‘Leverage automation and a network of partners,’ Matthew Ferguson of Rich Insight on expanding globally

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Sellers should leverage automation and a network of partners is the advice Matthew Ferguson of Rich Insight gives to sellers who wish to expand globally.

Speaking to Tamebay, Matthew Ferguson, director of Strategy at Rich Insight starts by emphasising on the importance of sellers realising that they don’t need to reinvent the wheel when expanding to international markets. They think they need to figure everything out for the first time or build everything in-house, and that’s not true if you leverage an agency and partners. These merchants, says Matthew, tend not to go very far or end up creating something that doesn’t stand the test of time. He says that instead, they should leverage automation and a network of partners. A strategy towards entering overseas markets also includes finding a balance between automating and controlling operations.

Consolidation as a competitive edge

Matthew says that there’s no escaping Amazon, which will almost certainly continue to grow. He says that they’ve made strides to get their feet planted in the Middle East and they’re going neck-to-neck with other co-entities across Europe. He points to an ongoing phenomenon which for the last five to seven years saw new sales channels emerging and old sites either closing down or getting acquired by bigger businesses. I think what happened in France over the last two years, says Matthew, is particularly interesting. Citing one of the acquisition examples, Matthew says that French marketplace La Redoute got bought out by French department store chain, Galeries Lafayette so there is definitely some consolidation going on in France, which aims to become more competitive with global players such as Amazon dominating the market in the west.

The importance of following a single business model

Matthew says that it’s increasingly difficult for online traders to get ahead. If you’re a trader of other people’s goods, says Matthew, it’s all about volume, tight margins, sales, with a very efficient turnaround and operations. He says that a seller who is buying other people’s goods from a distributor and reselling them online are on borrowed time. The industry is moving against them – the systems, technology and interconnectivity of the global ecommerce world are moving, making it easier for manufacturers to simply sell directly to the consumer. However, he thinks the success of a business depends on following a clear business model where B2B and B2C are carefully thought out and not muddled. He simply says that sellers should pick a path and follow it. Matthews states that it’s in smaller resellers interests to find a niche area and work on developing their own products. He claims that it’s easier now to find manufacturers, get products created and ship them to shoppers’ doors with sellers’ logos on products.

Final thoughts on Brexit

When asked about Brexit, he says that no matter what happens after Brexit, it is in sellers’ best interests to have a very efficient, very slick business model that doesn’t have unnecessary overhead and process. Admitting to selfish motives with regards to his agency, Matthew still objectively encourages sellers to think about outsourcing as much as they can so that they don’t have to worry about the overhead of staff, salaries and pensions. Sellers should consider outsourcing, he says, to other entities which tend to be more cost effective, will give you flexibility on your cash flow and time back to focus on your core business objectives.

One Response

  1. For many, I feel the pie isn’t big enough. Too many companies in the loop having a cut, each trying to increase the slice the take every year.


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