Cross-border e-commerce is exploding, with a 21% increase in revenue between January and June 2020 compared to last year. The pandemic has made cross-border e-commerce a crucial channel for brands. Is your brand embracing the opportunity? Retailers that haven’t yet adapted their e-commerce store to provide international consumers with the best possible customer experience are missing out on all of this growth. But it’s not too late to change that.

In the spirit of educating brands and retailers on the many facets of cross-border commerce, the Global E-commerce Leaders Forum (GELF) kicks off its virtual event, Oktoberfest, tomorrow on Thursday, Oct. 1. The series of online sessions will deliver a mix of strategic insights and tactical cross-border To-Dos about their global retail expansion practices. Learn how to prioritize your global commerce plan’s critical operational aspects and organize your team to execute them successfully.

Our expert team at Flow will participate in a panel session on Thursday, Oct. 8, that examines one of our customers’ cross-border approach, Universal Standard, a revolutionary size-inclusive fashion brand. Universal Standard made strategic investments to expand its business overseas, and has achieved impressive results and success. Moderated by GELF Co-founder Kent Allen, the panel will include Flow CEO Rob Keve, who will guide the discussion and examine the different facets of the fashion brand’s execution to show how online retailers everywhere can execute a winning global strategy. Rita Hudetz, COO of Universal Standard, will provide insight from the online retailer perspective.

Rita will share Universal Standard’s story of how they became an international brand, starting with an increase in web traffic from international customers in search of size-inclusive apparel.  Universal Standard saw inbound interest from social media, as well. The brand’s initial brick-and-mortar store was in Seattle, so it’s not surprising that Canadian consumers were engaging with the e-commerce website and social media properties. To better support the customer experience for Canadian shoppers, the brand hired an in-country expert to handle the details about cross-border shipping and logistics as well as customs requirements.

That strategy worked for a while, but as Universal Standards grew and demand increased from other countries, it wasn’t sustainable. Greater traffic from consumers in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK made it clear that the brand needed a more holistic, flexible solution to help them support multiple markets.

Rita will dive into the reasons why Universal Standard went with Flow and what they’ve been able to achieve using the platform. Attendees will come away from the presentation with: 

  • Insights into a successful cross-border approach
  • Tactics that allow brands to shift gears quickly in response to market disruptions
  • Recommendations for executing the strategy that works best for your brand
  • Best practices for cross-border selling that increases customer acquisition and drive demand for goods in global markets 
  • Actionable steps for launching and optimizing a cross-border e-commerce strategy to achieve global business goals

Hudetz will also discuss new trends resonating with global consumers, such as the “Try at Home” feature. Universal Standard offers a 14-day trial period for customers to decide whether their purchase is a perfect fit. This feature has become a strong differentiator for the brand.

Brands and retailers that have tapped into the power of selling in global markets during the pandemic have experienced unprecedented growth in cross-border sales. Even as retail stores begin to reopen in specific markets, the appetite for online shopping is rising. And this is only expected to increase as we head into the holidays. 

Gaining access to new consumer audiences in different geographies expands a brand’s potential revenue base. It mitigates risk caused by market disruptions. That’s why cross-border e-commerce is so crucial to ongoing growth. 

The key to international success is to identify which markets offer the highest potential. What kind of international traffic are you already seeing at your e-commerce store? And how much of that traffic is converting? Providing a localized experience to these visitors that includes their preferred currency, payment options, and shipping tiers is a huge first step. Being able to shift your logistics to cost-effectively ship is also vital. 

We hope you will join us at the virtual GELF Oktoberfest. The event is spread across three Thursdays in October – October 1st, 8th, and 15th – from 1 PM to 5 PM ET each day. And as we mentioned, our panel discussion happens on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2:20 PM ET. Register for this unique event and find out what it takes to make your brand a global success. Visit the GELF website to register.

For more information about how Flow’s solution helps brands quickly and seamlessly expand into global markets, contact one of our cross-border e-commerce experts today.