In case you missed it, Flow Founder and CEO Rob Keve was a guest on the Fashion is Your Business Podcast, in which he discussed the benefits of going global and the pain points for e-commerce shops that are trying to sell into new markets. Rob covered a wide range of topics during the podcast, from why brands want to expand internationally to how he maintains balance in his own busy life.
Who’s Going Global?
Rob discussed how today’s digital-first, direct-to-consumer brands are crossing borders more quickly than their predecessors to explore new global revenue streams and better connect with consumers from other countries:
“It is true that traditional businesses wait a long time before they go international. They saturate their domestic market; they set up stores all over the place before they think about going international. But I don’t think that’s true of the modern, native digital brands… They go global much earlier. They’re much more sophisticated about finding consumers in overseas markets.”
Shoppers are discovering brands everywhere
Rob also pointed out that international consumers are finding brands, whether their e-commerce sites are localized or not. The big question is, what must brands do to make sure these global shoppers stay on their sites and make purchases? Rob also notes that often, despite being able to discover and search brands from all over the world, consumers still have a hard time placing orders.
“In today’s day and age, with search being a global feature; with social platforms and with distributed commerce, consumers are finding brands, regardless [of whether they have a localized e-commerce site]. Even if there is no paid marketing to try to target consumers in different countries, they’re finding your site. When you look at your site traffic, often times you may see 20, 30 to 40% of total traffic coming from outside the domestic market. But the challenge is, that traffic is not converting… Consumers, particularly younger age groups, are trying to purchase up-and-coming brands from overseas, and they’re finding that to be a struggle.”
Reducing Friction: What are the Pain Points?
While digital-first brands are jump-starting their international business models sooner, they’re still facing the same challenges when it comes to launching localized online stores in new global markets. The points of friction must be removed for cross border retailers to succeed.
Rob shares some of the top “pain points” for cross border e-commerce:
- Localized currency: Do your prices appear in the local currency for that international market?
- Preferred payments: Do you know which local payment methods your cross border shoppers prefer, and do you offer those payment choices at checkout?
- Landed cost: Does your pricing strategy for international consumers include the total cost of the purchase in the final price of the item? Will your customers be charged for an unknown amount at their doorstep when their items arrive?
Consumers have high expectations, regardless of where they live. Cross border e-commerce companies must provide a consistent customer experience for every online store in every market they’re in. Flow can enable this through our API-based platform quickly and easily.