With U.S. e-commerce sales growing slower than other markets, brands are looking outside the country to expand their revenue. L2’s Localization report pinpoints a few of the key trends exemplified by best-in-class brands.

Local Tactics Help You Differentiate

Beyond minimum requirements like local language and e-commerce functionality, best-in-class brands differentiate with scalable technology. For example, Nike France lets customers contact a Nike representative through live chat, an option offered by just a fifth of studied brands. Local ratings and reviews offer another way for brands to adapt to different geographies.

Partnering Helps You Scale Quickly

Best-in-class brands quickly scale local efforts by working with partners, from site content technology (areas including site, video, translation, and social) to commerce (cross-border e-commerce enablement, payments, and shipping). For example, Borderfree offers an e-commerce platform, distribution and fulfillment capabilities, and tax and customs calculations.


Put Mobile First

Mobile’s share of e-commerce transactions is growing in practically every market, according to L2’s study. As shoppers move to their smartphones, brands should focus on optimizing all aspects of their site for mobile – from content and customer service to payments. It’s also important to be aware of mobile functionalities that are particularly popular in certain countries. In China, where QR codes are frequently used, Burberry’s site includes a QR code as well as links to China-specific social media accounts.

Have a Marketplace Strategy

Marketplaces – websites that essentially act as virtual department stores – can be a good way of establishing credibility in markets where counterfeit and off-label goods are prevalent. They range from storefront marketplaces, such as Tmall in China, to e-tailers like Amazon and C2c entrants, which follow the eBay model and are still some of the most popular websites in Asia and Latin America. However, simply partnering with a marketplace is not enough, as new entrants must compete with brands that are already established in the region. Therefore, clever implementation and a long-term strategy are both essential for success.

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