Online commerce is expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years with the US and the UK leading the charge. Other countries are also expanding eCommerce capabilities by offering opportunities in markets that have traditionally had significant barriers to entry, whether they be political, cultural, economical or all of the above. In a previous post I wrote about a company that helped eCommerce vendors expand into Latin America and that expansion is continuing into other geographies. Breaking down these borders is critical to continued eCommerce expansion and companies that have a thorough understanding of a market’s unique challenges are well positioned to serve as gateways to new opportunity.
Recently, Chicago-based BayRU has partnered with St. Petersburg-based ePaySystem to enable customers in Russia to purchase foreign goods with payment methods accepted by BayRU. BayRU’s site aggregates products from popular brands and works with the brand manufacturers to bring those products to the Russian market. BayRU currently enables online shoppers in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and other regional cities the ability to purchase goods from vendors such as Gap, Victoria Secret, Lego, Nikon and Kirby. Partnering with ePaySystem gives Russian consumers a safe and secure method to purchase international brands.
This is an early stage implementation of eCommerce expansion into new markets that would likely be followed by a more direct-to-consumer interface from the international brands once the market is more mature from an eCommerce perspective. Such an approach would likely still involve partners that understand the intricacies of such international markets but would take steps away from an aggregator model to further build the brand in a new market. In any event, the service being offered by BayRU and ePayService will likely continue to evolve and foster the development of new brands into the Russian market.
Expect to see other international markets continue to open to foreign products and make things easier for eCommerce vendors to expand their reach. The proliferation of service providers that effective couple technology with their direct experience in a given market will make global expansion easier with each passing year. This trend will also make technology integration more critical from an implementation and monitoring sense so that leveraging these opportunities is effective and manageable.