ChannelEngine: Our Plans for Global Marketplaces

Power Retail By Power Retail | 12 Oct 2021

The rapid growth of e-commerce is a global phenomenon. ChannelEngine recognises that the best value for online sellers is an integration partner that can enable e-commerce on a global scale.

By establishing field offices in all the important and emerging markets, ChannelEngine is building a robust, broader network of international partners with local knowledge in every major market.

When looking at markets worldwide, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region stood out as a prime candidate for expansion. Online sales in the APAC region are predicted to double by 2025, reaching USD 2,000 billion in revenues. However, not all parts of this region are comparable to each other.

The Australian segment of this market has some major differences compared to other parts of the APAC region, so we have opened a dedicated Australian office. 

Australia is much more comparable to markets in the USA, Canada, and the UK. The lack of a language barrier makes Australia more attractive for sellers in other English-speaking countries as a target market, but this works the other way around, too.

There is even greater potential for increased sales for Australian retailers by targeting overseas markets such as North America and the UK – if you can overcome the initial barriers of figuring out the logistics and marketplace strategy.

As we will see, these ‘barriers’ become a tiny detail when you have an ecosystem of dedicated global partners to help you through. 

Why the Australian market is a priority for ChannelEngine

The Australian e-commerce market was valued at USD 27.3 billion in 2020, which is predicted to reach USD 35 billion in 2025. A significant factor in the phenomenal growth of the Australian e-commerce market is the continuing proliferation of online marketplaces. This includes some based in the neighbouring country of New Zealand.

Figure 1. Australia: retail e-commerce revenue forecast from 2017 to 2025

The growing constellation of Australian marketplaces and similar platforms already includes:

The Australian marketplace scene is continuing to grow and develop. It’s becoming much easier to make connections to overseas markets, and online shopping is becoming the norm for Australians.

Australia is one of the most promising e-commerce regions in the world. 

Global e-commerce flourished during the COVID pandemic; in 2020, 82 percent of Australian households shopped online. This shift is likely to stay. According to Tim Davies, Retail Strategist at Zellis: “…e-commerce is not going away, it’s here to stay, and it’s here to grow. So selling online is definitely the best business to be in.”

However, there is still room for growth. One report uncovered that 43 percent of domestic retailers already use marketplaces to reach new customer segments within Australia. However, when looking overseas, only 21 percent of Australian retailers currently use marketplaces to reach international customers.

If we look at the USA as a preview of what the Australian market will become, we see that the current figure is only about half of what it could be. This demonstrates a massive untapped potential for Australian retailers to reach overseas customers. 

How we can help Australian brands to expand on international marketplaces.

Australia is sufficiently large that it’s easy for retailers to be content with their domestic sales. This is a huge mistake. Although the domestic e-commerce market is thriving, sellers need to recognise that the potential outside Australia is truly mouth-watering.

According to research from Auspost, 99.9 percent of global e-commerce spend sits outside Australia. This means that if you’re only selling on domestic marketplaces, then you’re missing out on 99.9 percent of the action.

If we look again at that one tiny country – the Netherlands – we can start to get an idea of the scale of the possibilities. The population of the Netherlands is 17 million, around 68 percent of the population of Australia. If you could sell to just that one small country, it would be like having access to an additional two-thirds of the Australian market.

By shipping directly to customers from a partner 3PL warehouse, your products can reach your Dutch customers in just one to two days. By using one or two centralised 3PL hubs, you can distribute across the entire European market in the same time frame. 

That’s access to a market of 446 million people – 17 times the Australian population.

To reach the full potential of overseas sales, Auspost sees the use of a partner network like this as essential to being attractive to a global customer base:

“Working with a distributor, consolidator or e-commerce marketplace lets you access existing markets and tap into proven expertise and established logistics networks….Having a distributor located closer to your customers can help make pricing and delivery timelines more competitive”.

Our growing partnership ecosystem

Since expanding into the Australian market, ChannelEngine has built a strong network of experienced solutions providers. These trusted partners can ‘connect the dots’ for international sellers with their sights set on the Australian market.

Partners such as Zellis can provide strategic advice on Australian marketplaces, assortment, and pricing. If you need logistics solutions, this can be tackled by partners such as Kuehne + Nagel or Shippit. Our global network of partners can help with expanding on international markets too. These experienced solutions providers can help make cross-border sales and delivery much easier and more efficient. 

For Australian retailers, this partnership ecosystem is the key to unlocking global expansion.

How to grow sales by expanding on new marketplaces

If you’re looking into the possibility of increasing sales by expanding on Australian marketplaces, you may be wondering where to focus your efforts. Although it’s always better to have total coverage on all the marketplaces where your customers might shop, it’s wise to start out with a strategic approach. Zellis’ Tim Davies recommends taking it one marketplace at a time: “Just pick one, do it right, and move on to the next.” 

But where do you start?

ChannelEngine aims to offer access to all the major marketplaces and has already delivered integration solutions for the top three marketplaces in Australia: Catch, eBay, and Amazon. This is a good place to start. In the coming months, ChannelEngine is looking at providing integration solutions for other top marketplaces such as ClickCentral, MyDeal, Kogan, Bunnings, The Iconic, and TradeMe.

Once you have dipped your toes into the Australian waters, you’ll want to dive straight in. This is when an integration provider will really start to deliver value. Tim Davies sees this as the best way to expand effortlessly and recommends using ChannelEngine to syndicate your product information to all of the right marketplaces “…it’s definitely the easiest and most efficient way to go for sure.”

Tim James, Partnerships and Category Manager at Catch, agrees:

“Without the utilisation of an integration partner like ChannelEngine, sellers are going to need to be manually uploading their product data to a marketplace, as well as manually pulling the order data from marketplaces – which is ultimately going to create inefficiencies in their business and not maximising sales results.”

Of course, ChannelEngine is much more than an integration partner; it’s an entire ecosystem of partners.

For Australian sellers looking to expand their horizons, they should consider the growth potential from hooking up to ChannelEngine’s ecosystem.

The marketplace integration helps with many automated processes such as built-in tax and VAT calculations. Still, the partner network can also smooth the way for rapid expansion in new markets.

ChannelEngine now has the people on the ground (and a dedicated partner network) to assist Australian sellers in successful selling in new markets abroad. We can also unlock access to the Australian market with advice, local knowledge, and solutions for every problem for international sellers.

Does this sound like a good opportunity for your business? Request a demo and learn how to make a smooth connection to some of the most promising Australian marketplaces. Get in touch and start expanding your business globally!

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