Go Down Under to drive cross border online sales

UK brands and retailers looking to boost their cross-border eCommerce revenues should aim to leverage every unique opportunity. Just as they hone in on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other key domestic dates, they should be scanning the horizon for similar events in other territories.

One series of events with perfect potential can be found in Australia. Click Frenzy might be a new concept to you, but it’s had Australian online shoppers in the grip of online spending sprees since its launch in November 2012.

Click Frenzy is a pop-up online marketplace that currently happens three times a year. The next one, under the banner Click Frenzy Mayhem kicks off at 7pm (AEST) on Tuesday (May 21) and ends at midnight (AEST) on Wednesday (May 22). Retailers sign up to place exclusive offers and deals on the Click Frenzy site and reap the rewards.

Australians are certainly shopping online all year round; over 80% of them, according to the latest data and expected to hit 23.5 million online shoppers by 2023. Australians are also shopping online cross-border, with 61% having bought online from an overseas websiteStudies from Credit Suisse and Citigroup in recent years show that many Australian shoppers favour offshore eCommerce sites to domestic sites because of “wide ranges and cheaper prices”.

Australians have traditionally had a soft spot for the British, and this has been amplified by  October’s successful Royal tour by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Invictus Games that were held in Sydney. This love also extends to Australians embracing British fashion retailers such as ASOS, River Island, Monsoon, and Marks & Spencer.

This week’s Click Frenzy Mayhem is a perfect opportunity to test the waters for cross-border sales to Australia in preparation for the big one – Click Frenzy Go Wild on November 12, billed as the “sale that stops a nation”. Go Wild is the local equivalent of Black Friday/Cyber Monday but comes a few weeks ahead of this well-established shopping event.

To make the most of the opportunity, retailers and brands need to first and foremost ensure that they offer their international shoppers a seamless, localised shopping experience. This includes enabling shoppers to browse and purchase in their local currency and to pay with their preferred payment method – whether it’s a card, online payment or other local alternatives such as open invoices or cash on delivery. Brands and retailers should also ensure they present their international shoppers with the final cost including all local duties and taxes and offer them the option to pre-pay them at checkout.

Propositions should also be tailored and adapted to local purchasing preferences, so it’s important to understand the preferred delivery and return methods in each market as well as the common rates to ensure that their shipping offering is competitively priced.   

Finally, retailers and brands should be able to capitalise on local shopping peaks such as Click Frenzy in Australia and New Zealand, without running the same promotion in all of their international markets. With this capability, retailers and brands can take advantage of the online Australian event without actually participating in the Click Frenzy marketplace. Last November, we saw UK retailers with a localised offering to Australia increase their orders a staggering 300% by running special promotions coinciding with the Click Frenzy event.

There is a whole world of ecommerce opportunities associated with specific occasions around the globe. Mother’s Day, that was celebrated earlier this month in many countries around the globe including the US and Canada is another example of a major sales event, that with the right offering can help push online revenues a few weeks before the summer sales begin. Other upcoming local shopping events that should be on a UK retailer’s radar include Children’s Day in China (1st June), when parents buy gifts for their offspring, as well as Eid al-Fitr (4th June) which is the busiest time for online sales in the Arab World.

With a deep understanding of the characteristics of different markets around the world and local shoppers’ preferences, UK retailers and brands can increase their international conversion rates and grow sales globally all year round. Setting up a calendar of cross-border local retail events that are significant to the business is a beneficial step to global online success.