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Three top tips for cross-border success

Speaking at today’s Drapers Fashion Forum in London, Georges Berzgal, vice-president and managing director of global ecommerce EMEA at Pitney Bowes, outlined how retailers can achieve cross-border success and tap into consumers’ top priorities.

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Don’t rely too much on brand

Berzgal stressed that although brand is important, retailers cannot lean on it to heavily if they want to be successful in cross-border commerce.

“A lot of retailers over-estimate the power of brand to be successful in new markets,” he said. “You have to take into consideration other things, particularly what you need to achieve operational success. Yes, brand is important, but don’t go in there focusing solely on that and putting all your investment into brand awareness.”

Think further afield

Retailers are still prioritising “near border” commerce – international markets where there are some similarities, such as a shared language, or that are geographically close – rather than thinking about true cross-border shopping, Berzgal warned. There is plenty of demand for UK product in Mexico, Australia and India, but retailers are “de-emphasising” these markets because of their complexity, or because they already have some presence there. Pitney Bowes research showed concerns about generating demand were the top barrier to entering a new market, followed by shipping costs.

Sell where consumers shop

Berzgal warned that retailers are not rushing towards marketplaces as fast as consumers are. He stressed the importance of looking at different platforms to make their mark in countries such as China, South Korea and Japan, where most shoppers use online marketplaces.

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