5 Key Takeouts From Our Online Marketplace Masterclass

In our recent masterclass, we looked at the growing opportunity with online marketplaces. With 1.86 trillion spent globally on the top 100 marketplaces in 2018 and marketplaces accounting for 52% of global online sales, retailers are increasingly seeing the chance for growth through different avenues. We’ve rounded up some of the key takeouts from the day:

The Top Marketplaces Are Located in North America

The biggest opportunity when it comes to marketplaces is in North America. 61 of the top 100 marketplaces are located there, with Europe trailing at only 14. It’s clear there is a big opportunity for retailers to tap into the USA eCommerce market and grow their online sales.

The Fastest Growing Opportunity Is In The Netherlands

Russia, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil all have fast-growing eCommerce markets, ranging from 8% to 20% growth. The Netherlands, however, is the fastest-growing. Dutch shoppers have spent around 20 billion Euros in the year 2016, showing a growth of around 23%. Add to that that the Internet penetration in the Netherlands is more than 90%, its an attractive eCommerce market with a lot of potential over the coming years.

It’s Important to Choose Your Marketplace Well

Retailers may be tempted to sell on every marketplace going. However, it’s important to identify your priorities in order to decide which market will work best for your business. Consider the demographics, product availability, consumer culture, delivery, duties and compliance. Shortlist the potential marketplaces based on whether it suits your brand, and how much competition there is for your products. It’s also important to look at what kind of support you will get and how easy it will be to integrate with your technology and way of working.

There’s More to Marketplaces than Amazon

As one of the biggest eCommerce websites, Amazon is usually the first thought when it comes to online marketplaces. However, there are many marketplaces out there, and more and more are emerging as rising stars in the industry. These include Catch (based in Australia) with 5 million monthly visitors, The Market (based in New Zealand) with 3.6 billion visits, New Egg, which is operating in 80+ countries with 49 million users per month. These are just a few of the emerging websites that are grabbing attention, with many more to choose from. Make sure you look beyond Amazon and get in at the ground floor with one of the companies that are growing quickly.

Delivery Is Still Key When It Comes to Selling in Marketplaces

Delivery can be a barrier for many retailers when it comes to selling abroad. Logistically it can seem like a headache, with different customs and documentation needed for different countries. Where it might seem like a logistical problem, it’s also a marketing opportunity. Having quick and effective delivery globally means repeat business and better customer experience. Working with GFS can help you with reliable service, expertise on delivering across the world, and easy technology integration. Contact us to talk about how we can help you solve your delivery problems.

2021-08-02T12:07:13+00:00August 7th, 2019|

6 Ways To Reduce Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a problem for many online sellers, with up to 65% of shopping carts left uncompleted. So how can eCommerce websites reduce cart abandonment and capture those all-important extra sales? We talk through some of the common reasons for cart abandonment and how to tackle them.

  1. Simplify Checkout

Customers often cite a long and complicated checkout process as an annoying feature of buying online and it leads 28% of them giving up halfway through. There are many things that businesses can do to stop this by simplifying the checkout process. Make sure the checkout is as streamlined as possible, keeping it minimal and include only necessary data fields. Reduce the number of steps that a customer has to go through and number the sections so that it is clear how long the checkout process will take to complete. Make sure site navigation is straightforward to keep customers’ attention and ensure they can confirm their purchase quickly and easily.

  1. Guest Checkout

In addition to simplifying the delivery process, guest checkout is another way to help reduce cart abandonment. 28% of customers will not complete a purchase if they have to create a new user account. Many customers don’t want the hassle of setting up new accounts, with new passwords to remember and more forms to fill in. Giving your customers the option of guest checkout, or offering the registration once purchase is completed, can help the customer feel more comfortable and help them buy more quickly.

  1. Offers

8% of customers leave their cart if they can’t find a discount code and 46% leave them if a code doesn’t work. By offering discount codes for buyers, they are more likely to complete a purchase to snap up a good deal. Some companies use re-targeting emails when a cart is abandoned to remind people that they didn’t complete purchase. Reminding users of the offer codes when sending these emails will also help encourage them to follow through with their purchase.

  1. Multiple Payment Options

Customers love choice. When it comes to payment options, 8% of customers abandon their cart because they can’t use their preferred payment option. Not only does having different payment options make it easier for the customer, but it can also help build trust. If you are selling a lot internationally and in specific countries or looking to target them for sales, researching the preferred payment method for people in that country can help build the trust needed to convince them to purchase from an international seller.

  1. Cost Transparency

25% of customers specifically cited shipping costs as the primary reason for driving them away, and 49% of online shoppers abandon their purchases because of hidden fees that are only revealed upon checkout. 22% abandon the carts because the seller did not mention shipping costs at all. Cost transparency is clearly very important for customers. It’s the primary reason that people abandon their carts. By being transparent about all costs ahead of time you can give your customers a better idea of what is coming and avoid the shock that leads to cart abandonment. This can include the cost of delivery or the duties and taxes involved in international sales.

