As retail revenues plateau in Western markets there have been some notable successes for British companies and brands penetrating developing markets.
While this is a popular means of reaching new growth targets and boosting returns in overall portfolios, choosing a developing market is more complex than looking through the traditional bricks-and-mortar lens to determine where to locate – it also requires looking through the online lens.
Great British brands, such as Cath Kidston, Reiss, Molton Brown, Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts and Lulu Guinness, have all succeeded in growing globally. But what is the secret of their success abroad?
STEP 1: KNOW THE FAST GROWTH ONLINE MARKETS Building an online presence is a low-risk way to test new markets or complement existing store footprints. Gaining maximum advantage from such strategies requires knowing a country’s true e-commerce potential and its online market challenges.
Engage one of a number of growing credible e-commerce consulting companies who provide valuable advice to retailers often helping them significantly exceed their original online growth aspirations. Ecommera (www.ecommera.com) and Javelin Consulting (www.javelingroup.com) are two such companies.
STEP 2: EXTEND YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN REACH
Companies need to grow quickly to respond to consumer demand, but they also need to reduce risk and lower fixed costs. Rather than establish full distribution centre capabilities in foreign countries, many companies prefer to find a logistics partner. The overseas partner can provide sufficient warehouse space and pay-as-you-go logistics services to support them in scaling their store footprint and e-commerce sales, without the risks of fixed facilities and operations.
For those companies growing globally, it’s vital to partner with a flexible worldwide logistics organisation that has the experience, know-how, facilities and resources to build a low-cost, activity-based extended supply chain strategy.
STEP 3: LEVERAGE BUSINESS PARTNER EXPERTISE
Local bureaucracy and red tape, including international security, border controls, documentary requirements, Customs duty, and sales and corporation tax, all add complexity when trying to get your goods to a new store in China or Russia, for example. Despite these challenges, consumers still expect to receive their goods next day if ordered online.
Establish strong working relationships with international freight forwarders and Customs duty consultants to help build an internal reference guide and robust operating procedures for regulatory compliance and fulfilment costing by channel and market.
STEP 4: USE TECHNOLOGY FOR CONTROL AND VISIBILITY OF STOCK
Today, consumers demand more. Shoppers prefer the convenience of products being delivered to their homes or made available for collection from a pick-up point at a time that suits them. Technology plays a vital role in satisfying the information-hungry and time-pressed consumer. If a product is not available for any reason, they expect to know at the click of a button when it will be available and be able to place a back-order.
Work with a logistics provider who can provide you with a best-in-class inventory management solution across all your global territories and has the capability to integrate seamlessly into your existing information systems.
Contact SEKO Logistics for help in navigating your path to global growth: