 in the International Retail Index. It has surpassed the likes of the leading brands like Aldi, Apple, and John Lewis. ASOS offers great fashion at even great prices. This brand has expanded globally over the countries like France, the US, Germany, and Spain over the last few years. David Green, the MD at ASOS, discussed how the brand leveraged the technology for an engaging customer experience.

For a frictionless experience to its customers, they integrated type-ahead address verification that enables the customers to quickly fill in their address. The team at ASOS easily captures the data and insights for a cleaner and more accurate checkout for its customers. The global retailer also has laid more emphasis over the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This ensures the data capture happens in a compliant manner. Moreover, it sets the right balance between the customer experience and the compliance.

  • Sephora

The other Global Retailer that ranked 8th in the International Retail Index is Sephora. Ian McGarrigle’s, the chairman of the World Retail Congress selected this French brand for the World Retailer of the Year. He also stated that this French brand has leveraged every international opportunity for over 4 decades. It potentially monitors the customers’ behavior and the brand offerings. Today it globally operates in 30+ countries which include the US, China, and Italy.

Setting a benchmark with its global presence, this leading Global Retailer has seized the opportunity what Digitalization offers. It also analyzes the customer demands and the insights of their businesses. With such a strong customer base and digital platform engagement, this has been driving the youth fashion and continues to grow globally. Along with the digital approach, it has adopted the local intelligence. This helps the brand to understand the demands of its shoppers. It also betters the customized offerings to its customers for both local and online stores.

The most powerful feature is the social media engagement of the brand for its valuable shoppers. The Sephora Assistant feature available with the Facebook Messenger app allows the shoppers to easily book their items in the nearby stores.

  • Walmart

Robert Gregory, the Global Research Director for the Planet Retail RNG selected the Global brand Walmart. The brand ranks 9th in the International Retail Index. This brand has been a consistent player in the E-commerce world and the Retailer’s Market. Walmart has a strong physical presence in markets at over 30 places. Over the past few years, to make a digital presence over the global platforms, it has been continuously reinventing itself.

Walmart has already engaged digitally in the cross-border markets in countries like India and China. Recently, it made an investment in the Indian E-commerce giant Flipkart to set its roots in India. Flipkart has a strong customer base. The startup-turned-giant has been a leading E-commerce company in the retail market with over 100+ brands under its umbrella. The partnership between Walmart and Flipkart is likely to be a great business for both the parties and a great venture in the E-commerce and cross-border markets.

Cross-Border Commerce in Australia – A Game of Local Market Share!

Cross-border commerce has paramount benefits for every business scaling itself from small-sized companies to a bigger one in due course. In Australia, many small and medium businesses have sourced their success from global marketplaces, trying to fill in the gap between demand and supply better than local vendors. Such companies that thrive on cross-border commerce continue to increase leads, shares, profits, and revenues in global expansion. Generally, the small startups are innovative, agile and even have the potential to grow much larger than one can expect.

The Small and Medium Business (SMB) community in Australia dominates the private sector in terms of employment. They serve as an employment to millions of Australians and contribute much more than the large businesses to the Australian economy. For the past five years, there has been a drastic increase in the count of actively trading businesses running across Australia. This has primarily led to increased growth of small business communities. The consumer shift has driven the small businesses in the cross-border market.

Such businesses should be encouraged to focus on the values of the sales opportunities outside the Australian market. They should know the fact that billions of consumers await the best quality products from cross-border markets. This inspires them to take a step ahead into the cross-border business.

Impact of cross-border commerce in Australia

There is a constant rise in the demand for the Australian products and services amongst the overseas consumers. This high demand is due to the quality Australian brands offer to their worldwide buyers. Also, the Australian sellers have developed and maintained a strong relationship with their consumers. Such demands have the potential to increase the consumer market in the Australian business by billions.

The “Australian-made” certification had been introduced about 30 years ago. It provides a thrust to the domestic business for excelling in the market of production of goods and services.

Young Australians love to shop!

National Australia Bank conducted a survey that reveals the percentage of total cross-border purchases. The calculation involved a larger ratio of the generation Y as the. Eventually, to meet such high demands, delivery companies had to increase their benchmark of supplies of the international brands online.