  1. Delivery Options

Customers care a lot about delivery – 40% of abandoned carts are due to a lack of convenient delivery options. It’s important to offer a choice of different options as what suits one person may be different from another. For example, for someone looking to buy a last-minute gift, an express delivery option will be a big deciding factor. Alternatively, someone commuting into London every day may prefer to use Click & Collect so they can pick up their parcel at a time that suits them. Putting the customer in control increases the likelihood that they will complete the purchase.

GFS Checkout can help you reduce cart abandonment by giving your customers more delivery options, and providing all the information they need to make an informed decision. The new Duties and Taxes add-on also gives customers the cost transparency they want when it comes to international delivery. Contact us to arrange a demo of our technology.

2020-11-09T15:59:55+00:00June 12th, 2019|

Guide to Duties and Taxes when Expanding Your Business Internationally

Selling internationally to grow your business can feel daunting. As well as handling cross-border delivery, you also have the complicated task of applying the correct duties and taxes. Duties and Taxes are a common logistical concern for businesses with sellers saying it’s their biggest barrier to international growth*.

What are Duties and Taxes?

Sales Taxes are financial obligations paid to the government on sales, and duties are a tax payable to the government on goods and financial transactions. Both of these hike up the price of buying from a seller in another country, but are there to protect companies from foreign competitors and enable the government to control the flow of certain products in and out of the country.

Taxes vary from country to country with different thresholds for when taxes apply to imported items. It’s best to research the tax thresholds for each country you plan to ship to and be able to let your customers know.

How are Duties and Taxes Calculated?

Duties and Taxes are calculated by multiplying the taxable value of the shipment and the tax and duty percentage of the country you are shipping to. Duty percentages do vary depending on the category of goods and taxable value and can change from country to country depending on the valuation method.

Different ways to pay – DDU vs DDP

Duties are taxes are a legal obligation for your buyers. There are two ways they can be paid – DDU and DDP.

DDU shipments are paid on delivery, with customers being contacted by customs when their parcel arrives to settle any charges. This option means that you need to clearly communicate to your customers that the duty will apply to their shipment. Failure to effectively communicate this could lead to an unexpected surprise for customers on delivery, which can reflect badly on your brand.

DDP shipments mean that the sender is responsible for paying the duties. This usually means that they are included in the existing price or added at checkout. This option might make products appear more expensive upfront, but does mean that your customer won’t be contacted for any additional fees and the shipment will be delivered easily.

Communication is Key

Communicating to your customers about Duties and Taxes is important. To boost the customer experience and secure repeat purchases, you need to make sure customers know how and when they will be paying duties and taxes throughout the delivery journey. This should be included on product pages, at the checkout, in your shipping policy and your FAQs. If this is left unclear, you risk cart abandonment, low customer satisfaction, refused deliveries, and more time spent on inbound customer queries.

Making Duties and Taxes Easier

In the modern age, there is more technology available to help online sellers deliver a seamless experience for customers whilst also making their own processes easier. This is also true when it comes to the complicated issue of calculating Duties and Taxes. We have now added a Duties and Taxes calculator to our GFS Checkout software. This provides a simple plugin that presents an array of different delivery options, and calculates the full delivery cost, making cross-border delivery easier than ever! Plus, you can decide if you want to combine Duties and Taxes with the cost of the order or let the customer choose whether they pay now or on delivery.

Find out more by watching our video, or sign up for a demo!

*GFS and Tamebay international survey 100+ decision makers, eCommerce businesses with £1m-£50m turnover– September 2018.
2020-11-09T16:00:25+00:00May 20th, 2019|

In The Press: How Mamas & Papas Nipped Online Cart Abandonment In The Bud

In The Press: How Mamas & Papas Nipped Online Cart Abandonment In The Bud

Mamas and Papas
Mamas and Papas logo

Shoppers are abandoning online purchases at record rates according to Barclays, now an £18 billion problem for retailers. The Office of National Statistics has warned of uncertainty around the UK retail sector, with increasing pressure for retailers to improve their checkout and delivery processes to reduce customer drop off.

Innovative UK businesses such as Mamas & Papas are committed to using technology to improve customer fulfilment services and have taken action to have looked to the enterprise carrier management (ECM) sector. The aim being to bring together the combination of technology tools and delivery services to transform the customer delivery experience – the brand chose to partner with Global Freight Solutions (GFS), who founded ECM.

GFS Checkout

Mamas & Papas has even devised its own Warehouse Management System (WMS) that uses voice picking technology to improve efficiency, speed-to-market and accuracy, Mamas & Papas needed a partner that could work with these improvements, rather than undoing their hard work. As a result, Mamas & Papas has integrated a simple plug-in with a powerful rules-based engine, which enables retailers to seamlessly offer customers a broad array of delivery options. The software allows customers to choose delivery dates and times that work around their busy daily schedules to boost conversions at the point of checkout.

