International Expansion Made Easy (2/3)

August 23, 2022
Tools to help your cross-border operations
international expansion
Georgiana Costache

Two weeks ago we started unravelling some secrets when planning for a successful International Expansion. We have based our argument on you being the business manager of an e-commerce company that intends to expand its operations cross-border. Beyond the numerous advantages you could think of, you have unravelled a couple of uncertainties pertaining to financial, marketing and operations planning for internationalisation. 

Let’s resume with some of the utensils meant to help you in your pursuits…

Tools that could help you reduce the risk associated with operating cross-border

In order to approach the questions raised by Uncertainty#2 (carriers selection) and #3 (delivery flows), you will need a last mile optimisation tool with a proven record of in-market results. By adopting a platform such as the one offered by Postis you could easily scale your cross - border operations while ensuring cost efficiencies. Our SaaS helps you integrate numerous carriers in our established regions, while at the same time allowing you to make use of the best suited delivery flows according to your needs. By implementing Postis you will be able to understand new dimensions of your cross border operations that will further allow you to refine your strategy as the business grows. 

But how exactly do you choose the right mix of couriers for each geography you want to target? What are the main differentiators between last mile ecosystems in various countries?

Rest assured we will provide you with a clear picture of how to localise your operations, but before that let’s start with understanding what points you should answer when first addressing this.

Before we dive into carrier and delivery operations, we need to remind you of the importance of researching consumer behaviour and preference. Each geography will have a certain predisposition towards a series of behaviours, brought on by its cultural environment. Besides those, each market will come with its own set of actors and the preferences they carry. Nowadays it’s super important for any business to exceed customer expectations and thus understand customer demands at pre-transactional, transactional and post-transactional level.

DPD has carried out an extensive ethnographic research that looked into the buying preference of people in Poland, Germany, France, Italy, UK. You can consult their findings here. Depending on the segment in which your product and customers find each other you will be able to understand delivery needs and choices.

As with every delivery operation, be it domestic or cross-border, you need to have a clear overview of the type of products you will send to your customers as well as the channels you plan to operate with. 

  • Is it a small or medium parcel, or is it a large parcel?
  • Is your overseas operation concerning direct B2C sales or do you intend to send goods in bulk for B2B, will your delivery require palettes or standard delivery? 
  • Will you open a direct channel (brick and mortar store or website?) or a marketplace? 
  • Do you intend to operate in an omnichannel setup?

Those are a few of the questions you need to get right before setting up your delivery framework. After you have answered them, a good idea would be for you to start looking at the couriers that match your needs and that are available in that market. 

If you integrate your business with Postis you will have immediate access to all couriers available in our portfolio for the given geography, and in case you require ones that are not already available we will work to integrate them for you, free of charge. Our recommendation here, at Postis, is to start with a wide array of carrier choices, in order to leverage the power of our AI optimisations. 

Mircea Stan, CEO @ Postis: "International expansion can be as simple as local operations"

BOF, e-commerce site

To help solve Uncertainty#1, your financial planning tool that contains functionalities such as cash flow management, expenses and payrolls, budgeting, stocks and forecasts, should accommodate a clear breakdown of those by country. In this way you will have a clear understanding of your progress at all times and you can take informed decisions that can help you reach your desired goals, while monitoring your business progress. 

Uncertainty#1 also implies that you approach your marketing tools with the same international principles as your financial ones.  Even though most ad platforms can easily accommodate international targeting, you need to ensure that the whole user experience is looked at from the perspective of localisation. You may not want to run a swimsuit campaign in a market that has cold summers, unless you are matching the campaign to a message that pinpoints in-door swimming activities or vacations abroad. You may also want to avoid inappropriate translations that could break your brand.

As the business manager of an online store, you probably use a plentitude of tools that help you solve different issues, such as: marketing and operational, but also financial. Ideally, this article has prompted you with the necessary references for accommodating and scaling cross-border operations.

For more information on how Postis can help you scale your business globally feel free to write to our Sales Team.

Stay tuned for Internationalisation Made Easy…part 3…

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