E-commerce is going global as retailers from around the world take advantage of faster growth trends to discover riches overseas. For many brick-and-mortar and pure-play retailers, however, expanding e-commerce into a foreign country is unknown territory.
The common questions I get from retailers who want to start new country website operations include: Where should I expand, and in what order? How do I adjust my practices to meet different cultural norms? Which functions should be located at headquarters versus locally? How should the entire operation be governed?
To address these concerns and more, Cisco IBSG conducted in-depth interviews with leading e-commerce executives at many of the top global retailers and suppliers to understand the best practices they use to ensure online success globally. The resulting information described in a recently published paper titled, “The Global E-Commerce Gold Rush: How Retailers Can Find Riches Overseas” is pure gold for retailers wanting to grow global revenues with e-commerce.
Best practices include:
- Picking the best markets for success
- Determining the right mix of operations to have at headquarters versus locally
- Choosing the right buyers to meet local tastes
- Utilizing local marketing resources to ensure customer relevancy
- Developing a core global platform that can be modified by country management to appear local
- Selecting the best method for fulfillment and delivery
- Navigating the complexities of cross-border trade to spur sales
- Building an IT architecture for scalability and worldwide e-commerce
Cisco IBSG believes retailers that embark on a global e-commerce journey with this information to guide their way will reap significant rewards. In fact, a $50 billion mass merchant expanding online into 11 countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America could add $7 billion in incremental revenue over five years and increase its total growth rate from 17 percent to 31 percent.
Several trailblazers, including Tesco and Amazon, have already established successful global e-commerce operations. Many others are going global as we speak. By learning about the best practices that have helped these retailers and others succeed, you will have what’s needed to guide your company to its own share of riches overseas.
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