The Global brands need to develop strategic solutions to fulfill their consumer’s every need. Whether it is entering the new channels, increasing the data warehouse capacity, or offering prompt delivery and tracking options, they have to cater to every demand. Improvements in the fulfillment mean the online retailers and brand can set up their inventory near to the Australian customers. This emphasizes on cost-effective and quick delivery.

Shipments are off the dial

There has been a staggering growth in the cross-border shipping services when it comes to Australian retailers. The e-tailers in Australia promise fast delivery of all the products from fashion apparel to cosmetics and vitamins. The best selling products with high quality and first-class delivery services have made the Australian business flourish in these markets.

Thus, in terms of shipments, quality products, high demand and strong market shares in the overseas market, Australian businesses have been quite a ruling name.

 

How to make cross-border commerce work?

Cross-border commerce has been a hot topic since a decade now. Today, consumers have a better understanding about which brands to choose and where to buy from. They know when to compare goods and services online and get the best deals. Not all the goods and services are available in every country and due to this the consumers have to search the products in their country’s borders. This has perhaps increased the count of demand and supply in the e-commerce markets and sales. Also, this increases the competition amongst merchants and marketers as they fight for the space in the business of global expansion.

There has been a rapid rise in the B2B and B2C markets and services since past few years. The customers are becoming more familiar with this concept of online shopping. As per report from Pitney Bowes, borders are nowhere a barrier now for the shoppers to purchase online. Majority of the consumers make an international purchase of their favourite products at least once in a year. The availability of better quality and wide range of products, attractive offers and trustworthy reviews are few reasons that lure the consumers to shop online. If the merchants focus on these liabilities, they are sure to make their way into this venture in few years. Global market analysts predict that in no time cross-border markets is sure to take over the domestic markets.

To get everything into place, there are multiple challenges these international sellers need to focus on before entering the global market. To master the art of the cross-border e-commerce work, international merchants should focus on these points.

Some of these are:

  • Investments
  • Data warehouse
  • Study of Local markets
  • Climatic conditions and customer demands
  • International shipments and on-time delivery
  • Total landed costs
  • Political constraints and government laws specific to a region

…and many more. To make a big step into this global venture, merchants should equally pay attention to these small details.

International merchants should not plunge into the global market without proper analysis of the region and territories. They need to understand the local markets, laws and regulations before expansion. They simply cannot enter a territory or a country that does not have any cross-border e-commerce in the first place. They should analyse the requirements, focus on how the competitors have build their strategies to conquer and expand in the future world of cross-border markets. Observing this can help them set right decisions in the investments, data warehouse, shipments, product offers, promotions and much more. Once they understand these minutest details, they surely can make way in global expansions.

International merchants should build and maintain trust and transparency with consumers. Also, they ought to focus on the challengers these global markets pose on like the language barriers, currency concerns and a full-fledged marketing. It is important that the branding is correlated to the market and it sticks to its brand values. Along with all these concerns, there should also be a need to customise the international shopper’s experience. All this can be done in terms of the localised customer service, shipping and payment methods.

 

For instance, shipping continues to remain the most important aspect of cross-border expansion and also the most overlooked one. International merchants should be transparent with their shipping policies, charges. They should provide details like tracking, delay in delivery and shipping rates. Also, the wide integration with the payments methods is a must. In consideration of the domestic markets, utilize the payment methods which are locally accepted and recognised.

Thus, to create a larger impact and increase your brand’s values in the cross-border e-commerce markets, observe, take steps wisely and localise your customer’s experience.

 

 

12 Common Mistakes Done while Selling in Cross-border Markets

The rate at which technology is excelling knows no bounds. It is creating innovative ways to connect with the world every day. While technology continues to change the channels in the market, the connection between merchants and consumers keep growing stronger. With the advancement in technologies, still there are some common mistakes, merchants make while engaging in international markets.

Let us walk through each of these mistakes to overcome any pitfalls.

  • Avoiding to calculate total landed costs

It is necessary that merchants and buyers maintain a transparent relation between them in the cross-border market. Merchants should inform their international buyers about duties and tariffs. You can also use the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) calculator.

It is mandatory to maintain trust and dignity amongst your international buyers. It can be evaluated in the following ways:

  1. Provide product tracking details
  2. Provide on-site shipping information details
  3. Update on delays in international shipments

 

  • Creating Big Technology Investments

Merchants while investing in the international markets should keep minimum technology investments. This holds true for the integration of third-party channels as well as international checkout providers.

