The Crucial Need for Cross-Border Solutions
What it takes to equip your ecommerce brand for international expansions
You hear it all the time — the world seems to be getting smaller.
Thanks to technology, we are more connected than ever before. We can video chat with family in countries dotting the globe, we can travel with relative ease, and we can buy something on the other side of the world and receive it in a matter of days.
Many of those things can be done with a simple click of a button or thanks to a few taps on a screen. But things are never quite that simple.
For companies that want to compete and win in the international marketplace, there are many tough hurdles to jump over. Technical components, payment options, shipping logistics and, yes, varying holiday calendars, are all variables that a company needs to consider when it is expanding globally. And it’s nearly impossible to do without some sort of help.
Matthew Merrilees is the CEO, North America for Global-e. Global-e is a cross-border enablement platform that focuses on three key areas: boosting international conversion rates, increasing overall sales and revenue, and creating more customer satisfaction during international transactions. In order to achieve those goals, Merrilees explained that the company taps into a mountain of data and delivers single integrations that solve numerous problems.
“The beauty of what Global-e does with our brands is literally with a single integration, whether it be the currency, the hundred-plus currencies that we enable, or whether it be the 150 different payment methods that we offer, the duty and tax guarantee for limiting risk and liability to our brands, all of that pulled together in single integration, opens them up to the world,” he said.
Brands come to Global-e whenever they are looking to sell internationally. Brands and retailers entering international sales often have many questions such as: How do we deal with international holidays? Should we include duty and taxes on the payment page? How do we implement payment solutions that manage hundreds of different currencies? These are critical questions, which Merrilees said Global-e certainly works to solve. But there is one specific question that brands always want the answer to that guides the rest of the conversation.
“One of the biggest insights a lot of brands come to us for is, ‘we want to understand what the rest of our vertical is doing,’” Merrilees said. “‘How are they being successful? What are they doing to target consumers?’…We sit on mountains of data that we can then drive from an insight’s perspective to the brand to say, “Hey, based off of where you’re selling today and based off of where you should be selling tomorrow, we’re going to help you build a strategy on an end-to-end perspective.’”
Ultimately, the strategy always comes down to creating the most seamless experience possible. A person in China needs to get to the website and be able to easily complete a transaction the same way someone in Canada does and that person’s experience needs to be the same for someone in the United States and so on. Technology is what makes that possible, and implementing an integrated, personalized payment and taxation strategy is typically the first step for a company looking to expand internationally.
“I would put the duty and price strategy first because I think it is the biggest barrier that brands struggle with,” Merrilees said. “Duty is something that brands can most likely understand how to find a solution to calculate. But, then I think the question comes into, how do I calculate duty and tax into every single market throughout the world? But, then most importantly, how, and what do I do through being taxed to make sure that the consumer sees it in a way that they will buy.”
From there, Merrilees said you have to know where to expand. There are opportunities all over, but one area that Merrilees has been keeping an eye on recently is the Gulf region. He is seeing positive growth trends there, and a place where brands can get in and start to separate themselves.
To do so, will come down to the experience a brand can offer. And as more companies expand globally, customers are expecting easy and efficient transactions, so a brand’s ability to deliver there will be make or break.
Merrilees knows what works and he is eager to keep helping brands through his work at Global-e. To hear even more about all of that, be sure to check out Up Next in Commerce.