What 25 Leading Retailers Know About the Biggest, Most Challenging Growth Opportunity
For retailers and brands, global commerce is their most significant growth opportunity, but it’s also one of their biggest challenges. The nearly 2 billion online shoppers around the world now expect a seamless, localized shopping journey no matter where they live. Providing that experience is so challenging that many companies are simply resorting to distributors or marketplaces to tap into new markets and, therefore, missing the chance to acquire loyal new customers and generate brand awareness in countries across the globe.
However, the digital leaders recently voted by their industry peers as the “Top 25 Global E-Commerce Power Players” are getting it right when it comes to cross-border e-commerce. These leaders are setting the standard in global e-commerce excellence by creating seamless local experiences that resonate with their international customers. Executives from Nike, Walmart and Max Mara took the top three spots, and all 25 were chosen by their industry colleagues as global commerce visionaries.
What Global E-Commerce Leaders Have in Common
The Top 25 Global E-Commerce Power Players all know that a deep understanding of each respective market — from local shoppers’ preferences to optimal marketing strategies — is crucial to meeting international customers’ needs. In addition, these leaders make sure they do the following to ensure cross-border e-commerce success:
- Invest in creating a seamless, localized brand experience in each new market. The most successful global e-commerce companies are all making the necessary investments in research, product development, technology and services to ensure they’re meeting customers’ needs in every new market. The best cross-border shopping experience is one that feels local to shoppers, and providing that means offering locally relevant products; transparent pricing that encompasses all taxes and tariffs; and customer care in shoppers’ local language, both on websites and through other service channels.
- Collaborate with the right payment and shipping partners. Cross-border leaders know they must collaborate with other providers, sometimes locally, to find solutions that ensure a seamless shopper journey. The right partners can enable customers to pay in their local currency and by whichever payment option they prefer, whether that’s a credit card, digital payment app or even cash on delivery. They can also help brands provide an excellent shipping experience, with delivery by a trusted local provider guaranteed within days, as well as local, fast return options and refunds when needed.
- Use technology tools and big data to better meet customers’ needs. These leaders integrate customer purchase and loyalty program data into their systems rather than funneling it to another server or solution. This allows them to analyze the data to uncover insights and provide more personalized service to their customers.
- Maintain brand standards in every market. Upholding brand standards even while ensuring the shopping experience is relevant to customers in each different locale is crucial, as shoppers expect brand consistency both online and offline, no matter where they live.
Nike is one example of a retailer that's getting cross-border e-commerce right by offering a seamless experience to shoppers in other markets. The company has succeeded in ensuring that online customers around the world can fully experience its range of products and easily understand how to purchase, receive and even return them without friction. Nike also works to offer online shoppers an experience that's very similar to the one they would have in their local brick-and-mortar store.
“Consumers across the globe are more connected than ever and they want to be able to buy the same brands that their peers in other countries are buying, but enjoy a localized, seamless shopping experience at the same time,” said Deborah Weinswig, CEO and founder of Coresight Research, which partnered with eShopWorld to release the list of global e-commerce power players. “That demand represents a massive business opportunity, but integrating the retail supply chain to ensure a frictionless purchase journey is difficult.”
Cynthia Hollen is president, USA, at eShopWorld, a global e-commerce platform.
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