Sep 19, 2019

4 ways to win the cross-border consumer

Nele Sharp

Online shoppers are increasingly buying from global e-commerce sites, in addition to sites in their own country. Nearly all (96%) of the retail advertisers in CJ Affiliate's network have seen website visitors from other countries this year. By Nele Sharp

The rise in cross-border shopping creates a wealth of opportunities for retailers who want to grow their global market share of both new and existing customers'wherever they are located. It's a smart strategy, particularly when e-commerce growth in your domestic market is reaching maturity.

To succeed on a global scale, it is important to understand what drives the cross-border consumer. These shoppers are price-sensitive and it's often cheaper for them to buy imported goods. They also value authenticity and want to know they're getting the real thing. With that in mind, the following are four ways to win the cross-border consumer:

Cross-border shoppers will accept shipping delays to get what they want from retailers outside their market, but they expect to have global payment options. In addition to ensuring international shipping options are prominent on your site and easy to understand, non-domestic brands should consider offering competitive shipping rates, running free shipping promotions, or accommodating freight forwarding.

Cross-border shoppers want more than just a good deal'they need validation from peers and influencers. Today's consumers are bombarded with brand messages and often turn to influencers for inspiration and advice. Influencers are extremely powerful in helping brands break through the clutter and establish credibility, which is particularly important for brands entering a new market. Even if the social media stars are not directly selling the product, they heavily influence purchasing decisions. One of the best-known examples is fashion blogger Becky Li, who has more than 3 million followers on WeChat and sold 100 Mini Cooper cars on her blog in just five minutes.

Major retail events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon's Prime Day, and Single's Day attract global shoppers to shop online and can be great way to get massive exposure for a brand among'new audiences. Affiliate publishers are smart marketers and will optimize their sites and apps for these events to promote additional brands and stores. Retailers can take advantage of this by offering higher commissions and media placement to their top affiliate publishers and influencers. Set up competitive offers that will catch the attention of the cross border shopper, otherwise they may not be interested because of great domestic offers.

Due to heavy mobile phone ownership and usage rates, mobile phones are the primary device used for ecommerce across the globe. This goes hand in hand with the trend that consumers will spend more time watching digital videos. The key to launching a successful global strategy is partnering with publishers who know the mobile ad space in any given region. For example, partner with publishers who know how to promote a products using WeChat and understand the ever-growing trend of QR codes. [FF]'August 2019 | No. 47

Nele SharpNele Sharp is a Director at CJ Affiliate and leads the company's global publisher development team.