On February 7th, hundreds gathered at the Director’s Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles for the Global Ecommerce Leadership Forum’s sixth summit to discuss challenges and opportunities on the horizon for retail brands as software continues to revolutionize the industry. Elliot CEO Sergio Villasenor joined Harvey Bierman, Crocs VP of Ecommerce & Technology, and Travis Zucker, Senior Technologist from Harman/Samsung on stage to talk about how technology should be leveraged to improve the way brands grow their international operations.

Here are our top 3 takeaways from yesterday’s sessions:

1. Standardized and consistent data improves accessibility and interoperability

When a brand or retailer expands beyond its immediate domestic market, the need for multiple ecommerce backend systems, seller centers, and third-party software typically means increased data fragmentation across the organization. Companies that can successfully standardize their data and streamline all of their technology solutions will gain better control of their key customer, product, and order data. Consistent data and integrated solutions help companies better understand how their customers interact with their brands and offer a better customer experience globally.

2. A one size approach does NOT fit all

When it comes to whether you should launch a localized website or invest in a storefront on an established local or regional marketplace, there is no “right” path to mastering cross-border commerce. Small and large retailers should enter new markets cautiously and ideally design a roadmap that slowly increases your footprint in new markets over time.

When evaluating new markets, consider a crawl –> walk –> run approach. This enables retailers to test the market iteratively, understand the potential appetite for your products, and reduce the risk of overcommitting resources to an endeavor without a clear ROI in sight. An agile approach is key to a more efficient market understanding.

3. Assumptions can lead to missed opportunities

Many marketers don’t thoroughly understand the different strategies employed by CPA, CPM, and PPC paid marketing campaigns. In fact, marketplaces employ their own proprietary advertising algorithms for each type of campaign. It is therefore critical that retail brands entering new markets understand how each marketplace’s algorithm impacts organic search traffic and overall paid marketing ROI.

In many cases, marketers assume that the algorithms mirror those used by Facebook or Google — and to a certain degree they do. In reality, the way marketplaces rank the importance of products and their data varies considerably. Some marketplaces prioritize brand name, while others prioritize pricing data. Knowing the types of data that the marketplace and its shoppers care most about is crucial when determining your marketing strategy for each marketplace.  

Missed our session at GELF? Check out our video.

Elliot - Sergio Villasenor, Harvey Bierman, GELF 2018

Co-Founder & Head of Growth, Joey Spanjers working the Elliot booth

Elliot - Sergio Villasenor, Harvey Bierman, GELF 2018

From left: Kent Allen (GELF), Travis Zucker (Harman/Samsung), Sergio Villasenor (Elliot), and Harvey Bierman (Crocs)