With so much doom and gloom surrounding Brexit, few retailers have realised the opportunities and almost no retailers or brands have installed a targeted strategy to exploit the 20% drop in the value of pound sterling to commandeer new customers groups and grow beyond Britain aggressively. This is also not purely selective for consumer facing retailers and brands, we'll run through why it's applicable and the timing is spot on for consumer, B2B and wholesale groups to ensure they have a portal online that is customised and tailored for the market(s) they serve to grow outside the confines of Britain.
The ONS has reported increased tourist trade to the UK and major retailers such as Harrods reported a surge in Christmas shopping, as well as Fortnum and Mason experiencing an increase in International website visits and spend from around the world, notably Hong Kong and Japan.
Discerning, International customers are seeking a new product experience - Speciality British product that is either an established brand or a purveyor of British products that are eclectic, high calibre, unique, affordable and of a size and weight that can be easily shipped to their shores.
At Aulter we're perfectly placed with our understanding of International markets and its fluctuating demands to position your brand and its products in key locations to extrapolate value from this renewed appetite for British goods.
We'll briefly break down what you need to consider to target and convert International customers as the pound continues to dance up and down over the next couple years at least;
These are some of the core components that speciality and niche British retailers and brands need to have in place to begin successfully testing what product is most covetable and from where and when seeking to establish an International customer base. That requires a comprehensive product catalogue available through your eCommerce platform and a modern inventory management solution that correlates with your in-store ePOS.
Ensuring your customers have an online journey that is smooth with as few obstacles as possible to reduce inertia and cart abandonment is paramount for all customers, not just International but when seeking to sell into Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea it is important to understand the habits of their customer groups.
Their tastes, demands and expectations contrast greatly but where there is total cohesion is their expectancy to shop from their mobile devices - These countries have increasing middle class markets that skipped the desktop era and rely on their mobile devices to do everything, including shopping online.
Understanding domestic habits is equally important in the type of payments you accept, are you set up to accept AliPay? The fastest growing payment wallet in Asia. Are you positioning your product with applicable marketplaces and ready to extrapolate value from Asian social networks and messaging applications that already facilitate commerce?
CPGs and Wholesaling
Are you an existing brand that either already has International accounts or are looking to attract new distributors and merchants to pick up, carry and market your merchandise to local territories around the globe? At Aulter we believe you should already have an online, commercial customer login portal to manage orders, availability and essentially build out an autonomous total fulfilment solution that reduces the strain on your accounts and customer support teams for domestic accounts.
However, with the fall in pound and a 20% marginal increase for importers taking on covetable British goods for their home markets (whether to freshen up their range offering or due to local demand for British products), there's a huge opportunity to automate orders and increase order frequency. Especially, in territories such as Asia, Australasia and North America where it can become difficult to process wholesale orders due to the time difference and a small window of opportunity to do business directly with merchants.
The other primary advantage of having an online portal for your accounts management is to sidestep some distributors altogether and maintain a higher, profitable margin when distributing around the world. This isn't always applicable and it depends on the size and scale of your brand and the volume of product you're seeking to shift but if you're pushing out orders of a couple hundred cases or between 10-20 pallets (and maybe even smaller) then automating your orders is a realistic possibility through your website in a commerce style setup behind a private login.
A brilliant example of a UK distributor that has recently launched this form of private login process (predominantly for small merchants that don't have an automated sales based ordering system) is Palmer & Harvey, who distribute CPGs into supermarkets, forecourts and convenience stores nationwide. Their online order platform is available to check out here, this is more of a closed environment but for CPGs and niche brands seeking to sell in this vain, it's possible to build a more user friendly environment for merchants and distributors to view and purchase from.
If your product is already available to purchase online via retailers, supermarkets and marketplaces and you don't want to fulfil consumer orders via your site, there's a neat add-on called Adimo that allows your customers to search and discover your product on your site but add it to their shopping cart inside other retail eCommerce sites.
So if you're ready to take advantage and deliver a modern offering for the growing, affluent, nomadic global shoppers then drop us a line at Aulter and we can begin drawing up a go-to-market strategy that fits your product category, your needs and aligns with your forthcoming budget.
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