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e-Business executives prioritise international expansion

Anuradha Shukla | April 22, 2013
A global e-commerce footprint is the end goal, according to a Forrester report.

Seventy-five percent of e-business executives see international expansion as "very important" or "somewhat important" to their overall business strategies, as per a new Forrester Research report.

With a global e-commerce footprint as the end goal, these professionals are working towards aggressive online expansion.

Earlier, consumer technology companies had a global e-commerce footprint while brands in other categories lagged behind. Times have changed now and today global brands across all categories are eyeing the global e-commerce market.

China's online retail market is expected to reach US$219 billion in 2013 and is set to beat Europe that will reach US$166 billion this year. These two still lag behind the US online retail market that is expected to reach US$262 billion in 2013.

Global e-commerce is looking bright now but all was not so good a few years ago. Companies could not use this opportunity as they were not able to understand their target audience and were thus unable to design relevant strategies.

Using different strategies

Today brands have understood the importance of having a global e-commerce footprint and adding a diverse set of countries to their lists.

They use international shipping to deliver products to consumers and are increasingly turning to marketplaces as an option to enter new markets.

Businesses are showing a lot of interest in targeting online shoppers by using direct-to-consumer websites with local fulfilment and migrating to a single platform to power all global e-commerce sites.

They are also considering a shift in control of global sites to a centralised team, according to Forrester analyst Zia Daniell Wigde who notes that B2C companies expanding internationally are challenged by a lack of technology partners to support them.

B2B companies find it difficult to get budget for international initiatives.

Wigde adds that when launching new global initiatives, companies should not assume unrealistic payback periods with these new offerings.


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