Yes, “Going Global” is a hot topic and you’ve probably attended numerous conference sessions over the past year. You need to embrace international markets because ecommerce growth rates abroad exceed those domestically; new customers in new markets create an opportunity to diversity, and/or because of you’ve been told to do so.
There are many ways to go global with many considerations, such as:
In order to understand where you and your peers are with international expansion, FitForCommerce conducted a survey of retailers, brands, manufacturers, and distributors to assess the state of cross-border ecommerce. We’ve analyzed the results by looking at the current international operations and future expansion of “going global”. Thank you to the ~60 respondents for their valuable input!
About the Respondents
- Heavy distribution of apparel retailers: 47%
- Even distribution across pureplay, ecom and traditional retailers
- Balanced distribution across no global sales to 10% in global sales
Current International Operations
- 70% expect to explore new international capabilities over the next 18-24 months; only approximately 20% expect to do so in the next 12 months
- Highest interest exists for expansion into Canada, Western Europe and Australia (all 30% interest)
High percentage (78%!) of those expecting to explore global expansion said they project international sales of less than $20M – which indicates conservatism and unknowns of future performances in these markets.
Approach to International Expansion
- 80% expect to leverage at least some level of internal capabilities as sales grew; 17% plan to outsource all activities
- Respondents appear flexible in how they plan to ship to consumers remaining open to options for direct shipment, leveraging a re-shipper, or package forwarder
The approach retailers are taking seems to indicate that they want to retain elements of control of their international expansion, seeking help in areas that they do not have the expertise in or the ability to keep current (e.g., tariffs, language, currency).
Even with the massive growth opportunity overseas, many retailers/brands/manufacturers still seem rather hesitant to take the plunge. Contact us to learn more about cross-border ecommerce – whether you’re in the thinking, planning, executing, or growing stage.