New York City -- With global e-commerce estimated to reach nearly $1.4 trillion in 2015, more and more retailers are looking to gear up or expand their online operations. A new report by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) sizes up the challenges and opportunities -- and outlines best practices -- for retailers who want to take advantage of e-commerce growth by going global.
The report, “The Global E-Commerce Gold Rush: How Retailers Can Find Riches Overseas,” is based on in-depth interviews with leading e-commerce executives at many of the top global retailers and suppliers.
“The No. 1 mistake retailers make in their globel e-commerce operations is not doing sufficient homework into local customer needs and expectations before opening their website,” Joanne Bethlahmy, director, retail and consumer goods practice, Cisco IBSG, and co-author of the report, told Chain Store Age.
Every country, for example, has very different cultural sensitivities around payment options based on their history as a country, and to unlock potential revenue in a particular country you have to allow for local payment norms, according to Bethlahmy.
“The No. 1 way to pay online in Germany is via online bank transfer,” she said, “while in Japan, Taiwan and Mexico, a lot of e-commerce is paid via COD.”
The best practices detailed in the report include:
- Picking the best markets for success;
- Determining the right mix of operations to have at headquarters versus locally;
- Choosing the right buyers to meet local tastes;
- Using local marketing resources to ensure customer relevancy;
- Developing a core global platform that can be modified by country management to appear local;
- Selecting the best method for fulfillment and delivery; and
- Building an IT architecture for scalability and worldwide e-commerce.
To read the report go to cisco.com/web/about/ac79/globalecom.