Localize and influence: cross-border marketing strategies

Panelists from Rue La La, NMPi and Google talked about how to build successful cross-border marketing campaigns, at Retail (R)Evolution.

Wed May 16 11:19:00 EDT 2018


Which city drives the most cross-border sales? No, it’s not Hong Kong or London. Don’t forget about our neighbor to the north: Toronto. They buy a ton of products across the US-Canada border.

Day 2 of Retail (R)Evolution continued on with a lively panel discussion centered around cross-border retail and marketing. We heard from Feng Chang, Senior Director of Growth Strategy at Rue La La, Luke Judge, CEO of NMPi, and Jodi Goldberg from Google, about how to build cross-channel marketing strategies and the characteristics of a successful cross-border retailer.

Deciding where to market internationally

Luke Judge, CEO of NMPi, revealed that a recent car accident uncovered some learnings that he can apply to marketing. First, listen to what the numbers are telling you. Second, wear a seat belt. NMPi puts that into practice by looking at all kinds of factors, like search data, pockets of expats, the language of your existing site, and where the advertiser has a price competitive advantage or a product exclusivity advantage, to help guide international marketing decisions.

Chang agreed that there are many factors to take into account. Rue La La looks at three, specifically, to identify opportunistic markets to start marketing in:

  • The size of the organic market
  • The growth rate: Are some growing faster than others?
  • Can we go after them easily via our existing marketing mix and current expertise?

Google, of course, has many data-driven tools to help retailers make these decisions. They’ve found that there are three characteristics of retailers who do a good job identifying markets: They’re customer-centric, data-driven, and have strong leadership with resources dedicated to international growth.

A word of advice from the panel? Just because you looked at an international market last year and it wasn’t a good opportunity, check again this year. Things change.

Optimizing global campaigns with localization

The average international consumer has ten times more touchpoints to conversion than a domestic shopper. Goldberg reminded us that in many cases, you might be getting in front of a consumer who’s never heard of you, and it’s up to you to prove that you’re a legitimate, trustworthy vendor. It’s essential that you think local and tailor each campaign to the local market it will serve. For example, shoppers in Japan prefer to have packages delivered at home, since it’s frowned upon to deliver at work. Factor in those local preferences.

You may also consider starting with a wide net, as Judge recommended, and, using a good quality product data feed, then drill in on what’s working. Make sure you’re reaching that audience on the right platform. For example, if you’re trying to sell a product in Singapore but don’t have a mobile-optimized site, forget it.

Getting the tracking right and having technology to capture lots of different data points is important towards being able to granularly measure and optimize. You don’t want to pay three or four times for the sale of the same customer. Take advantage of the technology solutions available that allow you to see the customer journey across channels and devices, so you won’t pay for the same customer more than once.

In the competitive world of global ecommerce, it’s important to know where the industry is heading and how others retailers are reacting. Take the Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Assessment to see how you stack up with your competitors – the survey offers a side-by-side comparison between your answers and those of your peers.

Then, dive into the results from one of the biggest global ecommerce research reports of its kind. The Pitney Bowes 2017 Global Ecommerce Report surveyed more than 1,200 retailers and 12,000 consumers around the world, outlining both retailer and consumer perspectives on the global ecommerce landscape. Download the report to learn how these trends provide key growth opportunities.