We recommend you to focus on small investments first rather than the big ones such as:

  • Market Insights
  • Personnel
  • Logistics

 

  • Ignoring online frauds

There is always a risk of fraud when entering the cross-border markets. But you can always take help of the solutions to prevent such frauds and meet your business requirements.

You can prevent fraud during international checkout on-site with two methods:

  1. Installing a fraud suite
  2. Leverage 3rd Party Logistics to secure against fraud

There are several solutions Subuno, Riskified and Signifyd like that reduce such online frauds and provide secured payments internationally.

 

  • Copy & Pasting

Repetitive content and media cause a mess across the localized and international markets. This is a common mistake international merchants often make. Thus, it is better to avoid any copy and pasting media and content on your site.

It is necessary to focus on the potential language when localizing the content. You need verifying the media as poor on-model product photography can create a bad image in the market. Also, it can affect the SEO rankings for the particular region.

 

  • Dimensional and Physical Shipping Assumptions

Most of the merchants and eCommerce businesses fail to assume the dimension and physical shipments. If you fail to consider these, it can be a costly assumption.

  • Dimensional Pricing – Shipping costs based on the size of a box
  • Physical Pricing – Shipping costs based on the weight of the box

Thus, it is beneficial to include these pricings in the overall product cost to predict accurate marginal costs.

  • Disregarding Localized Merchandising

When selling products globally, merchants must consider some factors so that they can merchandise their digital stores.

Consumer Demand & Trends and Climate are the factors that affect the local merchandising.

 

  • Not Failing in Translation

It is critically significant to focus on how your website gets translated into different languages. It plays a crucial role in the localized and domestic markets. International sellers and merchants can consider using the translation providers like Smartling and VerbalizeIt.

These translation providers transform the way the content is created and consumed by the local and domestic markets.

 

  • Government and Political Constraints

You must be aware of the government laws in accordance with the countries and political constraints. It is mandatory to follow the government norms and data alliance while taking a plunge in the international markets.

For instance, in Russia, it is mandatory all the customer data must be kept on server in-country.

 

  • Disregarding Promotional Calendars

A mistake international merchants fail to notice. You have to prioritize the region of expansion and plan the marketing campaigns accordingly. Mark your calendars for the promotional events to be carried out.

In the Middle East during Eid, you can observe many sales events during shopping, entertainment, and traveling. Likewise, every region or country follows certain events and you have to keep that in prior notice to stand stronger in the international markets.

 

  • Don’t Go Overboard

Merchants often go overboard while engaging in the cross-border market. You have to consider the right aspects when selling the products.

It is better to focus on a single market and its essentials first before plunging into various other markets. This will help you learn from the mistakes so that you can implement the solutions while expansions.

 

  • Managing Efforts from a Distance

It is sometimes impossible to manage efforts from distances. While globalizing in the market, markets like India, China, and UAE, it is difficult to manage the resources. But markets like Western Europe and North America are more manageable. It is always recommended that you leverage the local resources in this case.

 

  • Marketplaces are not for the premium products

The fact about the cross-border markets is that the international shoppers shop more from the local brands and markets.

Today, the premium brands are opening flagship stores on the various social commerce platforms and local markets.

Avoiding such pitfalls always helps but if you successfully aim to ace the global markets, launch an international site. This in all ways localizes the site, content, and products. Not necessarily, all the brands go by this rule and even if they do so, they still make commit these mistakes.

Top Market considerations to go Global through Cross-Border Commerce

Never in the history of the international commerce, trade has taken such a commendable leap in the sales and profits. This boosts the job opportunities, enhances the company’s prestige and offers a beneficial way for the businesses to expand. This also provides the businesses tonnes of opportunities and global exposure on a global platform. Whether it is a large scale business or an emerging startup aiming to go global, there is always a constant challenge to survive in this evolving market. However, there are certain factors that the businesses going international should take into consideration.

Prior to kicking off these factors, always consider key points:

  • Consumers: How can brands connect with intended consumer’s life?
  • Product: What value will the product add to their lifestyle?
  • Technology: Are you making the right choices in terms of technology?
  • Location: Are you making the right selection in the countries with the right set of investment?

So, before you embark on the journey of entering the cross-border trades, always consider these factors.