Since implementing the technology (GFS Checkout) Mamas & Papas has seen cart abandonment rates dramatically reduce and dispatch speeds from the warehouse increase by 15%. In such an increasingly volatile retail landscape, retailers cannot afford to ignore the importance of giving customers maximum choice and convenience when it comes to delivery.

“We’ve got the tools that support delivery services and pricing. That means we’re currently offering customers the widest choice of delivery options at checkout. And we can quickly add, remove or change them as we need. We’ve seen cart abandonment rates dramatically reduced and customer satisfaction scores increase.”
– Richard Spychalski, Group Operations Director, Mamas & Papas

It’s crucial for retailers to offer options at point of sale beyond just fast and free – can be a competitive differentiator as well as a lever for increasing basket conversion and have customers wanting to come back and buy more. To enable this, retailers must be able to bring together the combination of technology and breadth of delivery services at a price which makes commercial sense in order to address consumer expectations and demands for convenience and choice.

Originally Story on Tamebay

Also covered in Retail Tech Innovation Hub – Mamas and Papas rolls out GFS Checkout online solution

2020-12-15T16:40:47+00:00July 20th, 2018|

In The Press: Brexit – An Opportunity For Businesses To Grow Outside The EU

In The Press: Brexit – An Opportunity For Businesses To Grow Outside The EU

Uncertainty looms large for UK-based retailers post-Brexit. The easy option for companies would be to bury their heads in the sand, but the throw-away comment of “we still have time” no longer applies. While it’s difficult to plan for what lay ahead, there are still a number of steps that SMEs and retailers can take in preparation for Brexit, which coincidently happen to be about planning for international expansion.

Keeping that in mind, companies should view Brexit as an opportunity rather than a burden, as it will enable them to assemble a plan of action that can facilitate growth and allow them to do business in marketplaces and fast-growth regions they are yet to even consider. Provided they treat delivery as an integral component to growth.

Britain’s trading relationship with the EU is uncertain. Online retailers should start thinking about growth opportunities outside of the EU, as well as with key marketplaces like eBay, Etsy or Alibaba. This may seem daunting for SMEs, but the companies that do their due diligence and organise delivery operations accordingly will flourish in the years to come.

Where to look for international expansion

There’s no doubt that Brexit will force some logistical challenges within EU regions. With free trade between the UK and EU unlikely, new tariffs will be imposed when delivering into and out of these countries, which will increase the cost for companies and customers alike. Additionally, businesses that manufacture or source products will need to consider regulation on a country-by-country basis, further lengthening the delivery process.

As trading within the EU is set to become more challenging, businesses would do well to start targeting strong marketplaces and emerging regions of rapid eCommerce growth, such as Russia, China, and Brazil. SMEs could see significant growth to their business if they have the right approach and partner to help maximise their success in these regions. This is a huge growth opportunity given that retail spend in this area was priced at $1.47 trillion last year, with 90% of that concentrated in the top five marketplaces, three of which are in China. The trading obstacles Brexit will raise within the EU provide a great incentive for companies to explore international expansion.

Mitigating risk in the EU post-Brexit

With new duties and taxes to contend with when delivering to countries in the EU, customers will have to pay more for delivery following Brexit, and companies need to figure out how to best cope with the additional expenses. For instance, customers will not appreciate unexpected charges when making a purchase – with research from Baymard institute indicating that a lack of transparency is responsible for as much as 24% of all cart abandonment. As such, it’s vital that companies ensure they are clear with their pricing and have software capable of being completely transparent with respective delivery costs at the point of checkout. If retailers make checkout easy to use and put all the relevant delivery information in one place, customers are more likely to go ahead with the transaction.

Businesses will also need to be aware of the various regional complexities that delivering to new countries will bring, as well as the changes enacted by countries they already deliver to. For example, businesses shipping to Saudi Arabia would need to take in to account the cultural preference to ‘pay on delivery’ rather than at checkout. International nuances like this are precisely why it’s important for companies to partner with operations and logistics end-to-end advisors that can fill gaps in their expertise. Each region will have to be dealt with separately in terms of tariffs and delivery approach, and companies need to be wise to this. Support should also be sought to help navigate the lengthy admin processes that border control will bring, to make sure that it’s not a drain on company resources and reduces the delay to the supply chain.

Looking to minimise risk in the EU post-Brexit, by way of carrier management and logistics upgrades is not something to be frowned upon. In fact, in many ways, it’s the prompt many businesses have needed to take steps toward international expansion. A steady hand is needed in the form of carrier management in order to provide advice and expertise on the key obstacles SMEs will encounter in a post-Brexit world. The costs and admin may prove an initial challenge, but by putting delivery at the heart of their growth strategy, Brexit may come to be seen as a business opportunity.

Original article appeared in B Daily

Also covered in:

How Businesses Can Use Brexit As An Impetus For Growth – Post & Parcel International

Opinion: Why Brexit is an opportunity for businesses to grow outside of EU – E-delivery

Brexit: The Incentive For Businesses To Go Beyond The EU – MinuteHack

2020-12-15T16:46:01+00:00July 19th, 2018|
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