In case you couldn’t make it to ShopTalk last week, below is a summary of Flow CEO Rob Keve’s Tech Talk on Global Innovation and Expansion.

International consumers purchased $2.86 trillion worth of goods via the internet in 2018, up from $2.43 trillion in 2017. But even as online shopping accelerates, too many retailers are still missing out on the potential revenue opportunities waiting for them in global markets. The reality is, international consumers are turning to the internet to find the best deals on the goods they want – and the retailers with the savviness offer it to them, on their terms, will win. Our own market research reveals that a staggering 67% of global consumers have already made a cross border purchase.

67% cross border shoppers

For domestic e-commerce merchants considering international expansion, the question then becomes, “Where do I start?” According to our research, the top markets where consumers are making the most cross border purchases are:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. UK
  6. China
  7. US
  8. South Korea
  9. Japan

In order to boost conversion rates and build brand loyalty, domestic e-commerce retailers realize that the key is to focus on the overall customer experience. Expanding into new markets, where customs and preferences can vary dramatically, requires the same focus. To ensure that satisfied consumers in each global market come back for more, international retailers must remove any barriers and make it effortless for shoppers to find what they want, pay the way they want, and receive their items with no surprises.

The primary elements for cross border growth include:

  • Localizing product pages: Is your online store translated in the preferred language? Does your product catalog reflect the country’s specific trends and comply with local regulations?
  • Transparent pricing: Display the cost of goods in the local currency, including any country-specific taxes or duties. Sixty-one percent of global consumers say price and transparency are the top factors when considering a cross border purchase.
  • Frictionless checkout: Eighty percent of international shoppers have a strong preference for local payment options. And it’s up to retailers to know what those preferences are in each global market.
  • Low-cost and flexible shipping choices: The cost of shipping can be a major factor in purchasing decisions. Eighty-four percent of global consumers expect free shipping with their purchase. And in some global regions, shoppers expect same-day or 1-to-2-day shipping as a standard.
  • Hassle-free returns: To compete with domestic brands, cross border retailers must be able to facilitate easy returns on items that weren’t a fit.

The good news is, international online merchants don’t have to manage all of these elements on their own. At Flow we’ve created a modular, flexible platform based on our own experiences expanding e-commerce brands internationally. Flow offers 100 different payment methods and can manage localization for 180+ countries, including product catalog localization, landed cost, carrier management and seamless checkout. We even empower e-commerce brands to A/B test their online shops in new markets, so they can optimize and fine-tune each local website to get the best conversion rate.

Contact a Flow expert today for a demo of our platform, and put some fuel in your e-commerce growth engine.