Why matching e-commerce international expansion with local needs matters
If you speak to a cross-section of eCommerce businesses, 2013 will undoubtedly have been a year shaped by exploring the opportunity for international expansion, and devising strategies that will take their products and services into new markets.
However, while international expansion has become an option for more businesses as the world becomes 'smaller' through eCommerce, merchants are advised not to overlook the fact that cultural preferences still heavily influence consumer behaviour, and their expectations of the purchasing experience.
To successfully expand internationally an understanding of these cultural nuances is essential and needs to be factored into every element of a merchant's strategy, e.g. website build, payment portfolio, language, currency etc.
Payment preferences, for example, differ wildly globally. In emerging markets such as China and Russia e-wallets dominate, whereas in more mature eCommerce countries, such as the UK and US, there is a greater reliance on credit and debit cards.
Merchants are therefore advised to choose experts that can
provide insight into the market they are looking to expand into and
provide the relevant support to manage end-to-end payment services
so every step of the payment experience
can match local expectations.
Over 230+ payment types exist globally and merchants need to have the insight and ability to deploy the right payments for that market and industry without the need to have this knowledge and integration capabilities in-house.
International expansion will continue to dominate strategies in 2014, and merchants need to ensure they are targeting the markets that offer the greatest revenue opportunity, while understanding how to meet local expectations.