How E-Commerce Integration Has Transformed Online Retail
The rise of new, tech-driven e-commerce platforms has led to a new era of online retail. We’re now in the omnichannel age of total e-commerce integration.
Never before have customers been offered so much choice and convenience.
Unprecedented growth means transformation is happening faster
Post-pandemic consumer behaviour is vastly accelerating online transactions and cross-border e-commerce. In South East Asia alone, an estimated 70 million more people started shopping online since the pandemic began, with the region’s 350 million online shoppers expected to grow to 380 million by 2026 (Bain and Company, 2021).
Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that focuses on providing a seamless customer experience - whether the client is shopping online from a mobile, a laptop, or in a brick-and-mortar store. The rise of omnichannel has been fueled by API-led connectivity, which allows third-parties to plug into each other’s platforms.
Time to shift – and integrate
Legacy e-commerce stores are quickly realizing that website upgrades and product reorganization isn’t enough.
To ensure that each customer touchpoint is enhanced, integration is on most e-tailers’ list of priorities. Merchants need to provide a premium delivery experience as part of end-to-end e-commerce. However, opportunities to win customers also come with the rising complexity of running a business and managing sales and fulfilments online.
The more platforms, marketplaces and payment systems being built, the more processes and complications for e-commerce merchants – the players who are actually driving cross-border commerce. With this context, forging the right alliances will drive SMEs forward in this fast-paced and complex world. It’s will accelerate business growth, from integrated marketplaces like eBay, Lazada and TaoBao to payment gateways like Airwallex, Payoneer and Ping Pong.
Innovation in this space doesn’t stop with small businesses
It’s been a real coming-of-age moment for digital channels of commerce and e-merchants alike. SMEs and e-tailers are on a continuous digital journey to make sure their business is primed for the new e-commerce landscape. And so are we.
At FedEx, we’re also at the center of exciting e-commerce transformation. We’re driving huge regional e-commerce growth with our global connections - supporting businesses of all sizes to build and expand.
In the past two years, we’ve embarked on integrations with e-commerce tech platforms across Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (AMEA) seeking out compatibilities and forging alliances. Our growing list of alliances range from software providers to e-commerce platforms, including Allroot, Easyship and Ship&Co.
Our aim is a win-win e-commerce experience
Local language e-commerce platforms are vital in enabling traditional small businesses to market their products to global customers. This is why we’re working to provide our customers with local solutions that work for their business.
Ruiyun, Mabang and ECPP are our recognized solutions providers in China – enabling quick and easy integration to popular local platforms for customers.
At the start of 2022, we also joined forces with leading platform BigCommerce to empower SMEs across the region to tap e-commerce opportunities. With 58,000 online stores in 147 countries, BigCommerce is a platform for launching and scaling any e-commerce operation – including store design, catalog management, hosting, checkout, order management, and reporting – plus third-party services like payments and shipping.
Benefits to small businesses – from enablement to ease of operations
At the heart of such partnerships are very clear benefits, including:
- Highly competitive discount rates for merchants
- Simple, streamlined access to our shipping services
- Enhanced shipping opportunities which come from being able to leverage a vast portfolio of e-commerce solutions, including FedEx Electronic Trade Documents
A brave new world of integration
Albert Einstein once said: “You can’t use an old map to explore a new world”.
The latest McKinsey B2B Pulse survey shows customers want many more channels, more convenience and a more personalized experience. If they don’t get it, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Customers in India now use an average of 11 channels when moving through their purchasing journey. Demands for integration and multi-vendor collaboration will only increase.
By integrating e-commerce ecosystems, all players are helping to power business growth like never before. And most importantly, powering economies where everyone wins. The power of working together offers not just exponential growth, but seamless delivery and ease of doing business.
For more support and advice, visit our e-commerce page to get your cross-border business moving.
A version of this article first appeared in Tech Wire Asia on 12 July, 2022.
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