The power of visibility in revenue generation has only begun to be understood by sellers of products on the internet. Once content strategy is determined for the brand, a workable understanding of the customer journey is embraced, then making the products available on various geographical marketplaces and other international channels is important for revenue generation.
The rapid international growth of Amazon and Alibaba, among others, provides solid evidence that customers are becoming more international in their shopping—and buying—every day. According to Internet Retailer, online marketplaces account for 52 percent of global online sales, with $1.86 trillion spent globally on the top 100 marketplaces in 2018. While “cross-border transactions” were a challenge a few years ago, these are becoming commonplace in today’s digital commerce world.
The Asian (mostly Chinese) preference for fashion products of American brands has largely fueled this growth; however, it is not the only international trend that has contributed to revenue generation. Multinational brands are enjoying growth all over the world, regardless of where they are produced, assembled or distributed. Moreover, new products that appeal to certain demographic categories, and those products with sustainability features such as green packaging and/or climate-friendly disposal, are also expanding in global sales.
The developed nations—in North, South and Central America, Europe and Asia—have, of course, led the expansion of customer growth. These countries have developed the internet and its availability to virtually all citizens faster than other countries. However, we are seeing today the growth of smartphones globally, and thus the desire and ability of customers shopping and ordering from virtually anywhere in the world.
Most U.S.-based sellers have first expanded in North America—to Canada and Mexico—to gain knowledge about how customers behave in those countries. They have realized that country-based marketplaces often are preferred by their customers. Amazon and Alibaba have encountered resistance in certain countries due to this preference; however, in most cases, they have invested to co-exist with the nationals and in some cases, the specialized ones.
For sellers based in the U.S., it is imperative for revenue expansion that they begin to “Sell Anywhere,” which includes geographically. eMarketer estimates that worldwide retail e-commerce sales will grow to nearly $4.48 trillion by the end of 2021, up from $2.29 trillion in 2017. Positioning your products on selected national marketplaces, as well as international ones, expands your visibility and availability to a growing global population of knowledgeable customers that follow the same customer journey regardless of their nationality.
In addition to listings on selected marketplaces, brands need to utilize social media to the extent product influences are prevalent in the respective countries. While product visibility is essential, the relative influence of social media for the products can make a significant difference.
Selling anywhere, then, in the international community, means getting certain products onto selected marketplaces in several consuming countries, expanding these as sales grow, and complementing this with smart local advertising and social media engagement.
This post is part of our “Sell Anywhere” blog series. Learn more about this concept in the related articles below or visit our newsroom to stay up to date on our latest news.