Not all global strategies are created equal

Consumers are becoming more comfortable purchasing from companies overseas. But the massive opportunity for growth is matched only by the risk of not having the right partner to support you.

Thu Nov 02 16:41:00 EDT 2017
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Every minute of every day, customers click online, triggering shipments and deliveries worldwide.  But the massive opportunity for growth is matched only by the risk of not having the right partner to support you.

Consumers are becoming more comfortable purchasing from companies overseas. Overall, 70% of them already make at least one cross-border purchase annually, according to a recent survey – of 12,000 consumers and 1,200 retailers from eight countries – conducted by IDC Research and ORC International.   

Chinese and Japanese consumers have an appetite for British brands because of their quality, heritage and uniqueness.  While British retailers are looking to expand to the US, Germany and France within the next twelve months. 

“But it’s not as simple as it sounds,” explains Michael Griffiths, Vice President, Global Marketing, Retail & Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes – winner of the 2018 IR1000 award for Top Solution Provider in International Ecommerce.  “Getting parcels from point A to point B globally requires knowhow built over millions of orders with hundreds of retail partners,” Griffiths continues. “Consumers want personalization created through sophisticated demand generation capabilities, and industry-leading support after the purchase.”

By next year 93% of retailers across the world will be looking at trade beyond their borders. Retailers indicate that cross-border consumers are more profitable than domestic ones. But that profitability depends on fraud protection, payment processing at scale, compliance and restricted brand optimization, online marketing and more. While everyone will say they do these things equally, the revenue generated by Pitney Bowes for cross-border retailers – which can be up to three times higher – tells a different story.

“The choice of partner couldn’t be more important,” says Griffiths. “The attractiveness of the space – especially in the UK – has cross-border start-ups saying ‘me too’ to everything.  Credibility, however, is proven by growth.  Pitney Bowes typically adds more customers in just one quarter than our closest UK competitor has in total. It’s about asking the right questions.  No one wants to be the guinea pig for the partner always telling you what others do wrong, while they have invested in neither the people, scale, nor experience to make things right – maybe that’s where the low price comes from? We’ve spoken to retailers who lament having to educate high profile local partners on just the basics of cross-border. Retailers are smart and their time is valuable. They shouldn’t have to be smart on behalf of their cross-border technology partner. The opportunity it too big and the stakes are too high.”

They say you ‘can’t judge a book by its cover’, but in the world of cross-border ecommerce, you can judge a solution by its potential increase in revenue, risk it reduces and marketplaces it opens.

Attractive markets like China, Japan, India, and others are driven predominantly by marketplaces like T-Mall and Rakutan. There can be no compromises on reaching consumers how, when and where they shop. A solution that doesn’t offer marketplace capabilities severely limits your global reach and forces you to come up with answers on your own.  A solution provider who doesn’t address this fundamental strategy doesn’t seem very global nor committed to cross-border long-term. 

“We are inspired by the fantastic brands we work with and how committed they are to their customers,” states Griffiths. “We owe it to them to be about more than words.  Our customers deserve a complete cross-border solution. And that’s what we deliver.”

To find out how Pitney Bowes can help you go global, visit us online: www.pitneybowes.com/uk/industry/retail