7 Reasons to Build International Commerce Platform
How to manage digital strategy in companies that expand their presence into foreign markets? You need a solid foundation: an international commerce platform, one central system for all markets.
Europe as a challenge
Europe is an amazing continent, with several dozens of countries, using several dozens of languages and currencies, different legislative and institutional regulations, not to mention traditions and cultures, located on a relatively small area.
Despite efforts of organizations such as European Union, the continent is far from being economically unified. For companies operating in Europe, entering a new market still requires a lot of effort to tailor their tactics to the specifics of a new country.
To achieve that they often start from developing local initiatives and platforms for each country. Unfortunately, in the long run such solution generates higher costs (due to maintenance and development of growing number of systems) and impedes managing company’s digital strategy. That’s why it’s better to build one universal international system instead of numerous dispersed local platforms. Despite being a large intellectual, technological and organizational undertaking, it opens completely new perspectives for business. For us, it’s an idea worth coding.
How it benefits international business?
1. Easier management of digital strategy in Europe
International commerce platform is a tool for managing company’s digital strategy on numerous markets. It enables company to synchronize marketing and sales actions, such as introducing new products or services at all markets at the same time and ensure cohesive brand experience for global customers and business partners.
Maciej Oleksowicz, CEO, Inter Cars: The role of B2B e-commerce platform in business expansion
2. Shorter Time to Innovation
One system for all countries is also a natural platform for testing and distributing innovation in digital world. A creative idea, new feature, service, product or piece of content can be tested quickly, and then easily implemented on all the markets if it performs great. You don’t have to wait long for local realizations of the idea because technology accelerates the process.
3. Higher value for customer on the given market
Local market or business unit delivers higher quality for end users when it relies on mature platform and best practices, proven in other countries. Such strategy also lowers costs as investment in the platform is divided by the number of markets on which it works.
4. Lower TCO
It’s expensive to design, implement, maintain and develop a modern, user-friendly, scalable and stable platform. When you realize such project for each country separately, you’ll most likely repeat some of the work and elements. Also it can lead to failure if resources invested in a given country are too small.
Centralized platform reduces such risk and eliminates costs of duplicated efforts and expenses, in terms of design, implementation, maintenance, and development.
5. Mature architecture
Each project of international platform involves collecting local requirements, synthesising them and transforming into general, configurable elements - modules of the future system. They will be a point of departure for localization during implementation in respective countries. Such approach makes system architecture more though-through, stable, flexible and open to possible changes brought by digital world.
6. Support for cross-border business scenarios
The platform for various countries enables design and implementation of innovative cross-border business scenarios, which otherwise would be difficult to imagine and realize. These include: ordering products that are out of stock on a given market from different localizations, building international supply chains and vertical marketplaces, serving customers on markets different than one where they registered, creating dedicated marketplaces… It means completely new ways of generating value proposition.
7. A tool for expansion beyond ecommerce
Complex commerce platform allows you to better utilize potential of particular sales channels and create synergy between them. For example, introducing e-commerce on a new market without developing a physical presence and sales infrastructure is a great idea to sound out how customers’ interest in the offer before we make big investments. That way digital can work as pilot-phase for further expansion in the market.
Technology is an important element of international expansion strategy, especially in e-commerce world. One system for many countries doesn’t only optimize costs, increase performance or deliver better customer experience, but enables you to efficiently manage digital strategy across Europe or even globally.