We’re nothing if not resourceful in the UK. While high street sales may be dropping, a number of UK-based retailers are marketing themselves abroad, yet keeping the business (and product fulfilment) on UK shores.
Scottish brand Lyle & Scott, for example, has expanding markets in France, Germany and Sweden through e-commerce sites designed for those markets, while managing the business from its home in Selkirk.
As retailers begin to ramp up their online presence overseas, two weeks ago at a conference in San Francisco I was asked to examine the benefits – and challenges – of international e-commerce.
Entitled: The Global Push, I took the audience through a statistics rich presentation that should be an aid to any brand considering global e-commerce expansion.
For those of you who weren't there, Fiona Gandy, Key Account Manager at 7thingsmedia, will cover a rundown of the session, summed up in seven takeaway tips.
Mobile is booming. Chances are that, if you’re shopping online in 2012, increasingly you’ll be carrying out part of the transaction on a mobile device.
The majority of smartphone users are now using a mobile device to browse and shop online while, in the UK, 5m tablet owners are expected to purchase a second device in 2012.
IHS screen digest recently released research predicting that in-app purchases will hit £3.6 billion in 2015, accounting for as much as 64% of mobile app market revenues.
So one thing is clear: if optimising your mobile channel isn’t high on your list of priorities in 2012, it really should be.
As discussed in a previous blog post, customer experience needs to be at the heart of your mobile strategy in 2012.
With online forums, comment boxes online and the growing number of brands with a social media presence, a customer has more ways than ever before to vent their frustrations following a poor online customer experience.
What’s more, a customer who has a poor experience online using a mobile device can use the very same device to log on to Facebook or Twitter and tell their entire network of friends and family about the poor mobile online experience they encountered.
Just how important is your customer
contact centre to you?
For some companies, call centres are seen as a
last resort for extremely frustrated customers who have struggled online or in
store and need assistance completing their transaction.
In reality, the
customer contact centre is at the forefront of customer experience and can
often be the only ‘human’ interaction a customer has with a brand.
Mobile email is big, and getting bigger. By 2015, more US internet users will access the web
through mobile devices than through PCs.
The mobile email numbers are even more indicative of a seismic shift in
web behavior. comScore
found that while web-based email declined significantly throughout 2010, mobile
email surged 36% from the prior year.
As consumers are increasingly browsing, shopping, and
interacting with brands on the go, mobile commerce presents a powerful
The one area of international e-commerce for which there's not a great deal of free tools available is the issue of preferred online payment systems for foreign markets.
Perhaps ignorance is bliss, but it’s certainly not in the recipe for commercial success. To eliminate
the things that cause their customers to struggle online, organisations must first gain
insight into the experience they provide.
They must identify the site issues
that are most impactful to their bottom lines and remedy them quickly to minimise the number of
customers affected by the problems.
Mobile payments can be so much more than just paying for your coffee and paper on the way into work.
As we’ve seen with mobile sites such as M&S, some consumers are willing to use mobile sites for those big one-off purchases that would have previously seen them buying online or on the High Street.
What do retailers need to do to tempt micro-payment converts to make bigger purchases?
Research by YouGov has found that 91% of British consumers have not heard of NFC technology, while 70% have yet to hear of the ‘mobile wallet’.
Though Juniper Research predicts that $50bn in worldwide sales revenue will be generated by NFC mobile payments by 2014, it’s clear that there is some way to go before British shoppers turn their backs on cash in favour of their mobile.