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How mobile and location are driving internationalisation

Traditionally international retail indexes were focused on physical metrics such as how many markets a retailer operated in or how many stores they had outside of their domestic markets. Now, thanks to rise of eCommerce and digital influence, internationalisation is no longer an exclusive club of bricks and mortar giants, the rules about how a global retailer looks have been rewritten.

Initiatives like the Single Euro Payments Area, which simplifies bank transfers, and regulations that prevent geoblocking (the system used to limit your access to the internet, based on your geographic location) have helped to stimulate cross-border buying. According to a recent report from Forrester, 20% of global eCommerce sales will be made up of cross-border purchases by 2022. This is evident in the fact that at Loqate we are supporting more and more of our retail customers to expand their operations beyond their local territories.  

We partnered with Planet Retail RNG, Retail Week and World Retail Congress to explore the growing popularity in cross-border commerce and discover who the top retailers in the world are when it comes to international retail. In June we launched the first ever Loqate Internationalisation Retail Index. The index reviews, in detail, the strategies and online capabilities put in place by the top 30 international retailers from the US, UK and mainland Europe. One of the key findings within the index is that mobile commerce has played a massive role in the acceleration of cross-border commerce, every single brand featured in the top 30 offer a mobile optimised site. This group of elite retailers make it easy for their customers to easily browse, buy, book, receive and return from wherever they please and whilst on the move. 

Growing confidence in mCommerce

Across the world, growing consumer confidence in making purchases via smartphone, means spending on mobile is on the up. Retailers offering a greater selection of low-cost items, encouraging impulse buying, and improving the mobile shopping experience, is helping to drive this growth. 

In 2017 eMarketer reported that global mCommerce sales rose by 40.3% in to $1.357 trillion, representing 6% of total retail expenditures. Across the world, growing consumer confidence in making purchases via smartphone, means spending on mobile is on the up. Retailers offering a greater selection of low-cost items, encouraging impulse buying, and improving the mobile shopping experience, is helping to drive this growth. Clearly, innovation in smartphone design, mixed with international online capabilities such as location technology, is transforming the way consumers interact with brands on a global scale.

Yet despite the phenomenal growth of mobile commerce, research suggests that only 12% of consumers find shopping on the mobile web convenient. 
 
The trailblazers featured in the Loqate index all meet the demand of the modern mobile buyer – easy navigation, clear call to actions, multiple payment and shipping options are all featured. 

Two-thirds of the retailers from the International Retail Index provide domestic address verification, with UK brands Asos and Sports Direct (both landing in the top five) offering international address verification. Retailers who understand their customers unique circumstances wherever they are in the world, however they choose to interact with them are the ones that win on the international stage and are the ones that feature high up in the top 30 ranking. A third of the retailers featured in the index  offer a variety of ways in which to receive and return these goods - this group is unsurprisingly made up of tech-focused retailers like Apple and Amazon.  

There is clearly a huge opportunity to utilise location data and innovative mobile technology to create a competitive edge and improve the mobile experience. The ones to watch when it comes to what's next for mCommerce are brands such as Asos, Boohoo and HelloFresh all pushing in close on traditional heavyweights such as Amazon and Walmart. 

For retailers looking to expand successfully in 2018, we’d advise that a strong mCommerce strategy feature high on the agenda. 

To find out who ranked in the Loqate top 30 click here.

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