A report recently released by Coresight Research shows cross-border ecommerce will be key to brands’ ability to grow in a post-pandemic world.
With the world adapting to new ways of doing business, brands and retailers must contend with a host of rapidly evolving new ‘norms’, from changing shopper behavior, to managing production, supply chain and logistics. In this new environment, cross-border ecommerce offers opportunities to those that are prepared.
Online channels were the benefactors of the lockdown period, with previously unheard-of growth across many verticals – particularly grocery and home essentials. Apparel and footwear growth seemed to lag behind in domestic terms, but data recently released by eShopWorld showed order volume growth of more than 120%, driven by pent up demand for US and European brands in cross–border markets.
Insights and Recommendations
The Coresight report presents several key findings for brands and recommendations on how to deliver the best online cross-border experience for their shoppers, create brand loyalty, and increase conversions. It also discusses common pain points for brands looking to sell into international markets and how they can leverage the expertise of a localization partner to achieve speed to market, cost efficiency and scale, while offering fully optimized customer journeys.
Sell International, Feel Local
The central tenet of providing a great cross-border shopper experience is ensuring that everything feels local and authentic to the shopper. Brands can do this by translating their website to the local language, pricing locally, calculating duties and taxes, offering payment options that are familiar to the shopper and increase conversions, and providing top-class delivery and returns options.
Other ways to provide a “domestic equivalent” experience for cross-border shoppers include having address auto complete and look up at checkout, providing returns to an in-country hub to expedite refunds and providing estimated delivery dates and tracking. Ultimately, the brand needs to create an authentic end to end experience for the shopper. This starts before they even land on the website, with localized targeted marketing, and continues until the very last touchpoint.
Pain Points for Cross-Border Retailers
Providing an excellent experience for shoppers across multiple international markets is complex and according to a survey conducted by Coresight for the report, 31% of respondents said ‘a lack of expertise in multiple markets was holding them back’, with operational factors proving the most difficult – 41% of respondents claimed managing import tariffs and taxes was a barrier to cross-border expansion.
Opportunities for Brands
Brands already trading cross-border have reaped the benefits during COVID-19, capitalizing on increased online shopping demand and consumer behaviour that has changed – potentially permanently. Not only are they reaching demographics that previously didn’t shop online (55+), consumers are shopping more online than at any other time previously. Coresight Research’s recent US consumer surveys recorded seven in ten consumers routinely making more purchases online.
Selling into new markets online is easier for brands than attempting to do so physically, and according to the report, creates even more opportunities for reach and brand awareness: “As shoppers turn to ecommerce in greater numbers or more frequently, non-domestic retailers and brands enjoy a more level playing field with domestic competitors than they would do in brick-and-mortar retail, where barriers to entry are greater.”
Read the full Coresight Research here.