Join Us at IRCE Chicago 2016

It’s that time of year again. The e-commerce industry will descend on Chicago next week for IRCE: The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition. We couldn’t miss out on the fun this year. 

The must-attend e-tailing event of the year for all those who sell on internet promises to bring together online retail leaders in their thousands, and we are off to Chicago to join in. ‘The Windy City’ is welcoming at McCormick Place West, and we’re looking forward to meeting you there.

About IRCE:

Open only to trade, IRCE is the largest e-commerce and exhibition show in the industry, and possibly the most important event of the year.

The exhibit hall at IRCE features nearly 600 vendors and covers over 250,000 square feet of space – making it the largest e-commerce trade show in the industry.

You can check out the whole lineup of speakers here.

Retail leaders from all facets of the industry will gather to provide attendees with the latest in e-commerce strategies, recent growth in the industry and the leading online retail trends your business needs.

Sessions and workshops also offer a multitude of options and themes.

You can check out the full agenda and workshops here.

With 130 separate sessions offered across four days, the curated IRCE agenda offers many diverse options, providing something for every business selling online. You’ll hear from 200+ expert speakers, including the largest online retailers as well as e-commerce entrepreneurs, who are leading e-commerce industry trends and driving new marketing strategies for their business.

The agenda structure offers two full conference days with five tracks each, and an additional two days pre- and post-conference dedicated to in-depth workshops.

What: Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2016

When: June 7-10, 2016

Where: McCormick Place West | Chicago, IL

Learn more about the show and register to attend.


How to Export my E-commerce


Running an E-commerce site gives a business owner an advantage when it comes to preparation for international export. Globalization has created an atmosphere of easy internationalization, of which companies today are quick to take advantage. It’s true more and more businesses are thinking globally, and it’s time for you to start as well. But how do you get started in transforming your E-commerce into a global entity?

How to Export your E-Commerce

There are 5 basic steps to exporting your E-commerce. You can follow and tweak them as needed to best fit your business:

1. Do your homework

The first step is choosing the country or countries you want to target. You’re not alone in your research, there are plenty of resources to help you along the way. The best idea is to contact local marketing companies specialized in your domain and/or the market of the country you’re targeting.shutterstock_217238038

Research those markets and analyze your product carefully to see if it would translate easily into that culture. If not, are there easy tweaks to make to your process to make it translate? Is there a good enough market demand for your product? What is the competition like and where is your advantage in relation to theirs?


2. Make a step-by-step plan of attack

The next step is to create a logical plan on how you will launch in this new market. Will your supply chain accommodate a foreign market, and what would be the most optimized and cost effective way to work your logistics towards export? Be realistic with what your company is capable of.

Regulations and taxes will be tricky, but there are several resources available to help with that and there is a wealth of information available online. Additionally, third party logistics companies are a good way to export your products without having to set up warehouses, or ship everything from the USA. This can make the process much easier, as those companies are already familiar with the target market, consumer trends, delivery options, and often, regulations.

Your plan should be flexible, while firm: you want to be able to adapt it to similar markets in other target countries with relatively little disruption, but maintain its deadlines. A comprehensive step-by-step plan will allow you to take all of this into consideration and best optimize your efficiency. Always consider your expectations, risks, and always have a plan B.

3. Get your website ready

How modern is your website and how difficult would it be to get it ready for export? You should be thinking about getting your website translated, or better, having a version of your website in a foreign language. This is a crucial step to getting your E-commerce site ready, and it can make or break your venture into foreign markets. You have to get it right, and GoogleTranslate isn’t going to cut it- it’s best to have it done by experts, which ensures that your site will include the linguistic nuances that your customers would find on a site based in their country. Getting expert help will also help with SEO referencing, which can be amplified by the use of targeted ads.

Will your prices be shown in dollars, or will you incorporate geolocation into your site to automatically show your prices in the currency relevant to the end user? For your customers, it’s easier to make anshutterstock_200035340 informed purchase when the currency is shown in something that they can understand. Keep in mind that your prices (especially for European customers) should show the final price with taxes included.

