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Developing the Forecast

A sampling of elements in the detailed audit that you may want to look into include the following:

Geographical Attributes

  • Store locator

  • Language offering

Policies

  • Currency of prices

  • Payment methods

  • Refunds

Customer Experience

  • Guided navigation

  • Personalization of accounts

  • Pick-up options

  • Total pricing listed

Cross-Channel

  • Cross-channel tools

  • Acquisition methods

Loyalty Program

  • Availability in Canada

  • Benefits

Once you’ve completed the audit for the respective retailers based on the suggested list of elements, you will be better able to gauge your offerings relative to the current competitive set. In turn, you will be able to articulate a course that would best your competitors.

Finally, another critical piece of the puzzle that you will need to complete in order to determine the long-term viability of the cross-border e-commerce initiative is the devel- opment of a forecast.

This entails forecasting the size of your online segment to ascertain what portion of the pie you can conceivably attain.

There are two areas that need to be covered by the forecast. The first will be to address the overall market and the second the particular segment.

Using high-end women’s apparel (HEWA) as an example, you will need to determine the growth of the market several years out. Subsequent to this, the portion of the online space accounting for the total market will also need to be forecast.

When developing a forecast, it is recommended that three growth scenarios are utilized (e.g., low, medium and high). Another way of referring to the scenarios would be con- servative, stretch and aggressive. Let’s presume that the HEWA segment is expected to grow at 5% per annum (Note: This figure could be validated by using the CAGR for the category OR the overall growth of the women’s apparel sector could be used as a proxy).

Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers

Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.

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