Global Insights: The Borderfree Blog

Hong Kong Ecommerce Report (2014)

Hong Kong is a “Very Desirable Market” – the top Asian cross-border ecommerce market, earning 4 out of 5 shopping carts from the Borderfree Index.

A flashy, extravagant city, Hong Kong is a draw for shoppers seeking luxury. And its people are frequent travelers to the United States, bringing familiarity with U.S. brands back home, where they’re experienced, high-spending online shoppers. Hong Kongers, in fact, have the highest global per-capita spend on clothing and footwear, according to Borderfree Insights.

Find out more about China’s “window on the West” – and the opportunity this market offers to online retailers – by downloading our Hong Kong Country Report here. 

Download the Hong Kong Country Report

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Measuring Department Stores’ Digital Intelligence

Are you an emarketing genius?

Several of our favorite department stores are, according to L2 Inc. – and their high digital IQs have much to do with their international ecommerce prowess. The digital business intelligence service recently issued a Digital IQ Index® of Department Stores, highlighting how well these retailers are using digital investments to help them keep up with both online and bricks-to-clicks competition.

The L2 Inc. index measured 56 department stores using a range of weighted factors to formulate a Digital IQ, which ranged from “Gifted” on down to “Feeble.” The category of “Site and E-Commerce,” which factored heavily into a company’s rating – accounting for 40% of the total score – included the key element of “International Footprint.” “As mature markets stagnate, retailers must look beyond their borders for new customers – and the Internet is making that possible,” said Danielle Bailey at L2 Inc.

The think tank found that on average, the top 250 global retailers generate nearly a quarter of revenue from international operations. Fifty-two percent of department stores use online marketing to target shoppers beyond their home market. Thirty-eight percent of the companies L2 Inc. analyzed offer multi-lingual site navigation, and just over a third of retailers (36 percent) provide customer service in other languages.

These factors, along with structure and features of product pages and on-site merchandising strategies, added up to “Genius” or “Gifted” ratings for several Borderfree retailers including Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sears. Find the full report here.

Localization Can Fuel Global Ecommerce Growth Infographic

As global ecommerce continues to boom, the question isn’t whether U.S. retailers should sell and market internationally – it’s how can they best capture the tremendous growth opportunity before them.

At Borderfree, we’re proponents of internationalizing of your website experience first as a means to begin selling cross-border, then moving into targeted and ROI positive localization to target your biggest opportunities to improve your conversion rates for international shopping. A few quick tips:

  • Display multi-currency Pricing. Consumers are most comfortable shopping when prices are displayed in their local currency.
  • Disclose all order fees. Eliminate nasty surprises (and unhappy customers) by displaying all final costs in the checkout before your customer buys.
  • Remove U.S.-centric messaging. With a global audience visiting your site, ensure U.S.-only offers are suppressed and replaced with localized messaging.
  • Offer international sizing. A U.S., AU and U.K. size 6 all mean different things. If your goods are size specific, the more detail you can provide the better.
  • Invest in translated content. Begin with static content (shipping & returns information; customer FAQs; site navigation) and expand to dynamic content (product names & descriptions) pending ROI justification.

These steps may seem intuitive, but Cognizant’s recent study of the Internet Retailer Top 500 US Companies demonstrates that many retailers have yet to implement them. Their data shows that even among the 73% of U.S. retailers who ship orders internationally today – just one in three display pricing in local currency, only 28% offer multi-lingual options, and a mere 8% support non-English customer chat.

This means there is tremendous untapped potential for U.S. retailers to capture international growth opportunities by aligning with a partner like Borderfree.

Contact Borderfree to learn how we can help you win greater mind- and market-share abroad. 

U.K. Country Report

The U.K. is a very attractive market for cross-border ecommerce. Our Borderfree Index score for the U.K. is 4 out of 5 possible carts.

The U.K. ecommerce market is large (#1 in Europe), ubiquitious (9 out of 10 shoppers purchased online in 2013), mature (13% of all retail sales are conducted online) and highly advanced.

Brits are savvy shoppers familiar with U.S. goods and brands, and present both an opportunity and a challenge for retailers seeking to win their loyalty.

Competition is strong, advertising is expensive, and consumer expectations are high.


Download the U.K. Country Report

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