When people talk about ecommerce, they immediately think of Amazon – the online sales giant that has achieved record results in the first three months of 2021. With profits more than tripling and a 44% increase in turnover to 108.52 billion, Amazon is a champion of ecommerce and it seems as if there is no match between the marketplace giant and individual retailers’ eShops. But that is not quite the case. While Amazon has set the standard for ecommerce within the United States, becoming a benchmark for all online stores, this is not the case when it comes to cross-border commerce in Europe. Let’s see why.
The funnel strategy. Retain your customer
Personalisation: unique products and loyalty programmes
Simplicity: shipping and returns
The winning technique is to take advantage of Amazon’s highly standardised experience and turn it into a strong point of your brand’s online store offering. This starts with shipping. Offering a low-cost shipping system for the user, managed with a clever mix of a regional courier network and a worldwide shipping hub, can help a brand to better satisfy its customers. Then there are returns. The ability to return goods and the return methods play a significant role in customer satisfaction. It is precisely this area that remains a grey area for the giant Amazon, which from a cross-border perspective lags behind in terms of the ease and intuitiveness of the process.
Transparency: costs, payments and language
If a brand wants to win the challenge against Amazon in cross-border digital commerce, it has to be clear and offer a very intuitive experience, especially in the final phase of the purchase. A key tip in this respect is to include duties and taxes in the final price. Amazon does not do this and the user sees the cost of the basket increase when checking out. A similar argument applies to payments. Statista found that 17% of customers abandon their shopping cart because they do not want to provide their payment details to the site and 7% of these said the main reason was the lack of sufficient payment methods. The winning strategy for cross-border sales is to localise payments by offering payment methods preferred by users in the countries in which you want to sell: a Dutch buyer, for example, will prefer iDeal, a German buyer will use SOFORT. Similarly, offering a multilingual digital shop will greatly increase your chances of success. According to a Eurostat survey, 56% of Europeans would not buy from online shops in other countries that do not cover the language of the buyer.