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Cisco report details best practices in global e-commerce


New York City -- With global e-commerce estimated to reach nearly $1.4 trillion in 2015, more and more retailers are looking to gear up or expand their online operations. A new report by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) sizes up the challenges and opportunities -- and outlines best practices -- for retailers who want to take advantage of e-commerce growth by going global.

The report, “The Global E-Commerce Gold Rush: How Retailers Can Find Riches Overseas,” is based on in-depth interviews with leading e-commerce executives at many of the top global retailers and suppliers.

“The No. 1 mistake retailers make in their globel e-commerce operations is not doing sufficient homework into local customer needs and expectations before opening their website,” Joanne Bethlahmy, director, retail and consumer goods practice, Cisco IBSG, and co-author of the report, told Chain Store Age.

Every country, for example, has very different cultural sensitivities around payment options based on their history as a country, and to unlock potential revenue in a particular country you have to allow for local payment norms, according to Bethlahmy.

“The No. 1 way to pay online in Germany is via online bank transfer,” she said, “while in Japan, Taiwan and Mexico, a lot of e-commerce is paid via COD.”

The best practices detailed in the report include:

  • Picking the best markets for success;

  • Determining the right mix of operations to have at headquarters versus locally;

  • Choosing the right buyers to meet local tastes;

  • Using local marketing resources to ensure customer relevancy;

  • Developing a core global platform that can be modified by country management to appear local;

  • Selecting the best method for fulfillment and delivery; and

  • Building an IT architecture for scalability and worldwide e-commerce.

To read the report go to

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