Experts at Everything: What Brands Need to Know to be Global

Education
Written by Matthew Steinbrecher

Experts at Everything: What Brands Need to Know to be Global

 Consumers all over the world have recognized the many conveniences of shopping online — just as electronic mail has become our day-to-day ‘email,’ we may soon see a world where “ecommerce shopping” becomes our daily “shopping.” While this shift in mindset offers new opportunities for brands, some retailers have found themselves in deep water after the tidal wave of new online consumers in 2020. How could an influx of new worldwide business be a bad thing? Because most brands didn’t have a strong infrastructure in place to support it. A less-than optimal online shopping and checkout experience can shut down a business quicker than you can say “cart abandonment.”

Let’s dive into the shift in consumer mindset to ‘everything online,’ how this has impacted retailer strategy and bottom-lines, and the game-changing payment solutions that will help brands stay several steps ahead of the ecommerce curve. 

From Omnipresent to ‘Ecommerce is Everything’

The Covid-19 pandemic propelled buyers to transition from in-person to online shopping virtually overnight - forcing merchants to shift focus from brick and mortar sales to ecommerce. The 180 degree shift towards digital dominance meant that brands had to up their digital marketing game - which meant that suddenly they were everywhere consumers wanted them to be, but in their eagerness to over-deliver meant that they were also in many places consumers didn’t want them to be. 

The ‘retargeting bordering on stalking’ approach dominated the online space for quite some time,  And it worked well... until it didn’t. Ultimately, the consumer-merchant relationship suffered for it, and calls for privacy protocols resulted in stricter marketing regulations, leading us to the next shift in industry trends.

Marketing tactics shifted away from stalking consumers webwide to producing innovative campaigns that made it possible for online brands to be found, and followed by their target consumer. Being everywhere 24/7 became less important, and omnipresence was replaced with nurturing targeted communities and courting relevant influencers. Merchants that kept up with these shifting consumer behaviours flourished, becoming adept at anticipating trends thanks to their newfound, customer-experience-centric approach. 

So what about those merchants that were able to stand tall in their ability to pivot and accommodate the increased consumer traffic that came their way - did this mean it was easy sailing? Not so fast. The accompanying FX fluctuations brought on by the pandemic would prove to be a challenge greater than anyone could have anticipated!

The FX Fluctuations Merchants Weren’t Ready For

Although some merchants already had key business tactics locked down, processing payments for a rapidly expanding global market exposed brands to entirely new audience segments overnight, along with the associated (and unanticipated) levels of risk. 

The intense market fluctuations resulted in foreign exchange rates becoming both volatile and unpredictable. In one of our previous blog posts, FX and the Unknown, we note that “The wild, daily shifts this pandemic caused in the foreign exchange market have left many merchants in the lurch. If they were holding any position, they lost lots of money, rapidly. The market has never been this volatile.

Not only have brands had to excel in their core business, and marketing… now they have to be FX experts, too.

Shifting from a domestic to global mindset requires more than most merchants bargain for. Optimizing payment systems to create a shopping experience complete with competitive global pricing, no hidden fees, and a streamlined checkout process is a tall order – and is precisely what Reach offers. And all of this while creating distance for the merchant, and protection, from volatile and unpredictable FX, as well as from fraudsters that are developing new exploits daily.

Cost-effective and seamless shopping experiences will continue to be the expectation. The question is – will you be ready to offer it? Reach out and we can show you how!

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