Keys to Global Expansion: Save Time, Sell More
Keys to Global Expansion: Save Time, Sell More
With many businesses worldwide needing to expand to sustain success in the wake of one of the most challenging years in living memory, what are some key components merchants must take into consideration when attempting to grow on a Global scale? In a series of posts, SEKO Logistics and an expert panel from Shopify Plus and Patchworks are exploring the crucial steps businesses must take to scale their enterprise internationally.
Integration – creating an effective ecosystem for your eCommerce
Many merchants might envision the core of an internationalization strategy to rely heavily on marketing and website development, such as translation, however, although these are crucial aspects, what is equally as important is what goes on ‘behind the scenes’.
A significant aspect of growing on a Global scale comes down to how you use data, software and solutions. This allows you to seamlessly synchronize your practices across multiple locations, but only if you integrate these in a way that fits with your business and its goals.
As David Wiltshire of Patchworks, which is one of the world’s most highly-regarded integration platforms, told us: “Essentially, integration is like the electricity of your business. It’s making sure that the lights are on, the products get to where they need to go to and that you don’t oversell. The value of that, as a business, is about being able to scale internationally, but also being able scale efficiently. Regardless of geography, it’s about being able to do as much as you can with as little as possible.”
It’s essential to realize that each brand is unique and there are so many different software options that any business can find solutions which suit them. This diversity means that the power is handed to the merchant to choose which software they want to work with, and evaluate different potential partners to help them to reap the most benefits. By making smart choices at this stage, merchants can create a digital ecosystem to enable future expansion.
The customer – how do your solutions impact their experience?
Ultimately, when targeting a new audience in a new location, you have to make yourself visible on the most popular platforms so your brand is easily accessed. Audience engagement should be simple and available.
A prime example of utilizing a platform that enables optimal engagement and easy access, comes from ecommerce giant, Shopify. They provide brands with the architecture to expand their product and reach across territories, while allowing the space for additional partners to fill in any gaps. Shopify works constantly to develop new solutions to allow users to access customers and provide them with the most convenient and efficient purchase experience possible – this is evident in their integration with social platforms for one-click conversions.
Shopify’s Senior Merchant Success Manager, Adam Finan, highlighted this with a recent example of integrating with Pinterest, saying: “Our job is to make it easy for our merchants to sell in these places. That’s where we work with a platform like Pinterest, take the traffic from there to the Shopify store to create the order which then gets sent down the pipes to your logistics partner and distribution center. It’s important for us to make the process as easy as possible.”
The same applies to the Facebook and Instagram checkout solution; enabling brands to promote themselves in different places by arming themselves with the best possible tools to sell products and serve customers in a variety of locations.
Aside from Shopify, which is today’s ‘go-to ecommerce platform’, creating your ecosystem for Global growth requires a few basic steps that merchants must put in place to promote a healthy customer journey. A third-party logistics partner with a Global reach, such as SEKO Logistics, is essential to expand at scale by fulfilling supply and demand in the chosen locations. Beyond that, there needs to be consideration to finance packages, your enterprise resource planning (ERP) and your API requirements – there are countless options for all of these, so choosing the right elements and making sure your business has interchangeable, brilliant component parts is imperative.
Returns – foster loyalty with an efficient process
No matter how great your product is, you have to safeguard for the possibility that it might not match with a customer’s expectations. Returns are a big part of ecommerce and providing your customers with a good returns experience means you are far more likely to retain that customer in the long-term.
An effective returns service requires a reliable third-party logistics provider and the ability to leverage your software – the ecommerce platform your business uses must have sufficient functionality to ease the administration of the returns process, and there is a plethora of excellent software providers in this regard, such as ZigZag, Returnly or Return Magic.
You also need to take into account the sphere your business operates in. For example, the proportion of returns in women’s fashion will be one of the highest across ecommerce, so if your brand is a women’s fashion merchant, your returns policy should be a significant consideration as part of your growth strategy.
By taking into account all of the elements above, as well as, some key advice highlighted in our previous post, you can plan for the expansion that could transform your business.