Global estimates have the Earth’s population reaching approximately 7 billion, of which 5 billion are expected to own a mobile phone by 2017. It’s no wonder that brands are seizing the opportunity to explore new markets. Globalization has provided numerous opportunities for new regional revenue streams. However, globalization has also made it a challenge for brands to create a five-star customer experience. Global marketing campaigns, product launches or IT integration all have multiple layers of challenges that must be addressed long before the planning begins.
Let’s examine the top challenges marketers and business leaders must overcome to captivate the global audience.
Challenge #1 Breaking through cultural barriers
A one-size-fits all approach to marketing is a death wish for brands. Language barrier aside, brands must fully understand local markets before driving any new initiatives. For example, cultural norms might prevent customers from purchasing specific items such as swimsuits or books, or from shopping during a religious holiday. A particular offer or email can easily offend a shopper in one country while engaging an individual in another. Brands need a strong team dedicated to understanding the local market before hitting the planning stages of a new initiative. Leveraging insights from big data, for example, is one way of doing this effectively, but it also takes careful observation and study of a society’s cultural norms before embarking on a new program.
eMarketer predicts worldwide B2C commerce spending will reach $2.357 trillion by 2017. In North America, e-commerce sales will account for $660.4 billion. No wonder brands are increasingly focused on improving their online presence. The opportunities for success seem endless when one factors in the rise of mobile and digital. In order to see your e-commerce business take off, follow these three best practices.
Explore new markets
As customers’ preferences change and technologies evolve, brands must evolve right along with it to attract new customers and grow their online businesses. The Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000) are a heavily sought after market for many brands, as we discuss in great detail here. In a few years, this demographic will possess more purchasing power than any previous generation, thanks to its reliance on mobile and the ability to adapt to new technologies. E-commerce businesses would be wise to explore this demographic, understand their purchasing habits and adapt a strategy that leverages the Millennial’s preference for digital and mobile.
In addition to the younger population, emerging markets are significant segments worth exploring. Mobile adoption is on the rise in emerging markets like China and India, and greater access to the Internet is fueling consumers’ spending habits. Asia-Pacific is a strong market for e-commerce. Tech giants like Facebook and Google and popular mobile apps are eager for market share in these regions. According to eMarketer, B2C e-commerce sales in Asia-Pacific will jump from $525.2 billion in 2014 to a whooping $1,052.9 billion in 2017. With so many brands fighting for dominance in these regions, it won’t be long until every B2C e-commerce business – large or small – has a presence in emerging markets. Now is the time to explore and expand to new demographics and regions, and beat competitors to the punch.