There is no clear way of predicting when a customer will make a purchase, but you can be sure today’s connected customer wants it all.
Customers want to be able to browse products on any device and purchase on another later that day.
If the customer can’t find what they are looking for in store, they want assistants working on the shopfloor to locate that item and have it delivered to a place of their choosing the next day – all while earning loyalty points.
They want their favourite takeaway food to be delivered to their exact location at the click of a button. And, as if that’s not enough, they also want their fridge to know exactly how much milk is remaining and talk directly to a supermarket to send a top up, ready for breakfast the next day.
Giving your international customer a pleasant and simple experience is crucial to building trust in new territories
This technology is used exclusively by a few, but soon it will be available to the mass market because, let’s face it, no one wants to start their day with dry cornflakes and tea without milk.
The good news is the smartest retailers are ensuring their customers can have it all and are investing heavily in consumer-focused innovations.
Investment in technology and ecommerce capabilities are enabling the very best retailers (of varying size) to grow at a phenomenal pace, improve the experience and broaden their international appeal.
The Loqate International Retail Index – which is produced in partnership with Planet Retail RNG and Retail Week – analyses the top 30 global retailers’ technological capabilities in detail.
The top three retailers deliver to more than 200 markets globally, while others such as Topshop and Sports Direct have invested in digital platforms and tech that facilitates international orders, offering language and currency options and location intelligence services such as address verification.
And, because they offer these facilities across all devices and their app, they appear toward the top of the index. Giving your international customer a pleasant and simple experience is crucial to building trust in new territories.
Free shipping and returns have made it easy for consumers to turn their own homes into a personal changing room
The experience should be extended beyond purchase though. Smart retailers that deliver internationally realise there is much to consider.
For example, the way in which a user searches for an address differs from country to country and international data is notoriously complex, with more than 6,000 languages and innumerable accents.
It’s easy to see why international data is the guilty secret of the retail world, yet it can be solved with the right tech and data capture in place.
Convenience is key
Free shipping and returns have made it easy for consumers to turn their own homes into a personal changing room – ordering multiple items and returning unwanted goods in any way they want; to their local store, or to a local drop-off point.
Combining a frictionless shopping experiences with delivery partners that make shipping and returns a pleasant process is a key differentiator between those retailers sitting at the top of our index, and those toward the bottom.
Now more than ever retailers can harness the power of ecommerce capabilities to test out their international appeal.
However, it is vital to select technology and partners that understand the complexities of the chosen expansion markets to achieve strong results.
If you think your business should be featured in the next top 30 international retailers please get in touch with either Retail Week, Planet Retail or Loqate to be considered for the Loqate International Retail Index 2019.
David Green is managing director of location Intelligence, Loqate – a GBG solution