Online Retailers Cautious About Global Expansion

    May 27, 2008

U.S. online retailers have an interest in expanding internationally, but few currently have a global presence according to a new report from JupiterResearch, "Global Online Retail: Navigating Successful International Expansion."

The report found that low dollar values, a slowdown in the U.S. economy, and a shifting global Internet population have all contributed to online retailers considering international markets as important to their growth strategies, but many remain cautious about global expansion.

"At no time during the past few years has interest in international online commerce been higher," explained Zia Daniell Wigder, Web Globalization Analyst and lead author of the report for JupiterResearch. "US online retailers that have no global strategy risk missing out on the biggest areas of online growth during the next five years."

Regulations, geographical obstacles, along with consumer’s differing behavior and expectations in international markets are just a few of the issues that have made online retailers cautious about expanding internationally. Online retailers are also reluctant to give control to local mangers in global markets.

"Today, over 60 percent of companies with global transactional Web sites rely on a central globalization team to manage those sites," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch. "A centralized staffing structure will only work if sites are developed and optimized through regular contact with local offices."