Acting locally still applies

Jul 02, 2013

To coincide with the launch of our US service wnDirect attended the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE). The mammoth event was held in Chicago and took place between the 4th and 7th June. Over 9500 delegates came together to hear over 200 speakers billed as 'trailblazers' speak about eCommerce and what the future holds for the industry. The four days were incredibly busy for wnDirect. We had a huge amount of interest on our stand and were able to engage with a number of potential customers as well as industry peers. It was a highly stimulating event, which left us feeling excited about the future and the industry we represent.

The overall theme for 2013 was how eCommerce is effectively breaking down barriers and creating a global eCommerce economy. As a company which has delivered over 7.8 million parcels for UK retailers since launch we certainly have first-hand knowledge of this. However, our experience has also taught us that whilst retailers may have the world at their store fronts it is vital that we don't lose sight of the fact that we are still individuals. For those of you that are now wondering whether you have accidentally stumbled into a self-growth manual...stick with it.

What we mean is that from an eCommerce perspective the one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Whilst consumers may desire products from 'faraway places' they still wish to be handled in a way that is familiar to them.

Each country has its own import and export laws. We appreciate you may not consider this statement as a Eureka moment and it might, in fact, sound obvious but many have had their fingers burnt because they haven't fully taken into account the complexities of cross-border transactions. For example, many countries have legal restrictions on a number of items which UK shippers might struggle to understand. It is, for example, illegal to import canes and umbrellas into Brazil, wooden utensils to Peru, games involving brown sugar into Iran and ready-made clothes into Argentina. Rules not many of us are likely to be familiar with! So it isn't just a case of knowing that individual countries have different rules...the reality is you have to understand them in detail and be prepared for them to change!

The reality is 'global' doesn't represent one market. We tend to think of the internet as a virtual space which, to a certain extent, blurs geographical boundaries. In some respects it does, although the movement of tangible products still requires country laws to be abided by. Therefore, each and every country's retailers that choose to ship have to be managed on an individual basis. Very few retailers have the in-house expertise or resource to be able to manage this. And, unfortunately, there has been a distinct lack of logistics partner who can help navigate the complex process and provide a service, which goes far beyond just delivery. To date international delivery has been provided by a combination of postal services, international express carriers and local delivery solutions. It was the understanding of this which inspired the development of wnDirect. With wnDirect you really can 'Order Globally and have it Delivered Locally'.

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