In the U.S., the summer season officially kicks off Memorial Day Weekend. Americans take their long-awaited summer vacations and their shopping habits typically slow down. Some retailers report as much as a 30% drop in sales during the summer months. Optimistic retailers may view June, July and early August as a good time to prepare for the impending frenzy of back-to-school and holiday shopping. But in the increasingly competitive space of e-commerce, most brands can’t afford the luxury of a slowdown. If the “summer sales slump” is causing anxiety, it may be time to consider looking to international markets.
Here are three ways a global e-commerce strategy can help even out the seasonal lulls for retailers.
- Going global gives retailers multiple “bites of the apple.” In the U.S., most domestic retailers build their annual ecommerce sales strategies around holiday shopping season in Q4 of the calendar year. Entering global markets ensures a more holistic revenue stream by tapping into other times of the year when international consumers are more likely to buy. One example is the annual summer retail sales held in France, known as “les soldes,” which last for about six weeks and typically begin in late June. A popular shopping holiday in India is Friendship Day, which takes place on the first Sunday in August. To stay on top of other popular holidays around the world, check out our e-book.
- Selling internationally allows brands to showcase summer inventory to a wider audience. In markets where the seasons align with the U.S., brands and retailers have an opportunity to market their summer goods to a much larger audience of shoppers in search of deals on warm weather apparel and accessories.
- Cross-border e-commerce distributes the seasons across different geographies. In Australia, for example, winter lasts from June through August, while summer begins in December. This presents an opportunity for cross-border merchants with a presence in Australia to offer deals on winter goods during June, July and August, and summer goods in December, January and February.
However, brands and retailers can’t just jump into global markets. When considering international expansion as a way to diversify their seasonal e-commerce strategies, it’s important to prepare for the many facets of entering new global markets. Smooth market entry takes a comprehensive understanding of the needs and preferences of international customers. Each market is different. To make cross border expansion a success, brands and retailers need to do everything possible to create a frictionless online shopping experience. That means localized online stores, a seamless checkout in the currency that shoppers prefer, and a stress-free delivery of merchandise with no unpleasant surprises such as unexpected duties or taxes.
To determine whether your brand is ready for global market entry, download our free International E-commerce Kit. Or, get in touch with a Flow expert today to learn more about what your brand needs to go global.