JOHN READMAN, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, SEARCH LABORATORY
Us Brits are a fashionable nation. This identity is manifested in the global success of Kate Moss, David Beckham and brands such as Burberry and ASOS . British clothes are sought on the continent, America, Australia – and increasingly in Russia. Russia has Europe’s largest internet population, with approximately 61 million users surﬁ ng the web, and as a country it is beginning to hit its ecommerce stride. This is some considerable stride as well.
Russians want to buy British: Burberry is the tenth most searched brand on the country’s dominant search engine Yandex, while foreign clothing companies make up the top 25 most searched-for brands on Yandex.
These are by no means fanciful searches by Russians longingly browsing through the clothes being worn by the British, in the same way you might gaze at the pages of the Ferrari website. There is a real desire to purchase and according to Yandex 36% of Russians buy online from foreign retailers. UK retailers account for 21% of these purchases. Domestic retailers have a bad reputation with their home audience. A prevalence of fake items coupled
with an inherent distrust that purchases will never be delivered has caused Russians to shop abroad.
Previous issues such as payment methods and logistical challenges that have held the market back in the past are no longer the major obstacles they once were.
To date, this demand for foreign goods has not been properly catered for by British fashion retailers.
Only ASOS has really taken the plunge into the market, with the launch of a localised website earlier this year. Russia’s ecommerce market is predicted to be worth in excess of £20bn by 2015, so just how long will Britain’s fashion retailers continue to look this gift horse in the mouth?
SHANE HAPPACH, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER,ECOMMERCE, WORLDPAY
Ecommerce sales days are gathering momentum and breaking records year-on-year – not just in the US and the UK – but across the world. China Singles Day, a day for young Chinese to celebrate their life, has grown in popularity this year to match and exceed online sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, reaching $5.7bn. WorldPay found a
22.2% uplift in transaction volume and a 9.7% uplift in transaction value when comparing China Singles Day to the Monday prior, 4 November. Ecommerce sales reached $1.198bn in the United States during Black Friday with Amazon and eBay ranking the highest for most visited retail websites. Similarly, US shoppers spent a record $2.29bn on Cyber Monday. In the UK, consumers were expected to spend over £600m online as they contributed to many retailers’ busiest day of the year. Amazon UK said that Cyber Monday was its busiest day, with the internet retailer receiving orders at a rate of 47 itemsper-second, totalling 4.1 million sales.
Cyber Sunday, 1 December, was one of the busiest days for johnlewis.com. It reported trafﬁ c up by 29% compared with the same day last year. Total sales for the week to 7 December were up by 1.8% on last year reaching a total of £144.5m and accounting fora third of its business. However, sales were down by 1.7% on the previous week, which included Black Friday, showing just how signiﬁ cant Black Friday has become in the UK.
The ﬁgures from around the world represent considerable potential for retailers. While both Black Friday and Cyber Monday originated in the US, both have been widely accepted and celebrated in the UK. With China Singles Day this year making international headlines, there is a huge opportunity for these celebrations to go global.
If retailers are able to navigate local preferences such as payment types then these national days hold signiﬁcant revenue opportunities as countries all over the world take inspiration and create revenue opportunities for merchants worldwide.
NIGEL STAMP, PARTNER AND HEAD OF THE ASIA TECHNOLOGY GROUP, EVERSHEDS
China’s Ministry of Commerce has released new guidelines designed to encourage growth in its ecommerce sector.
That China is seeking to boost spending in this sector is hardly surprising, as China’s leaders look to unlock the full potential of this largely untapped and potentially huge market.
China’s working population are incredibly tech-savvy, but tech consumers have developed at a much faster rate than the country’s retail infrastructure. Investment is therefore urgently needed to modernise the sector and ﬁ ll this market gap. The aim is for the sector to comprise 10% of sales in consumer goods by 2020, up from 6% this year, which already places it second in the world. If this target is reached, in 2020 ecommerce sales in China would be worth more than those of the USA, Japan, the UK, Germany and France combined.
The vast potential for growth in the ecommerce sector is not simply due to the size of the Chinese population.
Incomes are still much lower in mainland China as compared with Hong Kong or the West. This is likely a reason for the popularity of ecommerce; the price difference of a product is what is deemed signiﬁ cant and prices can be 6-16% less online. Tellingly, the three sectors with the greatest price differential, being apparel, household products and recreation and education, are also the three largest ecommerce sectors.
The ten measures outlined by the Ministry of Commerce will: