The #1 Way to Prepare for International Ecommerce Expansion

Rachel Olsen

April 7, 2023

The #1 Way to Prepare for International Expansion

At Pattern, we frequently hear from brands interested in international ecommerce expansion. It’s no wonder—there’s a huge opportunity waiting for brands in marketplaces around the world. Worldwide, ecommerce sales are projected to reach $4.11T in 2023. And, because of an expected annual growth rate of 11.51%, the projected market volume should reach about $6.35T by 2027.

The global ecommerce landscape isn’t getting any less crowded or easier to break into, and brands are feeling the pressure and excitement to perform on the world’s stage.

As an ecommerce accelerator, we’re excited to help brands reach the growth and markets they’re striving for. And, we know what it takes to experience sustainable growth internationally. As a true brand partner, our success is dependent on yours—we’re invested in your profitability. So, we make it a point to communicate this to brands: if you want to really accomplish international ecommerce expansion, you need an optimised presence domestically first.

Establish a Strong Presence on Domestic Marketplaces

Most brands don’t already have a strong omni-channel ecommerce presence locally. In our experience, many ecommerce teams lack the right resources to maintain control of their brand on local marketplaces and then replicate their presence to other in-region platforms. Here’s why those two things are crucial before you can expand internationally:

1. Great Brand Control Creates a Ripple Effect

If you feel like your team is playing “Whack-a-Mole” trying to avoid pricing drops, eliminate gray market and unauthorised sellers, manage issues with fake or fraudulent products, deal with negative customer experiences and reviews, and/or solve any other brand control issues, you might not be ready for international growth.

All of these problems build on top of each other to take your products down the Profitability Death Spiral. And if there’s one thing you need to successfully expand internationally, it’s a profitable foundation. Going global is costly, especially up front. If your sales are dying in domestic markets, you won’t be able to dedicate resources to  global expansion as well.

2. Syndicating Your Brand Strengthens Brand Affinity

Once your brand is under control on your top ecommerce channels, you should set your sights on domestic marketplace syndication. This goes hand-in-hand with brand control—the fewer platforms your brand has control on, the greater your risk of price erosion and brand misrepresentation online. 

The average consumer has no idea what unauthorised sellers are—when they see your name, they expect to have an experience they associate with your brand. If they don’t, you’ll lose loyal customers who tell their friends and leave bad reviews. 

Ultimately, syndication avoids those issues and leads to better long-term profitability, which your brand will likely need while ramping overseas.

Build a Foundation for International Growth with Pattern

Though growing globally takes a bit more prep work than many leaders bargain for, it’s a foundational strategy for brands that want to reach international consumers. And, with a strong domestic presence and the right partner to help you along the way, it’s very doable for many brands.

Pattern’s partner-obsessed approach to ecommerce acceleration helps us to prioritise what’s best for our brand partners’ long-term profitability, both domestically and internationally. Our expert teams know the ins and outs of ecommerce marketplaces around the world, and we love talking about strategy with brands looking to grow.

Learn how Pattern can help you achieve international success. Contact us here.

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