The Omnichannel Strategy Fuelling Cross-border Commerce

Consumers are the real king in the world of cross-border commerce. They possess the power of choice. They have the freedom to choose whether to shop online directly from a retail website or from the online marketplace. They have the right to choose their preference over the multiple online channels. As per latest research, the phenomenon of “Online Local. In-store Global” is one of the driving elements of cross-border commerce. Many shoppers while traveling abroad often discover the brands and visit their offline stores. Later, they continue to purchase products from the brand store online.

Let us understand why it is essential to implement the omnichannel strategy for cross-border commerce.

Getting the payment options right

The payment options for online shopping vary from country to country. There is no widely accepted payment option used by a majority of the cross-border shoppers. It is very crucial to choose the payment options. This increases the chances of increasing significant number of online consumers. There are important factors the online shoppers and merchants should consider while selecting the payment options. Some factors are

  • Value of purchase
  • Service fee
  • The total cost of purchase
  • Purchase protection plan

As per a survey, credit cards were the most preferred mode of payment. Second to the list were the E-wallets that allow the consumers to store and access multiple payment options at one go.

Direct sales vs online marketplaces

Nearly, half of the consumers trust shopping through online marketplaces. They do most of their online shopping through marketplaces – be it local or cross-border. In top countries like Japan, China, Germany, and India, the shoppers make their most of the purchases with the cross-border marketplaces. As per reports, 75% of the global shoppers purchase their favorite brands and products from the retailer’s direct site.

While in some countries like Australia and Canada, the trend is direct-to-retail sales. Thus, the online retailers need to consider a broader approach to increasing their online market presence. For this, they have to accept multiple channels to reach a large number of global shoppers and increase their sales.

Huge Interest in cross-border commerce

The research suggests that cross-border commerce prevails to be the first choice among the consumers globally. Consumers often make about 95% of their domestic purchases online. However, more than 66% of the consumers have also contributed to the cross-border purchases. Countries that have the highest number of cross-border shoppers are Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. While there are still some countries like Japan and U.S. which are evolving and making their online presence stronger in the cross-border commerce.

Shipping and returns

Online shipping and returns are a major concern for both merchants and the consumers. There are certain elements that merchants always face challenges. They are

  • Shipping the right products
  • Order tracking and delivery
  • Transparent return policy
  • Proper custom duty and taxes

This issue becomes a more challenging task during the holiday season as most of the consumers opt for online and cross-border shopping. As per reports, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and China are among those countries with a large number of consumers opting for cross-border purchases. During holiday seasons, the consumer rush is more and thus the merchants and retailers experience a lot of challenges. There are constant efforts to bring improvements in giving the consumers a seamless shopping experience.

In order to grow the online presence in the cross-border market and strategize the omnichannel approach, consider the following steps:

  1. Integrate your findings
  2. Segment your audience
  3. Know your customers
  4. Prioritize the online channels and the devices
  5. Focus on customer support
  6. Measure your efforts.
  7. Create a premium customer experience

Conclusion:

Every cross-border marketer should engage the audience in a value-driven way to empower the cross-channel integrations. Thus, to provide a seamless and better customer experience, it is necessary to give your customers the first priority. Additionally, it is essential to analyze the sales in the marketplace and choose the right payment options. This increases your brand awareness and loyalty in the omnichannel cross-border market.

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.