Tink Taylor of dotdigital explains why Aussie retailers should invest in cross-border commerce, and why it’s key for success.
The likes of Amazon and eBay have revolutionised the retail industry, enabling customers to shop from their favourite international brands in any corner of the world. Forrester research shows that expanding into international borders will enable marketers to reach the largest possible target market; figures reveal that by 2022, consumers shopping online with merchants outside their home country will account for 17.3 per cent of all online spending.
Know your target market
While cross-border commerce opens up opportunities for business to reach a larger customer base, it is paramount for retailers to have a thorough understanding of their target markets. With every country being different, they need to be adaptable and flexible to accommodate the different regulations, product safety, and data privacy in every country. Without proper consideration of data and research, cross-border commerce can be costly or act as a permanent deterrent for retailers looking to expand. Hence, it’s key to dive-deep into both market trends as well as consumer behaviour to be able to provide the best customer experience.
Another critical factor when considering cross-border commerce is payment methods. According to global research conducted by payment security specialists PCI Pal, three out of four (74 per cent) Australians claim that their confidence in a brand’s data security influences their decision on how they spend money with a particular brand. Therefore, having secure, trustworthy, and hassle-free payment systems should be one of the key considerations for retailers to mitigate fraud and reputational damage to their brand.
Data is paramount
Marketers have always used data to make business decisions; however, over the years, the amount of data available has increased big time. As the E-commerce market continues to grow, marketers should leverage new tools and technologies to collect data that will enable them to better understand their customers, target markets, popular marketing channels, competition analysis, and further opportunities. With the help of the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), retailers can collect customer data at various stages of their buying journey to tailor marketing programs and cater for specific customer demands.
Additionally, personalisation and relevancy are key to be ahead of the curve. A distinct advantage of AI-based technologies is the ability to analyse data and learn the characteristics of consumers. This enables businesses to understand customers’ behaviours better and present them with the most compelling personalised offers catering to individual tastes. When marketing products across channels, changes in product lines and listings updates must be well reflected, taking into consideration the language and culture to ensure data feeds into each touchpoint.
Invest in a strong platform
Last but not least, building a strong platform to market your products is another key factor when it comes to cross-border commerce. Consumers are no longer confined to choice limitations, with cross-border commerce making it possible to shop from anywhere in the world. Brands need to ensure that their E-commerce platforms are functional, localised, and seamlessly accessible across devices. Investing in a platform with strong international capabilities to market products, and constantly upgrading campaigns with data on current trends and historical sales, will allow businesses to predict demand with striking accuracy. By utilising each communication channel with a localised marketing strategy, brands increase the chances of being accepted in their target market and stand out from their competitors.
Cross-border commerce enables businesses to break down geographic barriers, tap into global markets, boost revenue, and build online brand visibility across boundaries. As customers increasingly expect a seamless shopping experience across physical and online stores, the onus is on brands to deliver a unified, customer-friendly shopping journey. From having multiple seasons to profit from, and amplified sales through a larger and more diverse target group, retailers need to engage in cross-border commerce to promote their products and seize the opportunity before it’s too late.