Next Wednesday,  18th September, sees Blueleaf launch their first DigiBix event. DigiBix is an ongoing series of breakfast events developed exclusively for ecommerce professionals. It’s an environment for like-minded professionals to come together to discuss, learn and share stories. September’s DigiBix is about international eCommerce and attendees will hear from brands including BBC and Graham & Brown. Speakers will share their war stories, bringing tried and tested experience to the stage.  

To get the conversation started ahead of Wednesday’s launch, we caught up with one of our speakers - Robert Belgrave, Director at hosting specialists Wirehive - about his views on the international eCommerce market. 

Robert, over to you…

1. What experience do you have working with International Ecommerce brands?

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing brands over the course of my career in hosting. Some brands such as Wedgewood, Avis and BySymphony were already well established international players; others such as Henri Lloyd and Action Cameras were established British brands that I helped with their international expansion through the deployment of either global or multi-region ecommerce sites.

2. Is it fair to say that many brands try and fail to crack overseas markets?

The immediate answer here is yes, due to obvious challenges of brands trying to push beyond their territories into the relative unknown. A lot of people will often site the example of Tesco here, however it’s worth remembering that it was only America they had to pull out of – they still maintain a presence in Europe and Asia. It is definitely a challenge that shouldn’t be underestimated but there are plenty of English brands I have worked with who have done it successfully.

3. What's the biggest challenge facing native brands wanting to increase their online territory?

It’s hard to pick a single biggest challenge but three big challenges will be cultural difference, effective localisation of products and services and dealing with multi-currencies and multi-taxes.

4. Without giving too much of your talk at DigiBix away, how can technology help overcome these challenges?

We all know technology has helped break down the barriers of geographic territories and made the world a more connected place. The spread of the internet, smart devices and global payment platforms means that businesses can now explore international trading with a lower up-front investment. However, as I will discuss at Digibix, relying on technology alone will not guarantee success.