This month, Lengow organised the latest edition of its e-commerce day, an event which, today, cannot be overlooked. For one day of conferences, keynotes and roundtables, Lengow has shared e-commerce trends and tips with marketing and digital managers from retail brands, to pure players and agencies. We were there to introduce you to the best topics of the day, mainly focused on international issues. Here are the key points that you should keep in mind:
About 2015 e-commerce trends
Today, 90% of French people do online research before buying something in a store. Cross-selling is increasingly more important and, as an e-merchant, you should remember it. Another trend highlighted by Lengow is that marketplaces, such as Alibaba, remain very big traffic sources. 84% of the Europeans purchase in other countries, but 90% purchase in their mother tongue. Even if they are more disposed to international purchases, displaying your website in all languages has become crucial.
Diverse needs have led a multitude of tools, yet e-merchants need to centralize those tools. Lengow Hub is attempting to set this up with a new API in order to help the market and digital teams to become agiler. It will gather several SaaS tools on a single web platform to facilitate the tools’ management.
Conquer new customers abroad
Anne-Laure Constanza, CEO and President of the pure player “Envie de Fraise”, a brand dedicated to pregnancy fashion, made her testimonial about the international strategies she developed for the brand. Very frank and sincere, she explained how the German launch of the brand was awful. They missed the German market, in particular because of the very high return rate (50%). They did not anticipate that cultural fact and, in her opinion, this is the reason with the brand was not successful there. This experience made her realize that the cultural barriers were high there. She has noted, for example, that the German tastes are quite different from the French. The Germans favour practical and comfortable outfits with a preference for green colours. Case in point, the whole collection had to be adapted. When she implanted her pure player in Spain, she completely adapted the brand with a new name and a new website. This approach is necessary for every country. The French favour more formal languages. In terms of advertisement and emailing, Spanish like colors. On the other hand, Americans are keen on empire waists and are fond of prints.
To Faustin Falcon, Services Director of pecheur.com, translating and adapting the websites to the country is the main issue of the international presence. After having successfully expanded his business in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italia, he is convinced that the website and the development of its traffic are the first steps to set up in the target country. His advice: not to hesitate to start projects and to test. You have to be agile and adaptive.
The issue concerning delivery and payment was one of the main concerns of Aymeric Moser, Spartoo.com’s Marketing Director, as well as the customer relationship with the local call center operators. The marketing investment only comes after.
With 60% of its revenue generated by the international business, Menlook, a brand now sold in more than 60 countries, is particularly successful in Spain, Italia, Germany and the USA. By the end of the year, the international revenue should increase by 75%. Now, the company is working on a big project to set up in China. Marc Menase, Menlook’s CEO, explains that the brand’s strategy has been to translate and to offer overseas shipping. However, some issues remained typical of the countries. For example, while French favour card payments, Italians prefer cash on delivery payments. In Germany, being implanted on site is necessary, as return services are particularly important in the German e-commerce market. In that situation, to stay in France and not go local would be a big obstacle. According to the consumer vision, French are more conventional, British are more creative, and Italians are more elegant. To succeed abroad, you have to be culturally sensitive. Another advice of Marc Menase is to use social media to promote your brand.
Translating everything on your online store is the first step of your conquest. Afterwards, you should launch an Adwords campaign with best-selling products and check out the results. Before investing, always check the market to be aware of the international sales. You can very easily track and identify user locations utilising your checkout to know if you are already popular abroad and in existing markets. Deep analytics are very important to understand the market.
There are a lot of differences to take into account when spreading your market abroad. The sizing, for example, varies from a country to another. Ring sizes are not the same at all in United Kingdom, and French clothes are sized “36”, “38”, “39” while American’s are sized “S”, “M” and “L.” The calendar also differs from one to another. Holiday seasons are not the same everywhere. You cannot launch an important Thanksgiving campaign in Europe because it is not celebrated, as an example, in Spain. In France, you should particularly be careful with the days off. Do not coordinate your marketing actions in Europe at the same time.
In Germany, users are more demanding, in particular with the General Terms and Conditions and the delivery. In Italy, cash on delivery represents 50% of the sales!
Start a business in China
With 648 million of Web users, China is the biggest retail market in the world. The e-commerce mobile is exploding there, more than anywhere else.
Well aware of the international e-commerce issues, Alibaba wants to facilitate e-business worldwide. Its site Tmall is the biggest of China, and Taobao is the biggest marketplace. The company has launched Alipay, a Chinese equivalent of Paypal, in order to answer its international customers’ needs. Some of its adaptations are more specific. For example, to promote its French brands, Tmall offers a selection of about 30 French brands such as Elle, Decathlon and Evian. In China, Decathlon is really popular, as well as l’Occitane and Candia. These preferences were taken into account in the choice of the site’s products. Today, some popular e-commerce sites like Amazon, le Printemps, and les Galeries Lafayette have even opened a flagship on Tmall to gain visibility.
Dealing with up to more than 100,000 parcels deliveries by day, Alibaba also made delivery possible under 7 days when the stocks are available in China. The company has therefore opened its own delivery platform.