In the ever-evolving realm of cross-border ecommerce, the road ahead may seem challenging, but it’s also brimming with unparalleled opportunities. I recently had the privilege of gathering insights from a panel of industry titans at the eCommerce Expo—an event where experts from Google, Meta, Shopline, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), and the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) shared their wisdom. Here, we present these exclusive insights tailored to business owners like you, aiming to make the journey both enlightening and engaging.
Mobilise Your Strategy: The mobile revolution is here, and it’s not waiting for anyone. As Emma Jones from DBT emphasised, today’s users are not just online but deeply embedded in social media platforms. Consider this: the 16-24-year-olds among us spend over 7.4 hours a day online, with 1.38 of those hours dedicated to social media. It’s a wake-up call to prioritise the mobile experience of your customers. To thrive in cross-border ecommerce, you must go beyond mere adaptation; you should be at the forefront of mobile commerce. Moreover, the era of AI has arrived. As Jennifer McCloskey from Google pointed out, AI is now generating economic growth on an impressive scale. Don’t just follow trends; embrace them as a business strategy.
Hyper-Personalised Marketing: Tailoring your marketing strategies to specific customer needs is the hallmark of successful cross-border expansion. It’s not enough to target generic keywords; instead, think “black dress for a garden party” rather than just “black dress.” Your marketing should be as unique as your customers. By doing so, you’ll create a resonance that transcends borders and enhances the overall shopping experience.
Friction-Free Journeys: Cross-border sales bring unique challenges, but the foremost concern is eliminating friction points in the customer journey. Language barriers, payment complexities, and taxation issues can all disrupt the flow. Your mission is to ensure a seamless experience from start to finish. Customers are increasingly demanding this level of convenience, and approximately 76% of Europeans prefer to shop in their own language. In other words, localisation is no longer an option—it’s a necessity.
Data-Driven Insights: Understanding consumer buying patterns is your compass in cross-border ecommerce. Deepak Anand of Shopline highlighted the growing trend of mobile shopping in southeast Asia, a trend that is expected to become a global norm. In regions like the Middle East, where 90% of consumers rely exclusively on mobiles to access the internet, mobile commerce isn’t just a convenience—it’s the lifeline. By harnessing data and staying attuned to customer purchasing patterns, you can tailor your offerings to match their evolving preferences and demands.
Embracing the Challenge: The universal sentiment among the panel was clear: international trade may appear daunting, but it’s entirely within your grasp. Customs requirements and logistical intricacies should not deter your ambitions. The Ecommerce Trade Commission, boasting influential members like Google and DBT, is dedicated to empowering British SMEs to embark on ecommerce adventures. They’re tirelessly working to break down trade barriers and make the wealth of free support and advice accessible to businesses like yours. The message is unmistakable: while the journey may have its share of challenges, the rewards are well worth the effort.
These exclusive insights from the eCommerce Expo are your key to unlocking success in cross-border ecommerce. Embrace the mobile revolution, infuse AI into your strategy, personalise your marketing, and eliminate friction points. By staying data-driven and understanding consumer trends, you can harness the opportunities on a global scale. Remember, international trade may have its complexities, but it’s an achievable feat. As a business owner, you have the power to shape your cross-border ecommerce journey and lead your business to unprecedented heights.