For legal reasons, text regarding customs information should be included on your site, with a clear definition of your shipping and returns policy. This prevents any confusion from your customers, builds credibility with your customers, and protects you in the long run. Another good tip is to look at websites similar to your E-commerce that are based in your target country and compare those sites to yours.

4. Start Marketing

Your E-commerce site’s natural SEO activity will likely take some time before it kicks in, so you need to let your customers know that you’re open for business in a website near them! An easy way to do this is via social media campaigns, which are generally cheap to use. Google Adwords allows for easier Google referencing by buying your way to the first search result, and can provide an essential boost until your E-commerce starts to appear naturally in relevant search results. Facebook ads allow you to appropriately target potential customers based on their buying habits, age, location, income, political beliefs, etc. For B2B (business to business) products and services, LinkedIn Ads might be a better bet as far as ads are concerned.

If you’ve done your homework properly, you will have a profile of the type of customer that you need to target and you can start doing tests. At first, a wide net can be cast- your target customer might not be the same as your target in a different culture. Google analytics can be a fantastic tool for seeing your E-commerce site’s traffic visually, and help you optimize your site to keep your customers on longer, and buying more.

Your market strategy should be local: approach your customers on their terms. You should tailor your marketing so that it will resonate with customers as if it were a local business. Know their holidays, their peak buying times, and cater your marketing around that. What “just a Tuesday” is in the USA could be an important opportunity in your target market.

5. Tests and Targets

It’s time to go live and test your E-commerce in the target market. You need to see if the customer base behaves as per your expectations from market research. How do foreign customers react to your product? How do they use it? Use the information that you gain in the first few months to your advantage, and optimize your E-commerce process accordingly. No bit of information is too small or insignificant.

Exporting can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. By getting organized early with the plan of exporting in the back of your mind, it can be relatively simple. There is a good amount of preparation to do in the beginning, but the more that you prepare and the more you research, the more smooth your venture into foreign markets will go. Marketing is integral to your success, and the better you know your market, the easier it will be to tell your customers why they want your product. There are a lot of concepts to consider when exporting, but if you research correctly, and use the resources available for US businesses, you can be just as successful abroad as you are at home-or even more!


Why Export? How exporting can benefit your E-commerce

Why export?

How Exporting can be Beneficial for your Business

Managing an E-commerce site offers a unique opportunity to target and acquire customers from all over the world relatively easily. However, the idea of targeting a foreign market can be daunting to those who have never ventured into international waters. The legalities and complexities of exporting internationally can scare some away, but there are plenty of benefits to exporting internationally.

Why Export?

Why Export: 8 great reasons to export

Exporting internationally can be incredibly profitable for those brave enough to try. In fact, companies that export are 17% more profitable than companies who stay strictly domestic. This is largely due to the fact that 95% of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. That’s a lot of potential customers.

Foreign markets can also be used to smooth your business cycle during slow months when sales are typically lower. You’ll be able to use your production capacities to their absolute maximum and reduce the downtime needed during these typically slower months.

Though your business might be doing very well in domestic markets, they’re rarely static. There is also the inevitability of unstable markets to consider. The best defense of your local market is to export internationally.

But markets change, even ones that aren’t typically volatile. Competing globally is the best defense against a cheaper foreign company threatening your local market. Furthermore, exporting internationally improves your domestic business.

By testing the waters overseas, you improve the marketing, management, and intercultural skills of your business, thus making your business more profitable in the long run. This added value increases the sale price of your company (should you decide to sell, of course) and it adds value to your intellectual property, as you would be able to better protect your brand internationally.

There are several misconceptions concerning exporting internationally, but the truth is that more business and customers are thinking globally, and it’s becoming easier than ever to reach anyone in the world.

