The need for a “frictionless experience” dominates the priorities of e-commerce teams, with developers attempting to remove every conceivable barrier to digital shopping. Underscoring this trend, Instagram recently launched in-app checkout, bypassing the significant moments in which consumers returned to a brand profile, clicked through the link in bio, were redirected to a website, and then started browsing. In the digital world, each click represents an opportunity for the user to become distracted, forget, or change their mind.At Stella Rising, we are seeing an important sub-trend within the frictionless conversation. Brands, which used to be hyper-focused on their own markets, now realize that consumers want digital friction around geographical borders removed also. Mainly, if you have an established brand, consumers are going to find your product and buy it, regardless of location. Often this comes at a cost to the customer in the form of extra shipping or a VAT tax; through our own clients, we observe that many consumers don’t care. Nor do they (initially) mind that the e-commerce experience wasn’t created for them in terms of language or imagery. Imagine if the site was suited to international consumers or if brands actively sought them out, rather than merely reacting?
Just within the United States, a 2018 study noted that 49% of consumers shop cross-border online and that the borderless shopping market has risen each year since 2014. This upward e-commerce sub-trend is well-timed for brands that take advantage of it. By 2021, e-commerce is predicted to be the largest retail channel in the world. Moving ahead, the allocation of global consumer dollars will be uneven, skewed towards Asia Pacific (APAC). In fact, by 2023, analysts project that APAC’s e-commerce retail sales will engulf those in the rest of the world.
Consumers are seeking out cross-border shopping experiences from reputable brands as the global e-commerce market forges ahead. For companies, initiating fulfillment in other countries is an inexpensive way to explore new markets. Now is the time for brands to conduct up-front analysis and ready logistics so that they are able to delight the global e-commerce shopper.
Neatly, this all comes back to Instagram (and social media generally). Look-alike modeling, powered by paid search platforms, drives much of the global retailing experience. The digital user behaviors of researching and socializing are entwining, and geographical borders are proving no match for engaging content on all-important social media feeds.
Interested in understanding how we can help your brand scale online globally? Connect with us today.
Sources: Pitney Bowes 2018 Global E-Commerce Study