Globally, eCommerce is expected to reach $2.43 trillion in 2017, a total of 24.7% increase over 2016. However, with slowing (albeit it still) ‘growth’ rates in Europe and the US, and with Brexit discussions ongoing, UK retailers need to capitalise on their opportunity to expand outside of the EU. Arguably there is no better time to extend your eCommerce business to new international markets, increasing your audience, and hedging your bets. Sounds simple, and of course the devil is in the detail of the real-world operations that sit behind the web presence in terms of distribution, stock, language and currency, brand recognition and appeal. In a modern digital age, consumerisation is king, and retailers have the opportunity to leverage and exploit that phenomenon or to be held back by their infrastructure.
When you are planning for international expansion, there are many regulatory issues and consumer preferences to be taken into account. Each country has its own laws and so eCommerce websites need to target countries rather than languages. Consumers in different countries can prefer different brands, product styles and even sizes. As a consequence, the product range you need to stock can vary materially by territory. Consumers in different countries also prefer to use different payment methods and your online presence will need to reflect the appropriate payment methods as well as the currency for each market.
As a provider of global eCommerce solutions to our clients, Tryzens can help you to develop an overall strategy for each market based on adapting or building your own web site, using international payment service providers and/or incorporating eCommerce localisation vendors who can adapt both delivery and payment methods to local markets.
There are also many softer issues between countries that are hard to get right without local market knowledge and experience. Online retail experiences, including images, offers and campaigns, need to be tailored to each territory. Consequently, the website elements and layout as well as the marketing campaigns are likely to change per territory but need to be easily administered and controlled.
Logistics concerning stock levels, warehouse locations, delivery and fulfilment, customer service in time zones and returns all become naturally more complicated with global expansion and with relevant scale. One European warehouse (often located around the Poland/Germany borders) can support multiple population centres across Europe. However, next day delivery to the customer – an increasingly popular option – more typically requires a warehouse in each country for speedy and most cost efficient fulfilment. Naturally the costs and logistics of fulfilment need to be tightly scrutinised in order to create viable and sustainable solutions and will evolve with scale.
It is natural for Brands to explore the idea of expanding into neighbouring markets first in order to achieve higher sales as the logistics seem easier. However, in order to maximise profits, businesses should also think further afield and embrace alternative high growth markets such as Asia Pacific and USA where British brands carry an often higher appeal.
Conquering the Asia Pacific market requires a large amount of focus on mobile adaptive sites. In South East Asia, over 50% of eCommerce transactions start on a mobile phone. These figures are even greater in Indonesia, where 83% of transactions come from a smart phone, similarly with Japan and China. In addition to mobile payment options and layout, localised products (and marketing content) need to be considered. Currently, quintessentially British products sell well in Japan and China – partly due to the heritage, but also due to the weak pound. Therefore, this could be a prime time for businesses to target those markets with British merchandise.
The Australian market continues to grow and compound growth is faster than the UK as the market is younger. Though it is small, it is also relatively cash rich, and the Australian customer shares many of the same desires and references as the UK or US consumer. The Australian market is happy to buy from international websites (those UK or US sites that support international customers). In fact, 75% of Australian shoppers made a purchase from an international site in 2016. By way of example, Tryzens works with the Australian fashion and lifestyle group Cotton On consulting, implementing and supporting services that enable its brands to increase their rate of innovation and feature releases, whilst enhancing quality and efficiency. Tryzens are now building Cotton On’s next generation eCommerce platform on Salesforce Commerce Cloud whilst continuing to maximise performance on their current site. In addition, Tryzens has recently started working with MJ Bale, the Sydney based, premium menswear brand, to optimise their eCommerce performance. Working from Europe, Tryzens also built the new TM Lewin sites, including for Australia, where they have a growing market opportunity.
At this time of global markets and digital consumers, now is the time for businesses to identify a new range of markets where they can sell online, and build a strategic plan around these targeted territories. With our international experience, Tryzens can advise eCommerce sites on their global expansion, and enable clients to plan, build, run and enhance their offering in new territories.
Australian premium menswear brand, M.J. Bale, has enlisted the support and expertise of international eCommerce solutions and managed services provider, Tryzens, to maximise the return on its investment in Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Since 2009, M.J. Bale offers supremely tailored and intelligently designed formal and ready to wear garments. Based in Sydney, the founder and CEO Matt Jensen has centred the company on the ethos of quality; not solely on product but also on the customer experience.
Recognising that eCommerce was a fundamental pillar of their growth and customer engagement strategy, M.J. Bale sought to enhance their skills and experience of how to leverage the opportunity for growth online whilst staying true to the ethos and pedigree of the brand. Tryzens has taken over the provision of expert services to run and enhance the current Salesforce Commerce Cloud site and ensure that it keeps pace with advances in the market, shifting consumer trends, and is “always available”. The team at M.J. Bale is kept informed through Tryzens unique TradeState real-time analytics service to focus attention on the areas for performance improvement.
Speaking about the partnership, Shannon Luxford, General Manager at M.J. Bale said: “As a fast growing company, we wanted to make sure that we were both exploiting the full potential of Salesforce Commerce Cloud and also had a partner alongside us to help us prioritise enhancements and deliver the advances that support our overall business goals. This enables us to focus on our core activity of designing great products, trading and delivering exceptional customer experience both online and in-store. The focused support and collaborative approach from the Tryzens team has enabled a clear alignment on common goals and a real sense of partnership. At the heart of our relationship is a common desire to deliver an outstanding customer experience on our eCommerce platform that is 100% consistent with our brand values.”
“We are delighted to have been chosen by M.J. Bale as their eCommerce delivery partner to help them deliver on their vision and stay ahead online in what is a highly competitive market.”
Prior to Tryzens, M.J. Bale worked with a local systems integrator, but soon the retailer felt it would benefit from engaging a firm with greater international experience, enabling it to better adapt to modern eCommerce markets and continue delivering quality for its customers.
Shannon said: “The significant international experience, Salesforce Commerce Cloud credentials and round-the-clock nature of Tryzens’ Expert Services means that we can contact them at any time with any issues and know we will receive a positive and informed opinion. What’s more, with their proactive monitoring and alerting as well as TradeState we will be more informed and able to respond to opportunity or issues in near real-time. We will benefit from their feedback on ways in which to improve the site, on a continuous basis. Optimising the customer journey, reducing abandoned baskets and improving product pages are just a handful of the key aspects that we are redefining with the help of Tryzens.”
Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens said: “M.J. Bale is not just a modern brand for men, it is a truly modern business that is blending its clear focus on quality and craft and value. It has a great customer experience that is supported through a rich and relevant online capability that is essential to support the modern man. A real emphasis on high quality runs through every operation at M.J. Bale, so it was critical that they were able to focus on complementing this online for their customers. We are delighted to have been chosen by M.J. Bale as their eCommerce delivery partner to help them deliver on their vision and stay ahead online in what is a highly competitive market.”
Andy concluded: “eCommerce is experiencing rapid growth in Australia and M.J. Bale have the right attitude and approach to increase market share and drive long term success.”
About M.J. Bale
M.J. Bale is a wholly Australian-owned ‘gentlemen’s clothier’ with 54 branded stores located throughout Australia and New Zealand. The brand is synonymous with quality, authenticity and character and boasts a vertical supply chain that includes Australian Merino wool, Italian weaving and Japanese tailoring. M.J. Bale has over 350 staff and the brand’s national flagship store is located in a 19th century heritage-listed building on the corner of Pitt Street, Sydney.