Seven Common Export Misconceptions

Starting a business takes a certain amount of courage. There are always thousands of little questions in the back of your mind: “What if I fail? What if my business isn’t successful? What do I do then?” When pursuing international markets, the same types of questions pop back up to discourage would-be exporters from attempting. However, the most common arguments against exporting are actually misconceptions. It is possible to export, and yes, you can do it too:

Why Export: Export misconceptions

These misconceptions and others are the most common ideas that prevent successful business owners from attempting to compete globally. If you had the courage to start your business from scratch, you certainly have the courage to export. Besides, it’s far too profitable a possibility to not consider!


Join us at the NRF16

From 17 to 19 january, we will attend to the Retail’s Big Show. Don’t hesitate to contact us if your want to meet. “NRF earned the nickname “Retail’s BIG Show” years ago and because the name was so appropriate, it stuck. Today, Retail’s BIG Show is NRF’s flagship industry event held annually in New York City. The four day event offers unparalleled education, collegial networking, and an enormous EXPO Hall full of technologies and solutions. After more than a century, Retail’s BIG Show is still the place – the only place – where you can see and experience all things Retail. It is truly one-stop-shopping for industry professionals from around the world. The BIG Show presents visionary leaders with game-changing ideas to help elevate your perspective of the industry and your business – then put this knowledge into motion. At the BIG Show, the entire horizon of possibilities available to get you to the next level come into focus as you explore innovative ideas and insights from your peers, partners and competitors.” Learn more here: http://bigshow16.nrf.com/about


Online vs Offline

If e-commerce is seen as more and more of a competitor to traditional shops, its share in retail sales only represented 6.0% in 2013 in France (6.9% expected in 2014). The most mature market in Europe is that of the UK (12.1% in 2013 with 13.5% expected in 2014) who are even placed in front of the US (10.6% in 2013). E-commerce however is a particularly dynamic sector. In 2014 the development of online sales will be 11.9 times greater on the European average than the development of traditional sales. In France, the rhythm of development of online sales will even be 17.3 times greater. It is also important to note that payment methods are not yet unanimous in Europe. Between the different Countries the methods chosen differ greatly: if the credit card is the principal method in France, other Countries prefer a bank transfer, prepaid card or even payment on delivery.


Spending per e-shopper

Even though the frequency of purchases is very similar in Europe to the United States (13.3 v 13.9 purchases in 2013) the study reveals that the average value per customer purchase is much greater across the Atlantic (82.5€ in 2013, 46% greater than the European average of 56.40€). The British cyber-buyers are those who spend most and who, with the Germans, purchase most frequently; whereas France is placed 5th with an average value per customer purchase of 55.30€ and 14.1 products purchased on average in 2013. As for cyber-buyers annual spending, the Americans, with purchases up to 1143€ in 2013, have spent 52% more than European buyers (751€ on average), but often we find only 4% ahead of the UK (1094€). French cyber-buyers have spent on average 779€, an amount slightly higher than the European average.


E-Commerce in Europe: 2013 key figures and 2014-2015 prospects

The French are the third largest European online consumers behind the Germans and the British. In 2014, French cyber-buyers should spend 908€ each against 1267€ in the UK. The UK confirms its position as European e-commerce leader. 67% of the population have purchased online in 2013. This year, sales the other side of the Channel should generate in total 53B€, an increase of 15.8% on 2013 figures. Germany follows with 42B€ (+22%) and France is classed third (31B€, +17%). European e-commerce is growing more rapidly than in the USA but spending however does remain lower. If the total number of cyber-buyers is similar on the 8 key markets studied in Europe (175.2 million) and the United States (171.2 million), the weight of the American market is today 49% greater (196B€ spent in the US in 2013 against 132B€ in Europe). E-commerce represented 6% of retail sales in France in 2013 and should reach 6.9% in 2014. Online market growth will be 17.3 times greater in 2014 than the growth of traditional sales (16.5% v 0.9%) Online payment methods differ greatly depending on Country. E-shoppers in the UK, France and the US choose mainly credit cards, whereas the Spanish and Italians prefer a prepaid card, in Germany the most widespread method of payment is via bank transfer.