Category Archives: Markets & Channels

Expanding To Japan: Key Considerations For Marketplace Sellers

Jia Li helps sellers understand Japanese consumer preferences and offers some top tips for selling on Japanese marketplaces

This post is by Jia Li, ecommerce marketing specialist at InterCultural Elements. From its base in Germany, InterCultural Elements helps online retailers expand their ecommerce sales internationally.

Japan has become an increasingly attractive target for online sellers around the globe. This is no wonder, as Japan has the world’s third-largest ecommerce market, and one of the fastest growing. In fact, it is estimated that by 2022, the Japanese ecommerce market will be worth over $113 billion dollars.

There are certain characteristics about Japan and it’s consumers that also help to make it an attractive market for online retailers. The compact country size and a mature distribution infrastructure helps to create a perfect online shopping environment, as delivery is easy and convenient.

Likewise, the mindset of Japanese consumers is important. They value high-quality products and often wish to experience the foreign, and sometimes exotic, lifestyle that imported goods can bring. Social status also plays an important role in Japan and products sold by sellers from the U.S. and Europe are usually considered more upmarket.

All the positive facts and statistics aside, this opportunity is not without its challenges, as expanding to Japan can be much more difficult than other countries and requires a relatively delicate approach. So, in this article I’m going to cover some of the key considerations for expanding into the Japanese market and reveal what online retailers need to do to kickstart a successful ecommerce business in Japan.

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Ecommerce in the Netherlands: A Growing Opportunity?

Jacques van der Wilt gives his advice on Dutch consumer habits and selling in the Netherlands, and profiles the country’s main marketplaces

This post is by Jacques van der Wilt. Jacques is a shopping feeds industry leader and the founder of DataFeedWatch, a leading global feed management and optimization company that helps online merchants optimize their product listings on more than 1000 shopping channels in over 50 countries.

Selling products on international markets is a quick way for merchants to grow profits. The barriers for entering foreign markets have been lowered and the opportunities to expand overseas are better than ever before.

A market that holds great appeal thanks to its infrastructure and product demand is the Netherlands. It is currently ranked 18th in the world for retail ecommerce sales, and is continuing to grow, which is quite impressive for a country of its size.

In 2016, ecommerce sales in the Netherlands totaled €20.16 billion, up 23 percent on 2015 and ahead of market expectations. Increasing consumer confidence is one of the main reasons for the growth in ecommerce sales.

In addition, most analysts expect this increase in consumer confidence to continue, not least because GDP per capita is also rising.

But where do the Dutch shop online, and what are the current ecommerce trends?

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Multichannel Selling Through Online Marketplaces: Present and Future

Amazon dominates and eBay is transforming, while major new contenders and niche marketplaces emerge.

This post is by Linda Chew, Marketing Director at Jazva, a leading provider of cloud-based ecommerce solutions for online merchants.

Multichannel selling is going strong and no retailer wants to be left behind. While multichannel selling offers unlimited possibilities, it also poses challenges for the online seller.

Retailers today can set up shop in so many places, but not all channels will be ideal for their business. Retailers must consider a range of factors, including marketplace policies, hosting fees, operational complications, and different buying behaviors, among others, when approaching marketplace expansion.

U.S. ecommerce currently accounts for 8.4% of total retail sales, and it is consistently trending upwards and outpacing the growth of physical store sales. But it still has plenty of room for expansion. Forrester predicts that ecommerce will reach $523 billion in sales by 2020 in the U.S.

Most of this growth will be driven by third-party sellers on online marketplaces, particularly Amazon and eBay, the two marketplaces that make up about 95% of marketplace sales in the U.S. In fact, 65% of online shoppers feel comfortable purchasing from merchants they never heard of before on these marketplaces.

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7 Leading Marketplaces in Asia from Coupang to Zalora

This post is by Craig Agutter, EMEA Ecommerce Manager at international currency transfer provider World First.

For online sellers across the world, Asia is already a lucrative market but it is the rate of growth and scale that really sets it apart. China’s online retail market is already the world’s largest with over US$600 billion of sales in 2015 according to research by McKinsey.

However, forecasters believe the current size has barely scratched the surface, with China’s low tier cities along with other countries in Southeast Asia beginning to benefit from the ecommerce boom. In Thailand, 85% of consumers not living in major metropolitan hubs use mobile devices for their online purchases.

So, the question every ambitious online seller should be asking is: how can I tap into these active and growing markets in Asia? Below, we look at the top marketplaces and give you tips on taking advantage of the opportunities for online sellers in Asia.

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Selling on Trade Me: Your Questions Answered

Trade Me and New Zealand

This post is by James Storie-Pugh, Director at Pivot International. Pivot are an ecommerce agency specializing in global ecommerce marketplaces. Based in London, they act as the local representative office for marketplaces around the world including Newegg, MarkaVIP, JadoPado and Trade Me. James has worked in ecommerce and digital marketing since 2008, for companies in France, the UK and the USA.

New Zealand might not be an obvious choice for international sellers looking to expand – it’s an isolated island nation in the South Pacific, thousands of miles from its nearest neighbor Australia, with a population of less than five million.

But New Zealand is also a well developed English-speaking country with a healthy economy, high average incomes and excellent access to the internet. Online spending by New Zealanders (known as “Kiwis”) is expected to reach nearly NZ$6 billion in 2016 – an average of $1,200 for every man, woman and child.

Nearly 2 million Kiwis buy online, and 38% of their purchases go overseas to international sellers. Those international sales are estimated to be worth NZ$1.6 billion. Two-thirds of all online shoppers in New Zealand have made a purchase from an overseas business in the last three months.

Where do Kiwis go to make those international purchases? They go to homegrown online marketplace Trade Me. Responsible for nearly three-quarters of all domestic web traffic, Trade Me has been described as a basic human right for Kiwis.

Here’s what you need to know about selling there as an international business.

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