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Webinar Wrap Up: Grow Without Borders eCommerce Series

6 mins
E-commerce
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eCommerce has had its biggest growth year. However, it isn’t one without its challenges. From crafting an international expansion strategy, levelling up their digital marketing, global shipping to leveraging remote contractors - we listened to our customers and decided to help.

We brought together our best partners for this four-part webinar series tackling the biggest growth eCommerce challenges in 2021. For those who missed our webinar series or would like the full replay - find our key takeaways below.

Session 1: Craft a rock-solid international expansion strategy

The barriers to cross-border eCommerce have never been lower, yet it’s no easy feat to win in a new international market. In this session, Crockd’s gives us an inside look at their US expansion journey and their key learnings. Alongside our experts from Shopify, Klarna and Vend, we examine how businesses need to strike a balance between a ‘test first, scale later’ approach and an invested localisation effort to prove out a new market.

Pick the right next market based on potential product-market fit and competitive market gaps

Crockd's international expansion began when they saw a growing number of website traffic from the United States. The team quickly mobilised their Shopify store and shipping partners to start selling into the US while the at-home pottery market was new. With a first-mover advantage, the founders had the unique opportunity to set their brand apart from the others.

De-risk your international expansion with a ‘test first, scale later’ approach

Planning an international expansion is no easy feat and often eCommerce businesses can “overengineer” their plans before validating the market demand. 

Shopify’s Technology Partnership lead, Jason Cormier, shares the simplest way for eCommerce stores to start experimenting with international markets with Shopify’s multi-currency feature and other integrations. Once eCommerce businesses are at scale, Jason emphasises the need to automate and streamline processes with the right apps, to effectively scale.

Mikey Yasumura, Partner Enablement Manager with Vend, shares an alternative approach where eCommerce businesses leverage in-person opportunities to test products first-hand with new customers and markets.

Localise your store to effectively convert and build a great brand experience

Once eCommerce businesses have validated their product-market fit, it’s a non-negotiable to localise their digital store experience to win in the market. Robert Gibson, Klarna’s Commercial Partnerships Manager, shares how customers’ preferred way to pay varies across the US, UK and Australia that greatly impact conversion rates. 

Planning your international expansion strategy?

Watch the replay

Session 2: Level up your customer acquisition playbook

Effectively reaching and converting new customers is the #1 challenges cited by eCommerce businesses, according to our pre-webinar survey. In this session, July Luggage shares their first-hand experiences pivoting their distribution, pricing and promotions strategy for their China market. Right Hook Digital, Style Arcade and Canva also demystify the role of brand and performance marketing for eCommerce businesses in 2021.

It’s a balance of both brand and performance marketing for sustained growth - constant discounts will set the wrong customer expectations

Brand and performance marketing are complementary instead of competitive to fuel sustained growth. Dee, Founder and CEO of Right Hook Digital shares examples of brands who have nailed this balance between building tomorrow’s brand while driving today’s sales. 

The new initial ‘10% off if you subscribe’ discount on every eCommerce store needs to be thoughtfully used to avoid attracting ‘markdown’ customers who only purchase on discount. Richard Li, Founder of July Luggage, shares his experiences in building July as a premium travel product brand without discounting his products in Australia.

Localise your pricing and promotions strategy to the expectations of the market

However, July’s pricing and promotions strategy needed to pivot when they expanded into China. Discounting is an industry norm for China, and the team needed to build this into their base prices. 

Similarly, Kuo Lumpur, Global Growth Marketing Manager at Canva, localised their advertising creatives between Australia and the United States. Despite the cultural similarities, there are nuances in the expectations, humour and other factors. Kuo also noted that user-generated content is an effective and fast-growing approach to building your brand for a new audience.

Use aspirational products can drive traffic, and another product set to effectively convert traffic 

For fashion eCommerce brands, the product selection for the advertising creatives is crucial. Michaela Wessels, Co-Founder and CEO of Style Arcade, shares the drastic difference in impressions, click-throughs and sales of an ‘aspirational’ product versus a more affordable product that is likely to convert a sale. Fashion brands have found success in better returns on their marketing dollars with their product selection across their marketing funnel.

