A blueprint for cross-border eCommerce in 2017

July 26, 2017
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Makeup from Korea, furniture from China, tech hardware from the US. You name it, the Internet has it.

Crossing borders is a huge growth opportunity for eCommerce players. Worldwide cross-border eCommerce is expected to reach US$424 billion by 2021, making up 15 percent of the segment. Global eCommerce will grow at twice the rate of domestic e-commerce until 2020.

To effectively expand your consumer market, consider these insights:

Top regions and categories for cross-border eCommerce1

Asian players are well-placed to take advantage of the growth in cross-border eCommerce. Their position coincides with the rise of the consumer middle class as the region becomes more affluent and digitally connected. China alone is expected to spend as much as US$160 billion in 2020, according to data from Emarketer.

Southeast Asia is considered the next gold rush. The region’s B2C eCommerce market size is small but rising fast, with Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam projected to grow from US$7 billion in 2013 to US$34.5 billion in 2018. In Singapore and Malaysia, an estimated 55 percent of all online shopping is cross-border.

“At least 6 out of 10 consumers buy books or clothes and shoes most often when they shop online,” says Mike Ghasemi, research director of retail insights across Asia Pacific at IDC.

The right marketplace will help you scale globally

How can brands get on the radar of the international customer quickly? Go to where their customers are.

For instance, in countries with low desktop penetration, shoppers can buy from overseas as long as they have a smartphone. Mobile eCommerce has become the “biggest game changer” for cross-border commerce, according to Emarketer.

Besides building a brand with a dedicated web/mobile platform, brand owners and sellers should identify and sell on regional eCommerce marketplaces to cost-effectively leverage their reach and increase brand recognition.

“The ability to compare prices with other countries’ empowers the consumer with a sharper view on whether they are paying the right price,” says Ghasemi. He says that price is a major driving force and consumers will take advantage of exchange rates and lower taxes of other countries.

Other than looking for discounts from overseas websites, shoppers also want higher variety, quality, and authenticity. Reputable regional e-commerce marketplaces fit the bill.

Some tools to streamline cross-border operations

Technology plays a key role in streamlining cross-border operations.

Marketplace integrations

Many brands from India, such as lingerie brands Pretty Secrets and Clovia are taking steps to sell in Southeast Asia on marketplaces like Lazada. Vinculum has multichannel order management software that helps brands identify marketplaces to work with.

Listing Services

Vinculum also has tools for brands to automatically list their products onto marketplaces like Lazada, Amazon, and Zalora. This saves companies time spent on transforming item data, attributes, and pictures into formats easily understood by target marketplaces.

Efficient fulfillment adds the finishing touch

With multiple sales channels, efficient fulfillment is the key to successful cross-border retail. Hence, brands need to pick third-party logistics (3PL) providers who can service this need.

3PLs, in turn, need to choose a good warehouse management system (WMS) with processes designed for eCommerce fulfillment, segmentation of orders and inventory, and ready integration with marketplaces.

Good cross-border logistics can help brands reduce confusion and uncertainty around customs duties, taxes, the hassle of finding local delivery, and reverse logistics options. To achieve that, global eCommerce B2C logistics companies like LBC Express and One World Express have made investments in technology to achieve these goals.

“A successful cross-border commerce growth strategy includes not just geographical locations, the ability to list-sell on global marketplaces, and consumers’ and e-tailers’ requirements, but also taking into account logistics needs like thorough and real-time tracking of inventories or deliveries, providing multiple shipping options, and basket values,” says Atul Bhakta, group CEO and managing director of One World Express.

Vinculum and One World Express are collaborating across India, Southeast Asia, and Europe to sell and fulfill orders across regional borders. They have integrated their platforms to provide access to global commerce marketplaces, web stores, payment gateways, and logistics companies.

Sounds complex? Understand more about going cross-border with Vinculum’s webinar on July 28, 2017. The webinar welcomes CXOs, senior IT or operations, and supply chain leadership from the logistics and retail/eCommerce industries. IDC and One World will be speaking on the webinar. 

Read the full article here: https://www.techinasia.com/cross-border-ecommerce

Vinculum is a SaaS-based software company that enables multi-channel retailing. With ready integrations to front-end platforms, marketplaces, logistics companies, and cross-border platforms globally, they enable businesses through their suite of order management and fulfillment products to sell across 65+ countries and use real-time view of inventory in stores and warehouses to provide omnichannel experience to customers.


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