Table 3.1 below outlines a list of criteria for determining whether your strategy should be the “same or different” in respect to the domestic e-commerce business.
Table 3.1: Domestic Strategy Differentiation Matrix
Direct Channel Presence
Canadian Market Analyses
Suggests either a customized strategy or leveraging the domestic strategy…
Relative to other options for the capital required, including domestic improvements.
The higher the potential of the Canadian opportunity, the better the justification of a customized strategy.
How well is your brand known and understood in the market?
High brand equity suggests greater potential, likely through a customized approach.
Are the best potential cus- tomers similar in their pro- file and online shopping needs, relative to your do- mestic customer?
The greater the similarity with your domestic customers, the greater the leverage of domestic e-commerce assets.
Who are the market share leaders among your target customers? Is there “white space” in the market?
Confidence to excel versus the main competition in the “white space” suggests a customized strategy.
Key business partners
Depending on the extent of outsourcing, how expe- rienced are your business partners in growing an E-commerce business?
A proven track record, espe- cially within the Canadian market, suggests a cus- tomized strategy.
Internal capabilities and resources
Can you resource the new market entry to build a foundation for growth and gain market share as a pri- ority? Or are you required to do “more with less”?
“Growth” resources suggest a customized strategy; limited resources such as leveraging your domestic strategy.
Risk tolerance and investment time horizon
Are there short-term pres- sures to show profitable results?
A short investment horizon suggests staying close to the proven domestic strategy.
Your brand equity within the market may be the most pivotal to determine. Ultimately, the path to a highly profitable international expansion can be tied to the brand founda- tion you have to build upon. Traditional market research and customer service inquiries that indicate pent-up demand are common sources that reveal brand equity.
Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers
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