September 17, 2013
Back in July, I wrote about our upcoming report on tools and technology for eCommerce globalization. We’ve just posted the report (clients can view it here) – in it, we dive into the types of eCommerce solutions that brands are turning to as they expand globally and highlight some of the vendors that excel in these areas.
Overall, brands expanding internationally are looking for their technology partners to help them:
Launch international offerings quickly and efficiently. It’s common for companies to ponder global online expansion for years, then decide to build and launch new offerings in a matter of a few months. It’s generally up to the eBusiness leader to manage these rollouts, often with a limited budget. eBusiness leaders who know that global expansion is on the horizon must plan ahead and select technology partners that can help them meet these (often highly ambitious) goals.
Reach consumers through more than just the website. Global eCommerce expansion used to mean launching a series of new websites in different countries, perhaps with a mobile offering following several months or even years after the initial rollout. Today, however, eBusiness leaders need to plan for nearly simultaneous offerings across a variety of devices and touchpoints. eBusiness leaders are also increasingly relying on their technology partners to assist with additional channels such as marketplaces.
Tailor their offerings to different markets. When selecting vendors, brands expanding internationally tend to scrutinize not just the technology itself but also vendors’ experience of operating in different countries. Solution providers must know key local markets well enough to help clients understand how to tailor their offerings for these markets – for example, by offering preferred local payment options, customer service channels, or promotion types.
Reduce some of the risks inherent in global expansion. Global expansion is a daunting process involving new partnerships, new laws, and new customers. eBusiness leaders face new issues, such as providing superior customer experiences across content that is no longer in their native language. Additionally, global expansion often comes with spikes in certain KPIs, ranging from online payment fraud rates to product return rates in certain countries (see Germany). eBusiness leaders will turn to technology partners that can help make the process a bit less intimidating by helping them overcome the unexpected challenges that arise with international expansion.