  • Conduct proper market research

Market research is an effective tool for identifying and exploring the best market that fits your product. Look at investing maximum time into a market evaluation. This gives you sufficient data and market insights while strategizing your go-to-market plans.

  • Define your business plan for entering the global markets.

Discussing, strategizing and planning is essential in order to define the business status, commitments and goals. This helps to enter the competitive global market and understand the strategies of your rivals. Determine which localized marketplaces you want to enter in. For instance, B2C, C2C or O2O fashion.

  • Choose the best product to hit the international markets

This is the most crucial factor in your company’s future depends on it. Choose your product or service diligently and wisely. Consider all the pros and cons of the product and its market analysis. Once done, plan and go for it.

  • Find cross-border customers.

First thing first. Without targeting your base customers you cannot proceed further. You should know who your customers will be. To start a business overseas, it is crucial to know them and where they reside.

  • Understand the consumer’s behaviour

A consumer rules the market. It is quite necessary to keep a track on their moves. If your target audience is youth, understand the trends and make investments accordingly. For instance, if the target is a 20-year old crowd, then in the U.S., merchants prefer more of Amazon than other eCommerce plans. But in China, it would not be the same. You might have to invest in a WeChat store or TMall.

  • Determine the investments for international expansion

Determine how much investment could you make? Strategize upon the ROI and the profit margins. Leverage all your market and data insights and analytics to make the right business investments in various international markets.

  • Do data analysis to predict how your product sale

Perform precise analysis of product sales as per specific geographic location. Understand the product rates and demands in the local markets of the countries. Decide how many units you would want to sell in a particular geographic location.

  • Build a website for a global purpose

Develop a website that has multilingual support. This helps to attract international customers and traders and communicate with them. Preferably, you can decide to choose English as the prime language and later on as you expand in the other geographical markets, you can add support for other languages.

  • Establish a method of export

Establishing a direct or indirect method of export matters a lot in the international business.

Businesses have to exercise over their ventures. Additionally, it is very important to seize an opportunity and plan a whole strategy.

  • Focus on pricing and determine the landing costs

Get customer reactions by testing out the product quality and price on them. Determine the landing costs, analyse later and negotiate if necessary.

  • Set up terms, conditions, policies and other financing options.

Set up terms of payment prior to product selling. Great businesses recommend not to sell an open account to a brand new customer. It is better to focus on the market policies for both local and global markets. And it is essential to check the financial options on the basis of the geographical areas.

Once you have a proper knowledge of these factors, the next step is syncing with the digital and physical experiences. This helps the merchants and consumers to get familiar with the brand and engage new buyers in the international market.

Conclusion

Regardless of the business size, cross-border commerce requires a significant investment of money or time and sometimes both. It is quintessential to focus on the landscape of where you are going to set up your business and what factors you will take into consideration. Together, these will aid to the critical components of success.

 

 

Consumer Returns Management in Cross Border Commerce

Cross-border commerce does not only rely on successful product delivery. Businesses also need to equally focus on the consumer returns management especially if local geography needs to be addressed. A well-oiled return management process has the power to exceed the customer’s expectations and fuels the business expansion process. This also ensures the brand loyalty. Hence, easy returns policy is the chief concern for any online shopper or consumer before taking a step into the online experience of shopping.

Let us understand why Consumer Returns Management plays a vital role in cross-border commerce.

Consumer Focus

The challenging part for any eCommerce business is providing a seamless shopping experience. There is also a constant challenge to improve the shopping experience keeping a focus on the consumers. This engages and retains the consumers in the chain. One such process in the chain is offering “hassle-free” returns to the consumers. eCommerce businesses should have the ability to offer lenient and flexible returns. This engages more consumers and retains the customer base with a thrust to expand the business. This also helps the businesses to function minimizing the risk of fraud and abuse.

Customer value and satisfaction

Any business whether offline or online should aim at clarifying the return policies to promote strong sales. According to the UPS survey, about 88% of the online shoppers check the return policies first and then proceed to shop. The rest will forgo purchases if they are unable to locate or understand the policies. Thus, it becomes essential to value the customer’s preferences and satisfy their needs.

eCommerce businesses have a variety of products to offer to the millions of customers online. They offer products and services for everything, right from fashion to electronics. Customers have the freedom to purchase from a wide range of the products. These companies can create opportunities in the competitive market with their accessible and easy return policies. This attracts the customers and they can leverage the online stores with the same old traditional touch.

