Going Global Really Means Going Local

A few years ago, going global meant translating your product descriptions and accepting international currency. Doing business in local markets around the world brings unique challenges to domestically based businesses from identity verification and order fulfillment to managing payment platforms and complying with local laws.

Without face to face interaction, identity verification is a key challenge to going global. Knowing who is purchasing your product or service plays a key role in the fulfillment process. While this is a simple equation in the US, in countries such as Indonesia this is far more difficult. Single names or mononyms are common in Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia. A variety of address systems are also used around the world. In short, international address hygiene is far more complex than many domestic vendors anticipate.

Accepting payment is also significantly more complicated when going international. Some retailers have sought efficiencies from platforms like PayPal. However, this solution isn’t so simple. Different payment platforms have different restrictions. Some, such as Google Wallet, limit the type of transactions that can take place on the platform. Others have restrictions on the value of transactions. None have a true global footprint.

Currency conversion can be a headache. Differences in exchange rates mean that big money can be lost or gained, but more importantly that transactions in foreign currency require special attention. Credit card transactions, particularly Card Not Present (CNP) transactions, can be risky in certain markets where identity theft is common. Online retailers that sell internationally face 5 times as many attempted fraudulent transactions as their peers. Identity verification is critical to preventing fraud which on average costs retailers $2.70 per $1 in fraud.

Today, going global means going local. Crossborder commerce requires a network of local knowledge in each new market. Fortunately, emerging companies like Global Data Consortium are able to offer an aggregated network of local data providers to make going global as simple as crossing the street.