E-commerce is booming. Yet, if you want to succeed as a global player, you need to overcome a few obstacles. From the perfect payment portfolio to progressive web apps to social commerce: Here are the most important success factors and trends in international e-commerce.
Global e-commerce is booming: In the past year, the turnover came up to 1.14 trillion euros – an ascending trend! Companies are therefore no longer faced with the question of whether they should be involved in global e-commerce, but rather how they can successfully manage their business in order to meet the requirements of local markets and target groups.
Shop Basics: User-friendly and intuitive operability
According to a recent survey conducted by the Baymard Institute, around 70 percent of online shoppers cancel purchases during the checkout process. An optimized shop therefore requires responsive designs that need little loading time and perform flawlessly. A shop needs to win the customer over with an intuitive and user-friendly operability, with the product pages containing all important details from the article description to the stock availability. Companies should design their shop in such a way that users can find the desired products within the shortest possible time with just a few clicks.
Checkout process as an own ecosystem
Retailers should always understand the checkout process as an own ecosystem within the shop. It should be reduced to the essentials: no distracting menus, banners or cross-selling offers. While delivering relevant information that is visually well-structured, retailers should only request the most necessary customer data – the magic formula for an efficient ordering process.
In addition, global retailers and decision-makers should know the specifics of their target markets and always keep an eye on local trends. Here, an optimized, wide-ranging payment portfolio that corresponds to the preferences and habits of the target groups is a decisive success factor.
Payment in Europe
While in France, similar to the USA, credit and debit cards are preferred for payment, e-shoppers of other nations have very different payment preferences. According to the European Ecommerce Report 2018, 71 percent of UK e-shoppers prefer to pay via e-wallets such as PayPal and Amazon Payments. Germans prefer to pay by invoice and Italians are increasingly enjoying paying with Bitcoins.
Companies should know the preferred payment methods of their target market and integrate these methods into their shop in order not to lose potential customers at check-out.
With regard to cross-border logistics, retailers should always offer their customers the locally preferred shipping options. It is recommended that relevant information, such as delivery times, delivery charges or any customs costs incurred, should be disclosed transparently.
Here, the cooperation with an external service provider such as Hermes BorderGuru can be useful. After all, external service providers are familiar with country-specific delivery logistics and have years of experience as well as an extensive logistics network. BorderGuru fully supports global traders with cross-border logistics, warehousing and customs clearance – global shipment of goods from one source.
Global E-Commerce: Mobile first
Global M-Commerce is growing steadily. Mobile devices already accounted for 38 percent of global e-commerce revenues in 2018. The share of M-shoppers is also continuously increasing in Europe. For companies that want to remain successful in global e-commerce, the motto thus should be: Mobile first!
Global retailers need a well thought out mobile strategy that meets the changing needs of their customers. In addition to web shops that are optimized for mobiles and shopping apps that users need to install on their mobile devices, so-called progressive web apps (PWA) are gaining importance in m-commerce. They offer the advantages of a classic app without having to be installed beforehand.
Social commerce is advancing
Social media is regarded as the shopping channel of the future. Social commerce, as practiced in China via WeChat for example, makes it possible to intensify contact with the target group, promote branding and use the social media platform as a shopping channel. What is already an integral part of everyday e-shopping in China is also becoming increasingly important in Europe: In recent years, so-called “shoppable posts” which lead users of a social platform directly to the retailer’s checkout with just one click, have also gained importance in Germany
E-Commerce: A clear strategy is needed
A successful online presence requires a clear strategy – logistics, sales channels, online marketing, payment and customer care. Retailers who want to be globally successful need to be aware of current trends such as mobile and social commerce. Further, they should study their target groups, their cultural characteristics and local markets in order to successfully establish themselves in the market.