Streamlining Ecommerce Expansion with a DTC Partner

The global ecommerce landscape is full of opportunities for businesses to broaden their horizons beyond domestic borders. However, venturing into the international market presents a myriad of challenges—from navigating complex logistics to ensuring a seamless customer experience across diverse cultures.  

One of the easiest ways to streamline ecommerce expansion (and set your brand up for long-term international success) is to enlist partners who specialise in the areas of direct to consumer (DTC) business that your brand does not. Global commerce is evolving quickly, with more shoppers in more markets looking to buy a wider variety of products than they can find locally.  

Finding those customers and exceeding their expectations may need more resources than you have in-house. Expert DTC partners can unlock the potential of international ecommerce, turn complex challenges into manageable tasks and propel you toward global success. 

The Significance of Ecommerce in Global Expansion 

Ecommerce has reshaped the way businesses interact with their customers and facilitated a globalised marketplace. With the click of a button or the tap of a finger, consumers from every corner of the globe can access a wide array of products and services. For you and your brand, this means unprecedented opportunities for growth and revenue generation. In fact, the global ecommerce market is on track to experience an annual growth rate of 9.5% between 2024 and 2029. 

However, the road to international success in ecommerce is challenging. Each new market presents a unique set of hurdles, from regulatory compliance to tailoring marketing strategies that resonate with local audiences. Then, once you get established in a new market, you have to overcome similar hurdles in each new country while making sure customers in existing markets continue to have an excellent online experience.  

Understanding the DTC Advantage in International Markets 

If you’ve explored DTC options outside your home country, you know the opportunities and the complex maze of legal, logistics and payments you have to navigate – all while creating a strong connection with diverse customers.  

The advantage of bringing a partner on board to help launch and manage your global expansion is that you can focus on your brand and your business, while your partner manages the rest. More than just outsourcing business functions, partners let you provide a personalised shopping experience, accelerate speed to market, optimise operational efficiencies and drive growth. 

What’s more, owning your channel instead of selling on a marketplace means you own your customer data so you can create better connections through customised marketing and communications. 

Market Access Made Simple 

Selling to international shoppers seems like it should be an easy endeavor. Ecommerce makes the world seem borderless. But as easy as it seems, international DTC is deceptively complex. 

That’s where a partner comes in. The right partner will have established, out-of-the-box solutions for everything from site and checkout localisation, to local business entities to logistics partners and experience with the legal and tax requirements.  

Fueling Revenue Growth 

If you can accelerate your speed to market, you can accelerate your speed to revenue. It can take months or even years to enter just one new market if you try to expand with in-house resources. But partners with experience and expertise let you tap into their established networks so you can reach a larger audience, drive sales and increase your market share.  

When you’re thinking about expansion, scalability is key. Because the ecommerce world seems borderless to shoppers around the world, you want to be able to capitalise on success. You will see more revenue if you can quickly expand and respond to market demand effectively and efficiently. 

Navigating Operation Costs and Logistics 

If you’ve tried to expand internationally or even just looked into it, you know that logistics and operational challenges are often the biggest barriers to international ecommerce. This, again, is where a good DTC partner can come in.  

Reputable, experienced partners have comprehensive and established solutions for inventory management, order fulfillment and last-mile delivery. All those things ensure a smooth and reliable customer experience. By leveraging a DTC partner’s existing business relationships, you can realise cost savings and take advantage of a more flexible supply chain. 

Case Studies of DTC Success Stories 

Engaging a partner sounds good. But is it really that much better than using your own internal resources to expand your business? 

KUIU: Harnessing the Power of Localisation for Global Growth 

KUIU, a high-performance outdoor apparel brand based in the United States, wanted to expand its reach to English-speaking consumers in key international markets. Through a partnership with ESW, KUIU devised tailored, data-driven strategies for each new market. They focused on localisation, precision customer targeting and end-to-end customer experience management. The results were remarkable. KUIU saw a 6.5x increase in marketing ROI, expansion into 37 international markets, and continued growth in territories like Germany and the UK. 

US-Based Clean Cosmetics Brand: A 207% Surge in Monthly Sales Through Strategic Partnership 

Next, we look at a prominent domestic brand in the US known for clean cosmetics products for eyes, lips and face at an accessible price point. The brand recognised the uphill battle of establishing a global online retail presence and turned to ESW for support. By engaging with us, the brand translated its product content, provided diverse payment options and optimised logistics for efficient shipping. The result? A monumental 207% increase in monthly sales and a 20% uptick in total orders. These results truly demonstrated the power of strategic collaboration in global expansion. 

The Roadmap to Global Ecommerce Success 

A successful expansion into the international ecommerce scene with the help of a trusted partner requires careful planning and execution. Here are the critical questions you should ask yourself so you know where you will need partner expertise.

Are we ready for global expansion? 

Before venturing into international markets, it’s essential to evaluate your business’s capabilities and readiness. Do you have a clear understanding of the target market’s preferences and regulations? Are your operational workflows adaptable to serve a global customer base? Do you have enough internal resources to support launching in more markets?

Can we develop a market-specific approach? 

One size does not fit all in international ecommerce. Each market demands a distinct approach informed by local nuances. How will you develop targeted marketing campaigns, establish a localised online presence and address cultural and regulatory differences proactively? 

Complying with international laws and regulations is critical for maintaining business integrity and customer trust. Are you well-versed in navigating legal complexities, including data protection, taxation and product standards, to ensure your business operates within the confines of the law? 

How will we prioritise the customer experience? 

The customer experience is at the heart of successful ecommerce. Is your team able to be committed to providing a seamless and delightful experience for your international customers? How will you provide multilingual customer support, fast and transparent shipping and easy returns and refunds? 

Who will monitor market conditions and help us adapt to them? 

Global markets are dynamic and subject to change. What will it take for your brand to stay attuned to market trends, customer feedback and performance metrics to make informed decisions and adapt your strategy as necessary?  

Select the right DTC partner 

Choosing the right partner is a pivotal decision in your international ecommerce strategy. Look for providers with a proven track record of success in cross-border trade, a robust network of global resources and a customer-centric approach. The partner you select should align with your brand’s values and growth objectives. 

The Future of International Ecommerce with DTC Partners 

As we look ahead, the relationship between businesses and ecommerce partners will continue to define the trajectory of global ecommerce. If your brand is proactive in establishing such partnerships, you will be well positioned to capitalise on the boundless opportunities that international markets offer.

If you’re considering an international ecommerce strategy (or are in the middle of one and facing more struggles than you anticipated), the time to explore DTC partnerships is now. These providers are not just enablers of geographical expansion; they are catalysts for innovation, efficiency and unparalleled customer satisfaction.  

Ready to unlock the world of global ecommerce? Reach out to ESW to learn more about how we can help your business thrive in the global ecommerce arena.