Online shoppers should get the same offline shopping experience with the qualifying purchases. They have the leisure to check the product details before they add the items to the cart. Consumers and buyers can get the chance to check the minutest product details just like the traditional stores. Every product detail should include the product color, material texture, size, pictures and much more. Thus, eCommerce businesses have maintained the decorum that the offline businesses offer. They do offer exciting return policies that encourage the consumers to take a plunge into the wide shopping experience.

Fraud prevention

Fraud detection and prevention is the widest challenge in the eCommerce world. Businesses should keep a watch on the illegal activities if any. Those with the lax return policies might turn out to be great money for the hackers and criminals. To play on a safer side, eCommerce businesses should build definitive eCommerce return processes and policies. Also, they should maintain high-level security to avoid any such risks. Otherwise, they might become indelible marks on the names of reputable brands.

Efficiency in returns management

While returns will always be a crucial part of the business, they do not need to be a liability. To increase the efficiency and foster growth for your business, develop effective reverse logistics processes. This aids as a competitive advantage and can prove beneficial.

Hence, for effective returns policy, make sure you:

  • Create meaningful content about the returns process and policy.
  • Make the returns policy and process more understanding as per local demographics.
  • Offer flexible, convenient and easy options – such as in-store returns.

For businesses to redefine their returns management, here are some important points to focus on.

  • Focus on the global picture: Easy and flexible returns solutions should be available to everyone and everywhere. Businesses ought to focus on their current return logistics to manage the cross-border trade. They should be able to turn the local legends into international successes.
  • Make the returns process simple for online shoppers: Simplify the returns process and policies. This helps the customers to easily initiate the returns through calls or an online returns management portal. Businesses should provide 24/7 access to the customers through a customer service hotline.
  • Track your returns smartly: Know where your returns go when the customers send them. Businesses should aim at establishing cost-effective ways of determining the stocks and maintaining them.

Cross-Border Commerce: Choosing the Right Regional Trends with Payment options

Cross-border commerce is one of the most challenging ways for the online merchants to develop their presence in the market. The e-commerce merchants have started focusing more on the cross-border markets to grow their business. Today every merchant aims at expanding their business or market employing regional sensibilities and local market flavor for their success. They focus on building strategies that promote their growth in the online market and create a place in the heart of the consumers. To grow faster, they have to build strategies taking into consideration the market trends and key elements. Here are some of the best strategies:

Trust first: Pay locally; offer at a global level

A global offering can never be enough. Consumers demand secure transactions while shopping online. For this, online merchants have to focus on offering the commonly used, trusted and secured payment methods in the local markets. They have to ensure their customer’s safety, confidence along with the market’s conversion rates. Apart from this, the online merchants have to keep up with the pace of technology. The power of technology is undeniable in the expansion of markets in the global and local market. It binds the consumers and the online merchants across all the geographies and various channels giving a great experience to both in all terms.

Merchants need an overview of the market dynamics and the consumer’s behavior for the successful expansion of their online businesses. This way, it helps them to localize the experience. Moreover, businesses have to study the local payment cultures. For instance, in some countries, consumers trust payment modes as credit and debit cards while in some they trust e-Wallets.

Omni-Channel and Social eCommerce – The future

Omni-channel retail and the social eCommerce is the future already. This gives fully-integrated and seamless customer experience. This also helps to understand how the customers interact with the online brands across all the channels. The eCommerce merchants can gather the comprehensive data from various geographies, brands, and stores. This collectively helps to analyze the customers’ behaviors and preferences in a better way. Furthermore, this can help to create great customer offerings and provide loyalty solutions.

In the digital space, millennials prove to be great influencers. They play a vital role in voicing their opinions and sharing information. For instance, 50-60% of the consumers follow brands and products on social media. They browse a plethora of products on the social media. As per online surveys, 33% of the online shoppers utilize social media for potential purchases. Thus, the online and social recommendation of brands and products encourage the significance of cross-border trades and transactions. In future, social eCommerce and omnichannel strategies will become a major source of payment drivers too.

