“We know from our experience working with thousands of companies on a global basis that failing to localize store designs, languages, currencies and customer service can be substantial impediments to attracting and retaining customers through the online shopping and checkout processes,” said Ronning. “Companies everywhere are drawn to the promise of additional revenue, enhanced margins and new opportunities. What may not be so obvious—especially for companies that are expanding into new geographies for the first time—are the complexities that can waste money, cause delays and sometimes stop global initiatives dead in their tracks.”
According to the survey, the BRIC countries and Japan lead the list of geographic expansion targets for many companies in the next two years, with Russia (31 percent) topping the list, followed by Brazil (24 percent), China, (23 percent), India (22 percent) and Japan (22 percent). And while the BRIC countries and Japan lead the list of expansion targets, nearly as many respondents said they planned expansion in Germany (21 percent) and the United Kingdom (16 percent).
Companies identify their most significant global commerce challenges
Some of the lag in adopting global commerce best practices might be because—even more than 15 years into the commerce era—companies continue to view commerce as challenging.
“The survey echoed what we continue to hear from client companies of all sizes as they prepare to enter the global online marketplace,” said Ronning. “Building, managing and growing an online operation on a global basis is a costly, time intensive and complicated proposition.”
Survey respondents reported that tax and compliance issues seem to have the highest “degree of difficulty” when it comes to commerce, with 65 percent of respondents rating it as significantly challenging. More than half of the respondents also rated several other commerce areas as “significantly challenging,” with 59 percent noting customer support, followed by global payments (58 percent), marketing channels (57 percent), language (56 percent) and the localization of the online store (56 percent).