According to research firm eMarketer, business-to-consumer e-commerce sales in 2014 will grow by 20.1% to $1.5 trillion dollars. A major contributor to this growth surge is consumers in the Asia Pacific region, who will collectively spend $525.2 billion dollars, $42.6 billion dollars more than North American consumers. In short, global ecommerce matters because it represents a tremendous growth opportunity for merchants, particularly those who wish to break into emerging markets.
Success in the global market
For a merchant, success in the global ecommerce market means producing an excellent product that consumers want to buy. There are two key components to this success formula.
- The first component is a digital commerce platform that is robust enough to meet the demands of International markets while remaining flexible enough to allow for customizations to meet the changing needs of all consumers.
- The second component is a solution partner whose interests are aligned with the merchant and who is able to provide custom solutions and strategic direction so the merchant can maximize the value of their commerce platform investment both short- and long-term.
What is Demandware?
Demandware is a cloud-based digital commerce solution trusted by more than 200 retail brands around the globe. Founded in 2004, it operates as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, and provides merchants a fully PCI compliant infrastructure and software suite. Demandware is the only full cloud-based solution available for ecommerce in the marketplace. For merchants, this model frees up resources, allowing a greater focus on delivering value to the customer. For solution partners, like PixelMEDIA, this model provides us with greater agility and reducing time to market for new online storefronts for our clients.
How Demandware Enables Global Ecommerce
The Demandware platform has been architected from the ground up to support global ecommerce.
An important part of global ecommerce is ensuring your target customers can understand the language of your storefront. Demandware has powerful localization features, allowing for all data – from static content to products, and even the merchant’s storefront tools (Business Manager) – to be translated for many different locales.
For merchants who don’t wish to manually translate content, there are pre-built translation service integrations such as TranslateMedia and Translations.com which seamlessly translate storefront content.
Combined with the native geolocation features of Demandware, merchants are given a great deal of power to provide personalized experiences to their customers.
Beyond content translation, merchants are able to localize how currency, dates, times, and quantities are displayed to the customer. Using geolocation, we can detect the country the customer is visiting from, and based on that, we can format currency figures and dates to the local format.
Further, a merchant can use geolocation to create dynamic customer groups (for example, one customer group per state or province) and created targeted promotions for each individual customer group.
Out of the box, Demandware can handle tax calculation on a Net or Gross basis, with additional handling of multiple tax classes – for example, a merchant may have a set of products that is exempt from taxation while keeping other products taxable.
With a Net taxation policy, Demandware can use a tax jurisdictions lookup table to calculate the correct tax amount for a jurisdiction – for example, a customer from California may have to pay a different tax rate than a customer from Connecticut.
Alternatively, if a merchant doesn’t wish to maintain tax tables on their own, there are 3rd party services already integrated with the Demandware platform such as Avalara AvaTax that provide this information.
Demandware offers a streamlined, pre-built integration with global payment provider CyberSource. Integrating with CyberSource allows a merchant to process credit cards in over 190 countries, calculate tax for over 60,000 tax jurisdictions, manage risk through sophisticated fraud detection systems, and validate delivery addresses – all from a single provider.
Alternative payment methods, such as PayPal, Skrill (Moneybookers), and Google Wallet are also available as pre-built integrations, as well as additional payment providers WorldPay, PayOne, and SafetyPay.
Recently, Demandware added built in integration with MaxMind, the leader in geolocation services. This integration is a strategic win for merchants, allowing an additional level of personalization that was previously only available through a custom integration.
LINK Solutions Marketplace
Though Demandware provides plenty of functionality out of the box, certain specialized functionality isn’t available by default. This is where Demandware’s LINK Solution Marketplace comes in. Because the Demandware platform is fully extensible, merchants can turn to the LINK Technology partners to obtain pre-built integrations to enhance their storefront. Some examples of integrations available include MyBuys and Certona for personalized product recommendations, PowerReviews for customer reviews, and 500friends for customer loyalty & rewards programs.
LINK Solution Partners like PixelMEDIA are available as an additional source of expert services, providing strategy, industry expertise, advice on business optimization, as well as development, enablement and ongoing 24/7 solution support. Carefully selected from an exclusive pool of vendors, LINK Solution Partners receive specialized training and develop close working relationships with Demandware and are committed to client satisfaction, project excellence and growth.
How PixelMEDIA enables merchant success
PixelMEDIA is a full service digital agency that provides 360 degrees of services to merchants. We offer our clients access to dedicated experience design, digital marketing, development and support teams – all just a phone call away. We have many years of experience helping clients navigate the complexities of selling through the online channel, from strategy through to execution and ongoing support. Let’s talk to see how we can help your brand succeed online.