Thursday, 30 January 2014

E-commerce buzz words - how many do you use?

Atul Bhakta, Managing Director of One World Express, has recently shone a light on the increasing pervasiveness of the language of e-commerce in the international shipping sector.

In an interview with Post & Parcel he come up with a list of current buzz words associated with global e-commerce. How many from the list are you familiar with?

Growth - surely not preserved for the realm of online business, the issue of growth is at the forefront of every business person's mind, but it's certainly true that the growth opportunities within the online channels are particularly compelling. E-commerce is often seen as a way into foreign markets, without the initial outlay cost of setting up a physical office abroad.

Expansion - different to growth in that it implies not only increased sales but a broader consumer base, e-commerce offers more opportunities to expand into international markets than ever before.

Export - clearly, export costs are a vital element of any e-commerce model, and there a variety of options available to businesses and consumers. As a business, should you offer free international delivery, link up with an international delivery partner, or encourage your customers to arrange their own deliveries? And how much advice should you give on customs and related issues? As global markets become increasingly interconnected, such issues are emerging as essential to the future of global business - whoever knew logistics was such a host topic!

Cost effective deliveries - For consumers, it's important that the large potential savings of making purchases online are not counteracted by prohibitive delivery costs. This is why many e-commerce operators team up with discount parcel delivery resellers such as Transglobal Express, securing top-brand deliveries from the likes of UPS, DHL and TNT at a fraction of the price. Many consumers also may opt to arrange deliveries through these agents directly.

Visibility of parcels - A significant challenge currently faced by e-commerce professionals is the development of robust parcel-tracking systems. Customers want to know where their parcel is, and when it will be delivered. Lack of such a facility makes many potential buyers more tentative, so it's important to integrate this into your business model.

Customs Clearance - This is a tricky one as there are so many potential markets with such ever changing import policies. Argentina, for example, recently imposed strict regulations regarding the import of goods bought from foreign e-commerce websites, and Russia has imposed similar restrictions, in such a way as to hinder the likes of Ebay and Amazon's rapid expansion into the huge Russian market. It's important for companies to maintain a working knowledge of the customs restrictions of the country they're sending too and, importantly, to encourage consumers to do the same.

Source: Post & Parcel

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