Go cashless and seek new opportunities

The eCommerce field is flourishing at a more accelerated rate. By 2019, it is expected to hit $3.6 trillion. This is the right time for the eCommerce enthusiasts and merchants to invest and expand internationally. To strategize a good expansion, merchants must understand the landscape and seek out new opportunities. They need to seek out effective ways of electronic payments as the global market is turning cashless. Most countries like North America, Europe carry out cashless payments.

In comparison to the domestic eCommerce market, cross-border eCommerce is skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate. Consumers have started trusting international sources to buy products that are unavailable locally. Online merchants can turn these higher demands into high-profit margins. They can grow their businesses effectively. That said, new opportunities arise with the growth of cross-border eCommerce market.

Key points to remember

While choosing the right step with the payment modes, here are some key points every merchant should consider. So, choose the payment partner smartly to grow your online presence and a strong global network.

  • Focus on the regional trends that meet the customers’ demands and expectations
  • Know the online market value of your products in terms of local and global market
  • Follow the customer shopping habits across various geographies, devices, and media
  • Integrate the trusted payment methods to ensure secure customer online shopping experiences
  • Focus on the fast delivery of the products and best return policies
  • Exciting payment cashback offers and coupons
  • Keep a check on the local regulations, exchange rates and policies

To summarise, developing a successful cross-border strategy is not just about best products and services. It is equally necessary to maintain trust, security and provide a great shopping experience for all the customers. Along with this, they also need to retain the customer base, product quality, brand awareness and customer satisfaction values. Thus, for a seamless experience, the online merchants have to focus on developing expansion strategies that are easy and trustworthy.

Optimizing the Local Market for International Selling

The cross-border commerce world is booming rapidly. With just a click of a button on smartphones, you can buy and sell anything across the globe. As per the Forrester study, the cross-border commerce is likely to double by 2021. This will bring a phenomenal increase in the outcome of sales and revenues. Thus, a majority of the online shoppers are going global in their search for sales and purchases. This has given a little run for money to the retailers. However, some of them have joined the bandwagon in the global marketplace.

For instance, the cross-border market of China will see a remarkable progress in 2021 with a huge increase in sales and purchases in this market. India and US are also following suit.

Let us understand the major considerations for the success in the global market.

Optimize local markets

As per research, a majority of online shoppers prefer using the globally recognized marketplaces. They focus on gaining a potential profit margin. This gives them a global recognition and a great customer outreach. It is necessary for these merchants to understand the market rates and values. Also, timely analysis of these helps them to increase their market.

Consumers should look out for multiple benefits to shop at marketplaces:

  • Best deals
  • Free shipping and delivery
  • Ease of searching what you what at one click
  • Wide range of products for all categories
  • Faster delivery time
  • Customer Loyalty Points
  • Quality products
  • Great customer experience
  • Brand loyalty

Cross-border market strategies

Marketplaces have crossed international divides. There has been a substantial increase in the purchase of online marketplaces. This ratio is high when compared to retailer websites.

These cross-border market strategies succeed based on a lot of factors:

  • Retailer’s market presence
  • How much risk a retailer has to undertake?
  • What difference lies between a marketplace’s and retailer’s own assortment?
  • Is the retailer fully aware of the cross-border policies and charges?

Be like the locals and pose like a foreigner

The US, China, and India have an astounding cross-border market. Whether it is clothes, cosmetic products, food products and electronic items, they hold their positions in the marketplace.

It is essential for these online shoppers to know the insights of the local markets. They have to be aware of the conditions of the local markets, policies and the tax benefits. They have to understand and analyze the demand and supply of their products in these areas. This is the biggest challenge though. But from the sell-side, it is the most important thing to consider while entering the global markets.

Participation in the national market

The online brands have to actively participate in the national markets. They have to continuously strive to build their presence. This gives a good exposure in terms of markets and the consumers. They have to keep the important things while expanding their business globally.

  • They have to understand the fiscal policies.
  • They have to be well prepared for regulatory challenges.
  • They should do proper calculations of the border taxes and custom duty charges.
  • They should ensure the import/export compliance.
  • They have to do accurate shipping and product costs’ calculations.
  • They have to manage logistics effectively and efficiently.
  • They have to process the data and conduct secured payments.

Focus on the brand and quality

It would be tough to survive in the global market if marketers rely completely on the brand. Product perception has to go hand in hand. As per a survey, 70% of the consumers make at least one cross-border purchase annually. This is because of the attractive pricing and discounts they get as well as the strong perception of the product aligned with local needs and quality expectations. Also because of the variety, they get in the products and its qualities.

