“International growth strategies for your ecommerce brand” is the topic of the latest interview with Benjamin Cohen, Co-Founder at Glopal.
International ecommerce is a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for online retailers. When the local market is reaching a plateau, it’s time to turn to cross-border commerce. By targeting new online markets, retailers can increase their market size and have lower acquisition costs.
When going global, retailers should consider:
- the type of approach they should take for their global growth strategy
- foreign markets they should select
- the optimal way of getting maximum results with minimum efforts.
In this video Benjamin shares his expertise about international growth strategies and envisions the future direction of global ecommerce.
Stages of growing your ecommerce business abroad
There are three stages of growing your ecommerce business abroad: crawl, walk and run.
The crawl stage is a passive approach. You expect foreign buyers to find you. You don’t have any active approach or strategy but you’re able to ship your goods abroad and you expect international buyers to find you. This is how you crawl into the foreign market.
The walk phase is a more active, customer-oriented approach that accounts for country-specific expectations. Consumers everywhere want their online buying experience to be seamless and similar to their native one (this involves local language, currency and so on). By meeting their expectations, you start walking in a foreign market.
The run stage is the most proactive one. It’s about localizing buying experience fully and optimizing operations and marketing when a market is maturing. There’s more focus on repeat buying and on minimizing delivery times & logistics costs. At this stage you move fast and should see results relatively quickly.
Launching a brand in a new country
There are two approaches to launching a brand in new countries: soft and hard.
- The soft approach: an active, but still more of a “let’s-wait-and-see” approach. You offer foreign buyers a mostly localized buying experience with SEO in place. You just let your sales grow and it usually takes a few quarters before you see any tangible results (for instance SEO takes time).
- The hard approach: an active approach that allows you to kick-start your sales. You actively co-ordinate and implement many more activities, e.g. search engine marketing or finding influencers. As a result, by creating enough assets, you see results almost immediately.
Proactive retailers aim to provide the same local experience to their international customers by making their store look as local as possible and implementing a strong international SEO strategy. They also market their store/brand actively to grow their international customers database.
Launching your ecommerce brand in different countries is always a question of efficiency & profitability. After all, gaining new buyers at a controllable cost and building a positive brand image to generate repeat business are much easier domestically than internationally.
The key is try to put in minimum efforts but enjoy maximum benefits.
The fastest & simplest way to grow your international ecommerce sales is to offer an end-to-end fully localized shopping experience. This way you can compete on a level playing field with local competitors.
Global ecommerce in 2 years
Globalization as we know it is coming to an end. The world is becoming more “local” with global customers expecting a local buying experience. As a consequence, there’s no single global ecommerce, but rather a network of globally connected “local” businesses.
To expand globally, it’s necessary to adapt your business approach accordingly. For example, to do business in China, adapt your product, operations and marketing strategies to the Chinese market.
In 2 years ecommerce leaders will be operating globally but in a truly local way.