Going global with retail operations
The global economy is recovering as a whole, but some regions are swinging back faster than others. In particular, while the U.S. market has shown a lot of growth over the years, it's slowing down. Comparatively, developing nations such as China, India, Brazil and Russia are quickly becoming home to affluent consumer bases, and these individuals want access to American products.
Merchants looking to extend their brand can do so by reaching abroad to these markets. The Internet makes eCommerce operations much easier – retailers are no longer limited to their geographical home base, anyone from anywhere in the world can access their websites.
As such, many domestic entrepreneurs are beginning to look abroad to capitalize on unsatisfied consumer markets.
"As a merchant, you want to look at what is the next big stage of growth, it's really international," Craig Reed, vice president of global commerce for Pitney Bowes, told Multichannel Merchant in an interview at the IRCE 2013 conference. "The growth of eCommerce we believe is going to be driven in part by global demand."
Although these developing nations offer substantial opportunities to savvy retailers, it isn't easy to tap into these markets. International retailing brings with it new challenges, from learning about foreign customer demographics to dealing with regulations.
ECommerce software can help with this transition. Many of the difficulties associated with foreign expansion revolve around supply chain management and logistics. The right platform can play a pivotal role in improving transparency of inventory availability and location, allowing retailers to quickly and efficiently fulfill orders and improve the overall customer experience.