Oban recently attended Internet Retailing’s International Research Report at Glaziers Hall, London. Headed up by the charismatic Editor-in-Chief of Internet Retailing Ian Jindal, the seminar shared invaluable insights on international expansions of more than 150 top name retailers. The report revealed views on how and why UK businesses are expanding overseas, as well as discussing the typical barriers to market entry. With talks from Amazon, Channel Advisor, Digital River and Meridian Global Services the event was bursting with information on the international online landscape.
Key research findings highlighted:
– 2/3 of retailers have already expanded abroad
– 1/3 are pushing for further expansion
– 38% have seen a demand for their products overseas
– 93% see the international market as a high priority
In addition, the challenges identified by international online retailers reveal:
– The greatest problem encountered is the target market’s language and culture differences
– More than 1/2 of retailers have a country website
– 52% rely on third party help (fulfillment)
– 40% say they could improve their international experience by localising their online strategy
Interestingly, popular countries for international expansion included a mix of non English speaking markets and English speaking countries.
– The pattern of priority market to entry is the EU followed by the USA
– Germany and France are considered top regions for expansion in the EU
– Australia is highly attractive as demand for products is high, however volume and logistics is restricting growth
Before entering a new market online it’s vital businesses conduct incremental tests to identify what resources are needed for investment. Ring fence the project without compromising existing markets you are currently active in. It’s important to remember there are limits to domestic growth such as limited domestic population and market size. Accessing emerging markets can offer high growth and demand, especially around counter-cyclical reasons as countries have different growth rates and seasonality differences. As with most global online strategies identify who your customers are by conducting thorough market research and utilise your findings into your international online strategy.