How to prepare for cross-border e-commerce

According to Forrester, an analyst firm, by 2022, cross-border e-commerce will account for 20% of all online retail, indicating that this may be a lucrative focus area for retailers currently developing an omni-channel strategy.

Forrester predicts that cross-border e-commerce sales will reach 627 billion US dollars in four years, and global retailers should do their best to seize market share. However, before using e-commerce to start implementing a more international strategy, what are the key things they need to know?

Partners and options

A survey conducted by IDC Research and ORC International of 12,000 people and 1,200 retailers from eight countries shows that approximately 70% of consumers make cross-border purchases at least once a year.

As Michael Griffiths, vice president of global marketing, retail and e-commerce at Pitney Bowes, said: "The choice of partners is very important when expanding their horizons into new areas." He suggested that “the opportunity is too great and the risk is too great” should not be careless when choosing a global distribution partner-so retailers should thoroughly evaluate the market.

Some retailers and brands will use third-party logistics providers to ship goods across borders from A to B, some will choose direct shipping companies, and others will use a central system to activate shipments from local stores to customers. Retailers need to perform mathematical calculations to find the best options for their operations.

How the market changes

Cross-border shoppers have increasing experience and confidence in ordering goods from abroad. Forrester has identified emerging markets such as the Middle East, Africa and Latin America that are adopting cross-border e-commerce. However, driven by China, the Asia-Pacific region is said to be the largest cross-border e-commerce region for imports and exports. Globalization of this nature provides more sales opportunities for retailers. The windows of main street or main street shops are open to the world, and more and more cross-border services provided by market and logistics companies can boost sales.

The British retailer Fat Face is an example of how a mid-sized fashion retailer has made progress in its omni-channel strategy and growth in new international markets. Fat Face e-commerce sales now account for 18% of the overall business, and the company is looking to boost its global business. For some time, by shipping online orders internationally, it has built a reputation outside its home country, paving the way for it to open non-UK stores and expand its reach. Last year alone, it opened 5 stores in the United States and plans to open more stores.

Integrate to connect countries

In order to take full advantage of the potential of the cross-border e-commerce market, retailers need to integrate the most appropriate technology into their stores and back-office operations.

Selling online, selling on mobile devices, and integrating these e-commerce systems to sell more products in stores has never been easier. It will also make services such as click and collection easier to centrally manage.

With iVend e-commerce capabilities, retailers can create a powerful omnichannel experience, no matter where the customer is. It can be seamlessly integrated into the iVend retail management suite or any merchandise management or ERP system, and allows retailers to reach new online audiences or customers in different countries, or to make cross-border orders—while maintaining pair transactions.

At the beginning of the digital age, many retailers viewed e-commerce as a threat to the future of their business. In the years since, as e-commerce has become more and more popular with consumers, companies have also developed their own eye-catching online products, and the situation has clearly changed.

Really visionary people are building their business models as a mixture of bricks and clicks - and the ones that are gaining the most traction are those who neatly integrate online features into their stores and use them to reach a wide range of customers. people.

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