How to future-proof your international ecommerce strategy?

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Marketplaces are good for international expansion. Try a country, test the waters rather going full-blown,” is the advice Chris Dawson of Tamebay gave yesterday at IRX 2019 on international ecommerce strategy.

Speaking at a panel ‘future-proofing your international strategy’ Chris Dawson, co-founder and editor of Tamebay, Chris Lamontagne, CEO of Teespring, Tony Preedy, CCO of Fruugo consider the future of cross-border trade.

Chris said that Brexit had focused sellers’ minds on tariffs and duties. He said that sellers who are preparing for Brexit are preparing for trade with the rest of the world. He encourages merchants who wish to move beyond their base to use marketplaces as a launch pad. If you fail, fail fast through a marketplace, said Chris, if it works move on to investing into your own website.

Tony pointed out that expanding internationally presents many challenges. There’re definitely potential risk factors such as duties and tariffs, said Tony, that will create friction to global expansion.

Chris said that increased competition present threats to global expansion. Chinese sellers are flooding the west, said Chris, because of the advantages such as the cost of labour and low prices. He asked what if you’re a marketplace brand and Chinese sellers start replicating your designs and sell them for a cheaper price? As a solution, Chris said that sellers should consider bullet-proofing their brand image that can’t be replicated. Consumers want to follow shops with a story, ethos and brand values they can resonate with. He said that these elements would arm sellers to fight against their competitors.

Tony also warned retailers of a new trend that’s emerging on marketplaces. He says that they present a challenge because of the commoditisation of items. Customers are now buying from manufacturers, said Tony, and that’s a very dangerous trend for retailers.

Concluding, Tony said that automation is the key to accelerating operations. You have to look at solutions, said Tony, automate every process so you can focus on more significant things.

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