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Essential Skills to Maximise eCommerce Sales Growth

17 October 2019 · Tony Preedy

Once you have mastered growth in your domestic market it is time to look overseas where billions of customers in multiple countries need or want products just like yours.

Often retailers take a long time to capitalise on this opportunity because they don’t follow the quickest route to launch and grow overseas.

This is where you need Fruugo. Fruugo takes care of all the complicated stuff so you can build your international business in over 40 countries leveraging the skills your team already have. The only difference is the label that goes on the box when you ship the goods.

The cross-border sales growth opportunity is now. The faster you can make your products available overseas, the sooner you can take advantage of those unserved customers.

Saving your team from having to learn a whole new skill set is a great way to speed up the project going live and being successful. In this article we’ll cover how your team’s existing skills can be used with the Fruugo platform to quickly get your overseas sales growing.

Logic and Ordering Skills

If you’re selling via marketplaces as well as your own site in your home country your team are used to selling the same product in multiple places. They have all the skills necessary to ensure stock information and pricing is accurate in order to maximise sales and margin and minimise customer issues. Adding Fruugo to the mix means adding just one more marketplace.

A Data Management Company will help you streamline the process of getting your product information to each marketplace, and control stock and pricing across them. These software systems take one feed of information from your inhouse systems and then process the information to get it into the right format for each marketplace you’re sending it to, which can save you a lot of time and money. Many also have reporting and management tools to help you maximise your performance.

If you’re already selling on marketplaces your team are almost certainly familiar with GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers), getting hold of them, and using them to manage the products successfully. GTINs are at the heart of successfully managing your products across multiple countries and marketplaces.

Whilst SKUs are customised to fit each retailer’s needs, each individual product only ever has one GTIN that’s used by everyone around the world. That makes GTINs a great way for marketplaces to match the same product sold by different merchants together, this improves the customer experience and makes it easier for marketplace and merchant alike to manage their listings and products.

Merchandising and Commercial Skills

Selling overseas gives your buying and merchandising teams more space to stretch their wings. With Fruugo your team have the sales opportunity and access they need to trade your products across the world, allowing you to maximise sales and margin growth. The cultural and seasonal differences from country to country also provide a lot of sales opportunities for different products in different places at different times.

There’s plenty of scope to actively trade your products, working out the best way to compete effectively and experimenting with pricing outside your domestic market. Whether to cut prices to increase volume whilst reducing contribution per order, or raise prices to maximise margin.

Creative Skills

It’s often the marketing and creative teams that feel the most workload pressure when a company expands overseas, but with Fruugo all that uplift in work is handled for you, so your team won’t become overstretched.

All the translating of product information is handled for you, and you use the same product imagery globally – so nothing extra for the copywriters or graphic design team to do. Plus, you’ll be capitalising on all the great work they’ve already done to make sure it’s your product the customer chooses to buy.

To encourage customers to chose your products (everywhere, not just on Fruugo) make sure you’ve included all the information the customer needs to know, key words and key phrases they might use to search for the product, and copy that helps the customer understand why they need it. The whole thing also needs to be easy for the customer to quickly scan – so don’t be afraid of bullet points. It’s a careful balancing act!

All the marketing is done for you as well, Fruugo promote your products across Google and other channels in each country. There’s nothing your marketing team need to do – other that watch the sales and if a particular country is growing well, work out how you might want to launch a whole operation there in the future.

Technical Skills

Using Fruugo to trade internationally means only have to integrate with one system to get access to the world. The integrations are straightforward and once set up work seamlessly.

Once integrated on the backend it’s just like managing any other marketplace. You need to have a good syncing process to keep your product information, and inventory data correct. (you don’t want to sell product you don’t actually have because the stock feed is out of date or miss out on a sale because the discount hasn’t yet been uploaded).

Then you’re bringing orders down into your order processing system from which you can then pick, pack and despatch just like you would with any other order. You’re just perhaps using a different courier or postage method to get them to their overseas destination.

If your team haven’t yet discovered the benefits of using a Data Management Company to centralise the product feed creation and management for each marketplace, then you should encourage them to explore the options. Using a Data Management Company usually makes managing your marketplace listings a lot easier and more streamlined, saving your team time they can spend trading and growing your sales instead. We’re happy to recommend good options if you’d like some recommendations.

Operational Skills

Selling overseas via any method requires finding the logistics partners you need to get the parcels to the end customer and manage any returns. It may be your existing relationships can be expanded to include overseas delivery, so you may need to find new partners.

Setting the delivery charge the customer pays in each country is important to maximise sales and profits. Your products will be competing with products sold by retailers from all over the world, some of whom may have much lower costs to get a parcel to the customers country – it can be well worth reducing your delivery prices in order to increase sales.

Delivery prices might be the biggest conversion killer in e-commerce, but concerns about returns matter too. International returns work in a very similar way to domestic returns, but because they take longer you need to make sure that your team are ready to process them quickly to maintain customer service levels.

You handle your own customer service on the Fruugo platform, where to make it as easy as possible for you all customer enquiries are translated en route, so your own team don’t need to learn any new languages.

Book Keeping Skills

Selling overseas with Fruugo means you only have one currency to worry about – your own, as that’s the only currency you’ll be dealing with.

