Cross Border ECommerce

Cross Border ECommerce Consulting

Cross border eCommerce simply refers to international trading between two entities from different countries via the eCommerce route. It is like the elevation of domestic eCommerce to the international level. For instance, currently, you may be an omnichannel retailer who sells to different states in your country but when you start serving a market in another country, such trading qualifies as cross border eCommerce. Even if you are an individual and buy/sell from/to another individual (C2C) in another country, that will also fall under the ambit of cross border eCommerce. It can be B2C, B2B, or C2C.

Cross border eCommerce lets retailers have access to new markets and expand their business. If the demand-supply equation permits in the targeted foreign market, they can also price their products with higher margins. The same is true for bulk importing in B2B for better profitability to serve the domestic market.

The UAE and especially, Dubai offers a favourable business environment for international retail trading. Firstly, it is the stupendous internet and smartphone penetration in the country. Secondly, eCommerce is already a well-established channel of trading here. Thirdly, the country has a robust logistics and distribution network facilitating eCommerce order fulfilment. Fourthly, Dubai is a logistics hub connecting the East and the West. For retailers, in the UAE and from the rest of the world who see market prospects here, it is a matter of doing the business planning and implementation right. Before we go there, let us have a look at some of the challenges in this field.

Challenges for cross border eCommerce retailers

Even if the business environment is suitable in the UAE, the challenges emerge because here the cross border eCommerce companies or enterprises would be dealing with a foreign market. This makes it difficult for many retailers to come up with effective cross border eCommerce solutions for Dubai and the UAE.

Evaluating a foreign market

Evaluating a foreign market is a challenge for retailers. But it is a critical requirement that helps businesses answer if they have a potential market, identify the target segment, determine the size of the target segment, assess the level of competition and competitive stance to be adopted, formulate pricing and other marketing strategies, etc. The biggest problem is doing market research remotely from another country.

Formulating the right channel strategy

Once you substantiate the market potential with facts and figures, the next task is to determine how to deliver the products to your customers, efficiently and effectively. Here, we are talking about channelling inventory lying in one country to another. That involves multiple transfers of hands passing through a wide logistic and distribution network. Online marketplaces are a good option for retailers who want to avoid the hassles. But for those businesses, who are thinking of building a brand name and a market position for themselves, they will have to build the bridge, either on their own or with the assistance of professional cross border eCommerce consultancy firms for Dubai and the UAE.

Not angering the landed cost

In cross border eCommerce, the inventory attracts taxes and duties, cargo/shipping charges, warehousing rentals, charges for third-party logistical services, etc. All these contribute to product costing and increase the price of the products which will be eventually passed on to your customers. Such market potential is of little or no commercial viability if it cannot be served profitably. The answers to these questions lie in business plan financial forecasting and analysis.

Ensuring online presence and visibility

With over 90% internet and smartphone penetration in Dubai and the UAE, ignoring digital marketing for cross border eCommerce would be a blunder. The same is true for retailers from this region targeting another market in another country with good internet and smartphone penetration. The upright price will be paid in the form of lost opportunities for customer acquisition. For better digital marketing for a foreign audience, it is important to identify and comprehend the popularity of various digital platforms there, volume and nature of online shopping behaviour, digital-demographic association, devices, platforms, customer service, conversion rate convenience, and internet connectivity, etc.

The need to localize

In localization, retailers need to comprehend the customer journey from the customers’ perspective also because it is not just the products they would be selling but also the experience delivered to customers throughout the customer journey across multiple touchpoints. These include the eCommerce website and its user interface, the web and digital marketing content, the payment options, customer support, last-mile delivery, etc. The challenge here is again that of understanding the needs and expectations of customers/clients of another country with accuracy and building the platform and delivering the services accordingly.

How YRC (Your Retail Coach) can help: a glimpse

With domain expertise in retail and eCommerce, YRC offers a wide range of consulting services to help retail businesses set up and manage their cross border eCommerce business. Whether your target market is within or outside the MENA region, our team of cross border eCommerce consultants for Dubai and the UAE shall work closely with your business to ensure that your eCommerce venture emerges as a robust and competitive enterprise.

We understand how important it is to assess a market in terms of potential demand, market segments, size of the target market, competition, pricing priorities, performance of different channels, etc. We cover these aspects in our market research service so that clients could gain in-depth, meaningful, and actionable insights for informed decision-making in planning and cross-border ecommerce strategy formulation for the target market.

A strong business model is a strong step in ensuring a steady flow of business revenue. Your customers will stop buying the moment you lose what makes you tick in the market. In business model development, we help clients identify and define a strong and sustainable UVP (Unique Value Proposition) for their target cross border market followed by the formulation of the strategic framework of the value chain and internal capabilities required to deliver the identified UVP from your warehouse/manufacturing centre to customers’ doorsteps.

Given the ever-growing usage of smartphones over the internet, taking into account this huge window of opportunity for digital visibility and customer acquisition is becoming a mandatory ground for pushing marketing campaigns. The two big fields here are search engines and social media. Our digital marketing experts work to ensure that clients’ brand identity and marketing campaigns reach out to the right audience on the right platforms at the right time with the right content, whether it is search engines or social media platforms.

The website/mobile application of an eCommerce enterprise is the virtual storefront for its customers. These are the two touchpoints that your customers will visit or will be redirected to for the rest of their shopping journey. With the right back-end technologies and a curated front-end user interface, your eCommerce platform needs to be exactly like what your target audience needs and expects and how you intend it to be. Our experts will help you identify the right solutions and localized specifications.


We are a boutique retail consulting firm. To know more about our cross border eCommerce consultancy services for Dubai and the UAE or if you have any query, drop us a message and we will get back to you.

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