Revamp your marketing, pricing and promotions

Session 3: Build a best-in-class global inventory and shipping system

Shipping and fulfilment underpin is key to a delightful end-to-end customer experience. Fast and low-cost delivery is no longer a nicety, but ‘table stakes’ customer expectation that impacts the final sale. Supply chain leaders from Shippit and Amazon share how consumer shipping expectations are evolving, and the available technologies for businesses deliver on that.

The answer to the speed versus cost trade-off on shipping is to empower customers with choice

eCommerce businesses are facing increasing pressure to deliver faster and lower cost shipping for both domestic and international customers. William On, Joint CEO and Co-Founder of Shippit shares the key to managing this trade-off is to empower customers with the best information possible. This involves providing real-time cost and arrival quotes at check out for customers to make their best choice. eCommerce businesses should then focus their efforts on effective courier selection, which is made seamless with Shippit’s platform. 

Proactively managing customer expectations is key to creating a delightful shipping experience

Shipping, delivery and returns are a key part of every eCommerce’s brand experience. Adam Roark, AWS’s Worldwide Leader in Transportation & Logistics, shares how proactive communications and full visibility of the customers’ shipment can build trust in your brand and prevent negative reviews. Adam also shares the rising need for a seamless returns experience as customers test out more products online instead of in-store.

Build your global shipping system

Session 4: Scaling operations with remote teams, tools and contractors

With any fast-growing business, your team’s capacity quickly becomes the biggest bottleneck. The crux of scaling your operations will come down to how effectively your team can adopt the right collaboration tools and leverage outsourced contractors. Hear how Google Workspace, Slack, Xero and Outsourced are seeing eCommerce businesses scale whilst remote.

Workflow automation and integrations are needed to scale your team without the overhead

As your team scales, the level of coordination across teams also scales. Exponentially. Arturo Arrarte, Slack’s Head of Enterprise for APAC, shares an example from an eCommerce business that drastically reduced their customer service turnaround from 5 days to 24 hours. The team achieved this through the right integrations, automation and alerts directly into Slack from multiple platforms to streamline processes.

Victor Chan, Head of G Suite Renewal & Expansion for Google Asia, shares how Google Workspace is primarily designed for their teams to effectively collaborate. Google Workspace’s vision is for a single, integrated hub for work as up to 25% of productivity is lost to context switching between tabs.

Scale your operations without compromising quality or culture with remote contractors

Mike Larcher, Founder and CEO of Outsourced shares the top three outsourced eCommerce roles across customer support, web development and digital marketing to meet skyrocketing eCommerce demand. Whilst outsourcing can be 60 - 80% more cost-effective than local roles, Mike emphasises that businesses need to focus on hiring high-quality talent to make offshoring effective, not just the lowest cost. 

Rebecca Gravestock, Director of People and Performance at Xero, also shares how crucial it is to foster trust and vulnerability to protect the company’s culture and ability to collaborate. This was a key focus for Xero as they scaled into a global team.

Asynchronous communication keeps teams nimble and decisions fast

With more remote teams operating across time zones and cultures, asynchronous communication is key to keeping teams informed and driving effective decisions without roadblocks. Teams no longer have to be bound to aligning calendars for a call to collaborate. Kate Morris from Adore Beauty’s virtual COVID-19 war room to collaborate with 150+ eCommerce businesses is a great example of this.

Note: This webinar replay is being finalised, we'll be sure to share this as soon as possible.

What’s next for your eCommerce growth?

Is your 2021 geared up for its best year yet? Our mission at Airwallex is to help businesses of every size grow beyond borders - without the hassle or expensive bank fees with international transactions. 

Fast-moving eCommerce brands like Crockd, The Sheet Society and July Luggage choose Airwallex’s global business account to set their business up for global scale. Curious about how Airwallex could help your eCommerce business? Join us at our next live Introduction to Airwallex webinar and have your questions answered.

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