Interview: Scale internationally rapidly with Fruugo

3'

Today, when a business starts to sell internationally, sales are boosted by an average of 10% to 15%. This is not surprising when taking into consideration that 1/7 online purchases are cross-border, and 82% of consumers have already shopped for products abroad. At Lengow Day we caught up with Theodore Hettich, CSO at Fruugo, the marketplace that makes your products 46 available in markets, to find out the do’s-and-don’ts of international expansion.

1/ Which strategies should retailers follow when selling cross-border?

Firstly, when attempting to sell to new territories, understanding the different restrictions and regulations of countries can be time consuming and overwhelming for smaller businesses with limited resources. Therefore, it is critical for retailers to utilize fast and effective international scaling partners, that have low barrier to entry, and that take the pain out of scaling a business globally—for example with new foreign entity registration, hiring foreign language teams, or setting up international operations.

This is where complementary partners like Fruugo can help you rapidly scale, we are able to make products available for purchase in 46 markets with just one simple integration; all in your native language and currency. Another key aspect, would be managing your data correctly, naturally if you are working on one or multiple marketplaces, then you should work with a ERP or channel partner solution fit for internationalization. This is where Lengow comes in; together with its Fruugo integration you can expand your business rapidly and on a global scale with product feed delivery, order management and actual account managers who speak your language end to end to help you succeed.

2/ What mistakes should be avoided?

Avoid being overwhelmed by too much scattered activity that is ineffective in multiple territories. Working with a channel partner like Lengow can help to make sure that your products are on the right market at the right moment and at the right marketplace, with an appropriate product catalogue, order management for multiple platforms, and ways to track ROI and performance.

But especially—don’t be unprepared:
– Make sure the international channels you are working with have what they need, like GTINs and appropriate descriptions.
– Having appropriate shipping solutions tailored to the markets you are looking to expand to can be easily found locally.
– Inform yourself on VAT distance thresholds, Tax levy’s, and restrictions for targeted territories. At Fruugo, we try to eliminate most of the issues for our retailers but look at what each partner offers and how they can help.
– Utilise the resources you have available at your fingertips. I know for example that Lengow offer a load of insights and services that help you go global quickly and easily. Fruugo do the same, if you are working with both it can help to be a winning strategy for international expansion.

Also, brands who try to control too much and police pricing regarding competition with their own sites domestically and also at the international level via channels. We brought on a brand recently for example who gave us prices way above their own price on their sites. Naturally, their performance on our marketplace was generally lower, given that shoppers naturally saw a brand and then shopped directly with the brands own site. At the same time requesting that we remove all 3rd party sellers of the same brand! Luckily at Fruugo, we can turn off home markets and sell internationally utilising the same feed. So we were able to leverage our platform technology to provide the brand with a positive outcome, creating a satisfactory solution in the long-term when working with us going cross-border.

3/ What will cross border e-commerce look like in 10 years?

I am seeing that more and more sellers and brands are getting in on the action with selling cross-border. It will remain a hot topic in the coming years especially as highly ecommerce developed and saturated markets like the UK or France for example see more and more international sellers start to move in due to ease of market entry.

Sellers from China, will continue to play a larger and more dominant role in the short term while like Turkey, Poland, Singapore and Malaysia start to make a larger wake on scene in the coming years. Fruugo has its fingers on the pulse of these trends as we currently expand our shopping and seller offering to the afore mentioned markets.

I feel however, that from the customer perspective, demand from marketplace platforms have set a new bar on what people expect with regards to shopping online, regardless if it is a cross border purchase (many made today with shoppers having little to know regard at the checkout for where their product is coming from!). To that effect essentially the evolution and innovation in supply and new economic models of demand are an example of what logistic players and platforms will have to contend with when trying to meet the new reality of customer expectations—especially when trading on an international level.

4/ Three tips to succeed on Fruugo

a. Give us your basic domestic feed with competitive pricing in your native currency
b. Give us great international shipping rates in your local currency
c. Fulfil your orders with tracked shipping solutions
…We do the rest!

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Picture: Ohé!

Naomi Botting

Communications Project Manager - UK/NORDICS