Direct-to-consumer retailers offer prices lower than traditional retailers, though these lower prices most times come with longer delivery windows - this is the Amazon model.
Current cross-border retailers often have delivery times of up to 45 days, with a lack of quality assurance.
In the ongoing digital transformation of the retail space, shoppers prefer 2-3 day delivery service over any other shipping speed, making major players such as Amazon highly successful as they tout two-day shipping.
While prices may be higher than cross-border sellers, consumers value the flexibility of fast logistics.
"Fast logistics are crucial for businesses in today’s competitive retail and ecommerce space. Consumers value expedited delivery and quality products, leaving cross-border retailers a competitive edge if able to leverage the two"
Modern ecommerce players are working to revolutionise the cross-border model by capitalising on a quality guarantee and the ability to deliver goods swiftly with a factory-to-consumer model that eliminates unnecessary touchpoints in the supply chain and ultimately reduces costs of products for the consumer.
With the right use of cross-border logistics, ecommerce is set to be the future of retail, as long as these businesses can provide a positive user experience and a cost efficient operating model - however the current reality is far from perfect for D2C;
According to Nosto, 64% of ecommerce returns happen because a product does not match the description.
With this high return rate, return deliveries were predicted to cost retailers $550 billion in 2020. Given this high cost, many ecommerce platforms are now turning towards closed marketplace models.
A closed marketplace provides retailers with control over their product selection, featuring the ability to work directly with factories and suppliers to select products sold on the platform.
This allows retailers to conduct a thorough sourcing process, ensuring that the products offered closely align with the brand’s quality values.
Key to any successful business is consistency in the brand promise combined with managing consumer expectations around the offer.
In today's digital and socially savvy world there is one key conversation element available to retail that has never really been leveraged to potential before.
Retailers had been toying with features such as video chats and livestreaming to make e-commerce more pleasant and personable even before the coronavirus forced store closures.
Today for many the online shopping experiment is pivoting from hype to a longer-term strategy. My guess is those that understand that you cannot be all things to all people along with how best to 'leverage' social media and other consumer engagement techniques such as 'live streaming' as your own personal online 'sales associate' will be the brands of the future.
Today’s cross-border retailers have become known for their poor-quality products and negative customer experiences, which lead to negative brand perceptions. These retailers mostly operate under an open marketplace model, allowing for third-party sellers to list items without regulation from the retailer. While this creates uncapped potential for a retailer’s product catalog without much legwork from the retailer, there is little to no regulation over what is being listed and the quality of the products.