Monday, March 12, 2012

E-Retailers Expanding Overseas

The Christmas holiday season proved too much for some retailer’s websites. High demand resulted in some websites to crash. Since then, companies such as Target and Best Buy have taken corrective measures to fix these issues.  While some companies are getting the basics squared away, other companies are taking the next steps by expanding overseas capabilities.

For many companies’ websites, the ability to configure to native language, currencies, customs and to ship anywhere in the world is not common as of yet. Rather, companies will set up physical operations (i.e. offices, fulfillment facilities etc.) in countries and establish a website for that specific country.  However, some niche players provide capabilities that allows for retailers to avoid this added expense.  For example, Fiftyone Global Ecommerce provides such solutions for e-retailers such as Macy’,,, and Founded in 1999, the company established a patent technology that allowed ecommerce retailers to settle transactions in varying currencies. Since then, the company has expanded to provide fulfillment and delivery services for those e-retailers that have not established such a structure outside of the US.

In simple terms, the e-retailer will ship parcels from their US fulfillment hub to the Fiftyone US hub. From there, Fiftyone will process, aggregate and line haul dispatched to respective destination trade zone.  Shipping details are electronically submitted and the last mile delivery agent is contacted with delivery instructions. Recently, Fiftyone acquired Borderfree, a business unit of Canada Post to handle such operations for Canadian customers.

Expect this trend to increase as retailers continue to look for ways to increase revenue while keeping costs as low as possible. Logistics providers will benefit as many will chose to partner with such companies as Fiftyone or provide these services instead.