It is quintessential to localize the brand. They need to create its online presence to enter the new global market. They have to deliver quality products and create a brand awareness to the local consumers. Thus, they have to look like an outsider but have to behave like the locals. The brand equity and the product quality matter among the consumers in countries such as India, China, and Hong Kong.

Manage the inventories and outlets

There are few of the retail brands that have managed to build empires. They have made the most of both cross-border and the domestic deals. These global brands do not enter the market directly. They have to plan and strategize cautiously. They have to manage the resources and the entire system. They have to be quick and efficient in delivering goods and services to their consumers.

Managing the inventory globally is one of the prime concerns for all the online retailers. They have to look into the challenges such as currencies, language, geographical distance, instant delivery and customer satisfaction. Regardless of the time zones and the cultural differences, they have to manage the inventories most effectively.

Conclusion

Brands have to evaluate the market position before entering into the cross-border commerce. As per the geographical and historical conditions, they might have to face huge challenges. But, they have to equally focus on the local brand perceptions to rise and stand out in this global market. Once they ensure compliance for all sorts of cross-border transactions, they surely can gain maximum success in multiple markets.

 

 

The Cross-Border Commerce Boom – What will Matter in 2018!

Now we can buy anything from nearly anywhere in the world just by clicking a button on our smartphones. Yes, cross-border commerce is actually booming, and one can expect the juggernaut to continue in 2018 and beyond until the foreseeable future.

Smartphones have made shopping easier. One can expect more shoppers coming out of their self-imposed abstinence from online shopping owing to minimal security concerns nowadays. A Forrester study revealed that cross-border commerce is expected to double by 2021 with staggering revenue of $424 billion expected by that time. Cross-border sales shall include 15% of online purchases too. China’s cross-border market is expected to grow to a whopping 40% in 2021 and the country can easily fuel growth in the domain.

The McKinsey report revealed that most wealthy people in China, buy foreign clothes and gadgets that are mostly not available in China. Baby formula is quite popular here.

Why? Because cross-border shopping helps them in deriving better prices, and good protection from counterfeit goods too. Now that is a major point!

The Leader in Cross-border Commerce and the Future Prospects

The US is touted as the world leader of cross-border commerce trade – including imports and exports. The country has a trusted cross-border market worldwide and known for its product quality too. A DHL survey revealed that 75% of respondents who make foreign purchases selected the US as their ideal destination for online shopping. Now that says a lot about the US as a major cross-border commerce.

How does it augur for other countries though? Pitney Bowes recently disclosed its Global Online Shopping Survey that reported 66% of shoppers who shopped the web locally have made purchases from other countries in their recent past. Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong are top countries with most number of cross-border shoppers. On the other hand, Japan has grown its cross-border confidence tremendously in the recent years.

Smoothening the path of commerce locally!

Although the predictions are fantastic and rightly so, cross-border e-commerce is far from easy, for retailers owing to huge competition and diverse trade laws in every country. A 2016 survey by Paypal revealed 30% of consumers from different countries buying from the US, abandoned their cross-border purchase midway since they were unaware of the taxes or customs fees involved in the purchase. Here is what every cross-border commerce provider should know:

  • The exact kind of taxes and fees incurred through cross-border sales
  • Right communication to local customers in the country about the products.
  • No customers should get lost along the way, so multiple processes should work in harmony – the ordering process on site and payment methods along with calculation of taxes and alignment of government regulations
  • Communication of returns should be in clear words including the fulfillment clauses and delivery mode.
  • The return process should look seamless. For the seller, problems arise from the fact that each of the parties involved has a different level of understanding, motivation, and sense of urgency when it comes to getting the goods from one country to another.

Getting fulfillment right is the key to successful cross-border commerce and retailers know it. According to the Chinese Cross-Border Sellers survey by The Payoneer, 71% said fulfillment is highly important and logistics play a major role in this respect.

If 2018 is the year you plan to initiate cross-border commerce, ensure that the products are available locally with a good distribution in place in an international market. Also, ensure that your logistics partner is clear about the bigger picture. While consumers are driving the demand for cross-border e-commerce, get the right add-ons for your e-stores and the right domain experts to everything runs smoothly at the local level.