Whether you’re a global cataloger pricing in each market’s local currency or a domestic cataloger who gets a trickle of international orders, it pays to issue refunds in your customer’s local currency. It’s one thing to ask foreign customers to buy drafts in U.S. dollars to pay for their orders; it’s another to expect them to go back to a bank to clear a check issued in a foreign currency. This inconvenience discourages repeat business. And even if you’re reimbursing in local currency, you can have a problem if the draft isn’t drawn from the banking system of the country where your customer resides.
The nations of the European Union enjoy well-developed mail-order markets; much of the continent now shares a common currency; and the Internet’s rise has dismantled many of the perceived barriers to international trade. U.S. catalogers have much to offer Europeans, too. American catalog executives well understand the power of branding and have developed niche offerings that are only now beginning to be exploited across the Atlantic. That said, however, there are differences between the two regions that can make your navigational efforts difficult. Below, we’ll identify those challenges and explore ways around them. Creative Challenges While language differences are more apparent when
All list brokers are not created equal. Before you rent lists for a global campaign, identify a broker experienced in international lists and foreign markets. An international list broker should be able to provide more than just mailing lists. The broker also should give you insight into your particular market, as well as be able to recommend some reputable merge/purge bureaus, lettershops and postal services. Provide your brokerage firm with full details of your mailing so it will be able to accurately recommend lists. The information should include: • the offer, • sample mail piece, • customer profile,
Lands’ End has launched six international e-commerce sites within a period of 12 months. “We view international as a growth opportunity for Lands’ End,” says Sam Taylor, the company’s vice president of international. He explains the cataloger’s goal is to create a global brand. The company’s new approach is to expand internationally via the Internet. It chose Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom—the three largest e-commerce markets outside the United States—as the first trio of launches. These also happened to be the three international markets in which the cataloger already had a print catalog and the infrastructure to support a Web site. An e-commerce
The fall of trade barriers, a maturing domestic market and the explosion of the World Wide Web have combined to make entry into the global marketplace attractive for U.S. catalogers. Going global is a two-part equation. The first part is the decision to market internationally. The second part of the equation is where to market. First and foremost, you must get an idea of the scale of the market, including its size and potential as well as the maturity of the channel of distribution. After narrowing it down to a few potential markets, you need to do some in-country research. You need to consider,
Although Peruvian Connection didn’t launch its first international catalog until 1994, CEO and Co-founder Annie Hurlbut maintains the cataloger was an international company long before its first foray into the global market. As its name suggests, the Peruvian Connection has shared its history with the country and mountain people of Peru. Peruvian Connection began as a “happenstance” when Annie Hurlbut came home for her mother Biddy’s 50th birthday at Christmastime in 1976. At the time she was conducting research in Peru in pursuit of a doctoral degree in anthropology. As a gift she gave her mother an alpaca sweater she found in a Peruvian
SciTech International, an early Internet convert, now has fully integrated e-commerce Since SciTech International’s software products are aimed at the scientific, engineering and technical end-user from Boeing to the National Institutes of Health, it was a natural for the company to be an early convert to selling on the Web. “It was a natural fit since our target customers—scientists and engineers—were the first users of the Internet for research,” says Barry Moltz, president of the 6-year-old firm which sells software and other technical computing tools. Moltz, a former IBM employee who co-founded the Chicago-based company in 1993 with another former IBMer, explains that traffic