What DTC Ecommerce Brands Need to Know When Comparing Vendors

cross-border vendors

Coresight Research recently released ‘Cross-Border Ecommerce – A Buyer’s Guide to advise brands and retailers on how to sell crossborder successfully and what an excellent DTC ecommerce experience looks like.  

A Framework for DTC Ecommerce Excellence

To provide the best ecommerce experience to shoppers, increasing conversions and brand loyalty, Coresight outlines a 4 point framework of excellence for brands and retailers 

  • Strategy and expertise – Understanding local markets and their demands  
  • Tailoring the online experience – Brand-consistent localization, from landing page to checkout and payment  
  • Achieving operational excellence – providing a brand-enhancing end-to-end experience through checkout, logistics, notifications, tracking and returns 
  • Resourcing and scaling effectively – the ability to move into other markets at speed, and the flexibility to consider smaller markets in which ROI may be in doubt. 

What Do Brands Need To Do To Create An Excellent Cross-Border Shopping Experience?

Brands and retailers that want to convert consumer demand into salesbuild shopper loyalty and drive repeat sales need to provide a ‘domestic-equivalent’ ecommerce experience for their crossborder shoppers. There are many factors that work together to make this possible including: 

  • the ability to price locally and adjust for duties and taxes;  
  • offering payment options that are familiar to shoppers, and tailored to optimize conversion;  
  • having strong relationships with appropriate carriers for shipping and to facilitate potentially costly returns;  
  • processing returns locally in major markets to expedite refunds. 

Questions Retailers and Brands Should Ask a Cross-Border Service Provider

Brands and retailers that wish to expand their cross-border operations can do so in-house or using a crossborder service provider. Running such an operation in-house is possible but there tends to be higher upfront operational costs than working with a partner who can provide expertise and fixed working costs.  

“In addition, partnering with third-party cross-border service providers can allow retailers and brands to roll out to new markets faster than building operations in-house.” 

For businesses that are considering working with a third-party service provider, the report outlines key areas of operations that cross-border service providers must excel at in order to provide the best experience to shoppers. These include:  

  • Solution Pricing & Costs 
  • Technology, Scalability and Security 
  • Local Knowledge and Expertise 
  • Providing Localized Shopping Experience 
  • Compliance and Privacy 
  • Payment Methods and Fraud Detection 
  • Localizing Pricing, Taxes and Duties 
  • Shipping and Logistics 
  • Returns and Refunds 
  • Customer Data/Lifetime Value 

Retailers and brands should investigate the service provider’s expertise in all these areas before partnering, making sure that they excel on all these touchpoints. Coresight Research provides a list of questions brands should ask service providers when doing due diligence such as: 

  • How do you select payment options to maximize conversion rates?  
  • How can you help us make returns easy for shoppers?  
  • Do you use local hubs to expedite returns and offer faster refunds to shoppers?   
  • Can you manage the process of claiming back taxes and duties for returns?  

Choosing the right third party can help a brand expand cross-border in a seamless fashion, quickly increasing brand reach and revenueand ensuring a truly branded, frictionless experience for their customers 

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