Last week, a wide range of inspirational leaders at the forefront of the digital evolution of fashion gathered in downtown Manhattan for WWD’s Digital Forum. The big topic of discussion: the integration of new media and e-commerce. From new retail technologies and business models to the latest trends in shopping behaviors and consumer expectations, the forum covered all angles of the ongoing transformation of retail and the evolution of how consumers discover, choose, and buy in the digital age.
As a proud sponsor of the event, Flow hosted the breakfast before the conference, where Flow Co-founder and CEO Rob Keve conducted a Q&A with Kevin Mogyoros, COO and CFO at MZ Wallace. Below are some of the highlights from the conversation.
Successfully navigating the move from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce is challenging enough as a domestic brand, but for retailers seeking to expand globally, there are a dizzying number of considerations. MZ Wallace has made that transformation look easy. The handbag retailer started with one physical store in 2000 and now has a thriving cross border e-commerce presence, selling into 130 global markets.
MZ Wallace’s transition from a domestic to an international e-commerce merchant began organically. When the retailer first started out, the goal was to be the leading U.S. nylon bag company for the modern American woman. But it wasn’t long before they started thinking bigger than that. The brand noticed that website traffic from foreign countries continued to come into their domestic e-commerce site. While they started accepting international orders early on, they knew that eventually, they’d need a more strategic approach to building an international customer base.
Because MZ Wallace already had a strong direct-to-consumer model, with complete control over the customer experience and a great rapport with existing customers, they had a good handle on which aspects of their strategy needed the most support globally. They brought in Flow to help with the localization of their cross-border e-commerce sites. The plan was to roll out localized sites in phases, starting with markets such as Canada, the UK and Australia, where English speaking consumers were already interested in MZ Wallace bags.
International taxes and duties on cross border goods can be one of the most challenging aspects of globalizing an e-commerce brand. MZ Wallace made the decision to build any applicable taxes and duties into the displayed price on their localized websites, which helps to reduce friction at checkout and upon delivery. With help from Flow, the retailer has also been able to offer free shipping in five business days or less in most major markets.
Kevin’s advice for other brands who are thinking of making a move towards international business: “Go for it. Every brand has its own path to achieving cross border success. But when you have the right partners supporting you, it’s not as hard as you might think.”
To find out more about how Flow’s cross border e-commerce solutions helped MZ Wallace boost international conversion rates and increase efficiencies in order fulfillment and shipping, read the full case study. And when you’re ready to get strategic about expanding into new global markets, get in touch with a Flow expert.