Cross-border e-commerce is booming. Consumers are increasingly buying online and are increasingly attracted to foreign brands and retailers. Cross-border retail is, therefore, a great opportunity for brands and retailers looking for growth. But entering this market is not easy and requires a lot of preparatory work.
One of the questions that you should ask in advance is: Which channel offers the greatest opportunities in the target market? Do you start with your own localised version of the online shop or do you test marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Tmall (Alibaba) oder JD?
Getting started with international e-commerce via the marketplace is not only worthwhile because of the lower initial costs. There are also countries where marketplaces are worthwhile because of user preference. In China, where Tmall and JD are the market leaders, online retail takes place in marketplaces primarily. In fact, brands like Burberry, Estée Lauder, Swarovski or RayBan, and others have opened stores on Tmall. In addition, retailers multiply their customer base via international marketplaces.
A lot of people think »Dang that looks cool!« when they’re looking at photos on Instagram or Pinterest. But until recently, it took a little research – or at least some work – to find and buy the products you saw. As of a few weeks ago, that’s a thing of the past. The “shop-the-look” function for various social channels has an enormous popularity with consumers and Social Commerce has become the norm within a very short time. But as always when a hype arises, so does the question: Is there more to it? Before we could even think about whether to expect something new again. The answer is not surprising, as commercial features on Facebook and Instagram continue to evolve. Each social commerce update awakens desires, desires that become routine within a very short time.
Although Internet has generated many opportunities for both, companies and consumers, only 15% of consumers buy online from another EU country and 8% of companies sell cross-border. What are the reasons?
With over 650 million internet users, China is one of those countries for which the future holds a lot of potential when it comes to e-commerce. In an attempt to counteract the economic turndown, the Chinese government has introduced a programme which should supply the internet to rural districts and network traditional industries.
The campaign “Internet Plus” is supposed to bring China back on course. Alibaba has already shown that East Asian companies are not to be underestimated. But there chances for foreign companies in China too. For instance, Windeln.de’s largest market is the People’s Republic. At the same time, technology companies have to battle with censorship and IP blocks. Will China still manage to take the next step and become a digital nation?