Retailers are discovering that a significant growth opportunity for their businesses is to expand e-Commerce browsing and buying capabilities to consumers worldwide.
Lands’ End, an established American lifestyle brand and retailer, has been selling to consumers in approximately 180 countries for more than 15 years. Although the retailer was able to ship products to these shoppers, there was a real opportunity to become more strategic in international growth initiatives, according to Carl Atwell, VP of International at Lands’ End.
There were a few key components of the new international strategy. Lands’ End wanted to “allow consumers to shop in local currency, which is something we didn’t have available worldwide,” Atwell said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “And then the ability for those customers to see duties and taxes in the checkout process so there was no surprises. That is a much better shopping experience — shoppers from Russia can see what charges are going to be involved in the transaction.”
Through a partnership with Borderfree, Lands’ End has created a more efficient online shopping experience for international customers. Now, U.S. prices on the e-Commerce site can be converted to 60 currencies, with all duties and taxes included before checkout. Consumers have access to a geo-targeted version of the e-Commerce site based on their IP address. Users also have the option to manually choose the currency they would like the site to calculate.
“We’ve had a large international business for quite some time,” Atwell said. “But the opportunity we saw here is all of our customers worldwide have found us organically, which means they heard about us from friends or family. Then we stepped back and asked: Instead of being an organic business, what if we were more intentional with our international strategy?”
To ensure the move to global e-Commerce was successful, Lands’ end focused on three key pillars: figure out where customers are buying from; determine the key elements of the customer experience that could be improved; and then introduce the brand to new markets.
“We wanted to listen to the customer and provide the best possible experience,” Atwell explained. “We found it was really important to allow customers to buy in local currency, see all prices in that currency and not have to make them do the math before they decide they want to complete a transaction.”
Borderfree has helped Lands’ End provide customers with “more visibility and more options,” Atwell added. The retailer has “taken the guesswork out of the shopping experience for consumers,” even in light of international shipping restrictions and duties. Although “customers don’t blame retailers for that, they want a solution that is transparent and easy to understand.”
At the same time, Lands’ End is moving forward with a global advertising push. The retailer has partnered with an ad agency to effectively use multiple forms of digital and traditional media across markets.
As the e-Commerce business grows, Lands’ End will continue to consult Borderfree to garner insights on the current international market, as well as new business opportunities.
“We’re off to a good start and we look forward to continuing the relationship [with Borderfree],” Atwell said. “We consider them a thought leader in the space, and what comes with that is best practices that help us craft a better strategy.”
Atwell’s goals for Lands’ End include tripling or quadrupling business by ”improving the customer experience and then introducing ourselves to various markets.”
Top markets in Canada, Australia and Russia, will be priority, then the company will go after “the who’s who of the globe,” Atwell noted. “We need to figure out where the brand will resonate and how to pay attention to those customers.”