In order to foster a steady source of paying customers in secondary regions, brands cannot simply export their existing commerce strategies to new markets. Rather, they must leverage the local dynamics and bend to consumer behavior. Brands first and foremost need to consider whether a region funnels transactions directly through brand sites, marketplaces or both.
Regions like China, Japan and Brazil rely more heavily on marketplaces, given the existence of popular platforms like Tmall, JD.com and Mercado Livre. Marketplace provider Alibaba, for example, represented 53% of China’s world-leading retail e-commerce sales in 2018. Brands have found value in the quick scale these platforms offer, with existing payments infrastructure, search engines, product page templates and more.
Consumer behavior illustrates the stark differences between regions. For example, in Japan, marketplaces comprise 37% of the top ten outbound site destinations measured by visits from desktop brand sites, compared to just 5% in Germany, and 0% in France. Therefore, brands must cater to these trends and support marketplace commerce where possible.
Olay, for example, integrates e-tailer partners onto its site PDP pages, leading users to either buy products from global marketplaces like Amazon Germany or e-tailer sites like JD.com in China. Other brands mix offline and online channels. Citizen U.K., for instance, connects to local retailer stores at its product pages, allowing users to search and select specified stores for pickup.