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Borderless Shopping in the 21st Century

In the early 20th Century most people bought from locally owned stores or major retail chains. Downtowns thrived and local economies reaped the benefit of locally owned and operated businesses. After WWII a growing and more affluent middle class demanded more variety and bigger chains became common place on Main Street. In the latter part of the 20th Century malls replaced downtown and most mom and pop stores closed their doors. Today the transition to big box stores and online shopping are changing the average family’s shopping experience. Online shopping is now common place and e-commerce is big business.

Adapting to 21st Century Shopping Habits

The retailers that have survived and thrived in this new century have recognized the importance of an online presence. Large retail chains such as Macy’s, Sears, J C Penney, and others have added online shopping options to their physical stores. Today’s savvy shopper not only uses the internet to purchase items, but also uses it to do research before hopping into their car and making a purchase. Consumers today want convenience and they want the most they can get for their dollar. Many businesses are offering deals for customers that shop online and then go into the store to pick up their item. This is especially true for big-ticket items.

International Online Shopping Growing 이미테이션

Emerging economies in Europe and Asia have changed the online shopping landscape in recent years. Affluent consumers around the world want Western made brands to be readily available and affordable. The growing economy of India has also opened up a new demographic for stores to tap into. This is good news for retailers, but it does present some real challenges.

Meeting the Challenges of Borderless Shopping

Legal and fiscal regulations in each country, security threats, and delivery issues are all concerns of any business looking to tap into borderless shopping. For example in Russia a real concern for online shoppers is the security of their financial information. In remote parts of some countries purchases are lost before they arrive to the consumer without a way to track their packages. All of these concerns make borderless shopping a unique challenge, but it also makes it a chance to create unique solutions.

One way to meet these challenges is to partner with third-party in the target country. This third-party entity is locally based and versed on the various issues for their consumers. Macy’s has done this by partnering with the e-commerce services provider FiftyOne to meet the challenges of international shopping. FiftyOne handles such issues as currency exchange, tariffs and taxes, and order fulfillment for Macy’s in 94 countries.

Another way Macy’s is meeting the borderless shopping challenge in China is to acquire a $15 million stake in VIPStore Co. which is the parent company of Omei.com. Omei.com markets luxury items to the growing affluent Chinese population. Macy’s sells their products directly through their partner’s website and Omei.com handles fulfillment locally. Other major retailers such as Neiman Marcus in the US and Missoni, a high fashion Italian brand, have also followed this business plan with great success.

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