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What to think about when you go global

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FitForCommerce’s John Bancroft has worked with scores of retailers around the world looking to explore new markets in faraway lands.

It comes with the territory in a global market that demands constant growth. But the territory can be tricky. Different countries, obviously, mean different languages, customs, rules, currency. In fact, they mean a whole different world.

That’s where Bancroft comes in. In the brief interview below, concerning expanding to global markets, Bancroft outlines some of the considerations for retailers looking to expand globally and he talks about some of the characteristics of products that those retailers should think about when it comes to selling abroad.

The key point Bancroft made as we spoke was that not only do the factors concerning global expansion change depending on the country, the factors change depending on the company.

“For some clients, legal may be an issue or logistics may be a bigger factor,” he said. “Other clients may be more interested about country attractiveness based on their growth rate, or interest in specific categories and products being sold by that particular company. So the factors are really different based on the client.”

No question, going global is easier than it’s ever been. But, of course, that doesn’t mean it’s simple. Consider Bancroft’s story of the food retailer who was ready to ship a product made with one particular ingredient. The ingredient was not a problem to ship to most countries. In fact, it mostly wasn’t a problem to ship to the country the retailer had in mind.

But there were exceptions. There were certain products that could not include that one ingredient if it was going to be imported into that one particular country.

Strategies for going global include many ingredients to get right

A little, one-off story, maybe. But a story that starkly illustrates the complicated layers that need to be peeled off when a retailer is thinking about expanding its footprint. (In a coming post, Bancroft will look at fraud considerations when it comes to shipping internationally.)

All that said, the world is only getting smaller when it comes to commerce. Tariffs and trade barriers will come and go, but consumers’ desires to get what they want, when they want it and from where they want it, is here to stay.

And for both consumers and retailers, that turns out to be a good thing.

Photo by iStock

Contact Mike Cassidy at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.



Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

Mike is the head of storytelling at Signifyd. A former journalist and a retail geek, he covers ecommerce and the way technology is transforming digital commerce. Contact him at [email protected].