Dealing with VAT can be complex as you sell into, or throughout Europe. The regulations are currently evolving putting more STUFF on the retailer and potentially increasing the reporting complexity a lot. The good news for Fruugo merchants is that Fruugo make sure the right VAT is collected everywhere and provides all the data your accounts team needs to easily keep on top of their VAT reporting requirements.

Because all this makes an impact on your costs your buyers and merchandising teams need to understand this when they set prices and offers on the products.

Organisational Skills

Having just one marketplace to integrate with, and only one currency to worry about, and no translation work to do makes the project to launch and trade overseas a much more straight-forward one that launching websites in over 40 different countries (or even 1) would be.

Once your Fruugo account is set up it’s time to map the products onto the Fruugo Product Categories (similar to mapping onto the Google Product Types for a Google Shopping Feed). Then set your shipping prices, this is done with different rules and pricing per country so you can offer the right shipping options at the right prices for each country. Finally synchronise the data between your systems and Fruugo – sending in your products, stock and pricing data, and taking out your orders.

The simplicity of the Fruugo platform really reduces the toll on your project management team, whilst opening your business up to global sales. After the short-term focused effort to get everything set up you’ll see sales rolling in month after month and year after year without having to manage a single site rebuild, or run a single marketing campaign.

Entrepreneurial Skills

In a modern retail business, it’s the role of leader to understand the opportunities and threats that exist both within and outside the business. Finding the best way to capitalise on the opportunities and minimise the threats.

That involves constantly adapting plans based on the latest data. Choosing Fruugo as the first step to capitalise on the cross-border sales opportunity means you’ll be minimising the impact on your team whilst maximising the potential for sales and acquiring data to help future cross-border decision making.

Capitalise on your existing team’s skills

Fruugo exists to make it as easy as possible for you to reap the rewards of cross-border selling with minimal hassle, and as quickly as possible.

We operate marketplaces in over 40 countries around the world. Provide us with your product feed in your own language and currency and we’ll adapt it to have you selling globally in days.

You can then manage all those countries from one central portal and have all your sales and tax data provided back to you in your own currency.

You get to sell in over 40 additional countries with no more hassle than selling on a marketplace in your domestic market.

The 3 biggest benefits our merchants find when choosing to begin their cross-border journey with Fruugo are:

  1. Speed — rather than months of planning to launch overseas the products are selling within weeks
  2. Reach — an in-house project can cope with launching in one or two countries or languages or currencies – but with Fruugo it can be over 40 extra countries as soon as you’re live
  3. Done for you — because so much of the heavy lifting is done by Fruugo the toll it takes on the merchant’s teams and manpower is much lower. Meaning fewer FTE are required to set up and run cross-border selling, and that there is much less impact on existing domestic sales because focus doesn’t get lost.

Don’t hesitate, act!

Take the first step on your overseas sales journey and contact our team to find out how quickly you could be up and running on Fruugo and enjoying significant international sales growth.

A million thank-yous

17 October 2019 · Tony Preedy

Fruugo was created to connect shoppers and retailers across the globe. Whatever language you spoke or currency you used, as a shopper you would be able to buy from retailers all over the world, as if they were just down the road. And retailers would no longer have to think their market to be restricted to just the customers in their own country, everyone could reach a global audience.

That compelling idea is easier to imagine than to execute. Delivering that vision has required unique technology that has taken over a decade to build, with complex processes converting each retailers' products into vast combinations of languages and currencies. Thankfully, it works really well, and having proved and honed our craft, Fruugo is now growing at pace and picking up real momentum.

By creating millions of orders for thousands of retailers, Fruugo is getting noticed. Last month researchers at 'Cross Border Commerce Europe' published a study of the Top 20 best e-commerce marketplaces operating across national boundaries in Europe. Fruugo was ranked second, just behind Zalando and ahead of ASOS and Farfetch.

Then this month Fruugo was recognised by The Sunday Times "Tech Track 100" as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK, ranking 24th overall and 2nd for companies based outside of London and the South East of England. We were delighted to be alongside such illustrious company!

It's nice to recognised by experts in e-commerce, but what is most pleasing is the feedback we get every day from Fruugo shoppers all over the world. Fruugo is rated "Good" or "Excellent" in all of the 20 countries in which we collect feedback via 'Trustpilot', the leading reviews platform. Satisfying customers is essential for the health of any business and our top priority at Fruugo. We are not complacent and will work hard every day to improve the service our customers receive.

Credit for this performance really belongs to our retail partners. Without excellent products for our customers to buy, shipped internationally reliably and quickly, we wouldn't be in business. We know that retail is a tough business and continue to work tirelessly to help retailers grow their business by reaching new customers all over the world with our risk-free business model. We only succeed when our retailers succeed, so our goals are aligned, and we enjoy working with the resourceful and dedicated leaders of retailers large and small that use Fruugo as an affordable and effective source of business.

So, "thank-you" to the thousands of Fruugo retailers all over the world who work so hard to get their products to our customers. And "thank-you" to the millions of customers that have trusted Fruugo as the marketplace from which to shop across borders. We are looking forward to serving millions more.

Dominic Allonby
Co-founder & CEO, Fruugo