The latest InternetRetailing research report examines internationalisation and the challenges and opportunities that it offers retailers. InternetRetailing’s Research and Special Projects Editor Liz Morrell explains how you can get involved.
INTERNATIONALISATION IS moving at a fast pace for retailers eager to extend their reach, search for growth and engage new customers. Our last international report was published in September 2013 and in this issue we are pleased to announce the launch of our second research report examining the challenges and opportunities that internationalisation is offering retailers. The report will hit your desks in September with a live event to present the ﬁndings being held in London on 16 September.
As usual, the project will encompass a three month research process, including an email survey, once we have the early results of the survey we will begin interviewing retailers and industry experts in more depth to understand how they are managing their internationalisation strategies and what they are doing to steal a lead on their peers – and how technology and additional partners can help.
On the note of partners we are pleased to announce two of our sponsors; Neteven and wnDirect. Neteven is the European leader in international marketplace management specialising in helping online retailers grow their marketplace business cross-border in Europe and beyond. “We operate a ﬂexible web-based SaaS platform with multiple connections and deep integration with the most powerful marketplace channels by country and by category enabling businesses to conquer the European ecommerce market simply and efﬁciently,” says CEO Greg Zemor.
Leading European merchants have chosen Neteven to distribute globally on eBay, Amazon, Rakuten, Zalando, Spartoo, PriceMinister, La Redoute, Fnac, Rue du Commerce, Otto, Pixmania, Cdiscount, Play, Galeries Lafayette, Mistergooddeal, Atosho and Brand Alley to name a few.
Zemor points out that internationalisation strategies go far beyond simply launching an international platform and that Neteven can help with all the obstacles a retailer may encounter. “Businesses face a number of challenges when going cross-border that are not speciﬁc to international retailing, and that they have already encountered in their native market. However, these challenges take on a new spin when approaching new markets and require different solutions,” he says.
These include the challenges such as how to effectively present and position a brand, how client expectations differ from one country to another, how to handle customer services and what products shoppers are really looking for in each territory, explains Zemor. “Neteven can assist with all of these points by helping deﬁne strategy using marketplaces as a channel to increase brand awareness, test product assortment, and learn about client expectations and how to handle them,” he says.
Also joining us as a sponsor for the project is wnDirect – a relative newcomer to the market that is changing ecommerce distribution and which won new business of the year at the National Business Awards last November.
The company’s Marketing Director Amy Collins says the company has big ambitions. “We are trying to be different to the other international companies out there,” she says. Its fresh approach is working since although only forming two years ago the company has now distributed more than 7.8 million parcels.
The company attributes much of its success to understanding what retailers want since its directors have retail experience. “The retail expertise we have on the board means we understand what retailers want to do and that has helped us identify what their concerns are,” she says.
The team includes founder and CEO Stuart Hill whose 15 years of retailing at the likes of John Lewis and ASOS helped him come up with the idea for the company as he became frustrated with ﬁnding the right logistics partner for an ecommerce world. The result was a new hybrid solution to distribution that offers a mail-type service with the technology that allows the traceability of a more speciﬁc courier service.
Collins sees the biggest challenges facing retailers expanding internationally as being the speciﬁcs of expansion into areas such as the BRIC markets – highlighting for example the logistics complexities of Russia where the company is still distributing to this day, and the duty implications of Brazil. “These are both solutions that wnDirect have got comprehensive solutions for,” she says.
The International Research is your chance to ﬁnd out more about the challenges and solutions that can help you expand abroad. If you have questions you would like us to ask, or if you would be willing to be interviewed in more depth for the report, email firstname.lastname@example.org.