On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Matthew Merrilees, the North America CEO of Global-e, a FinTech cross-border eCommerce enablement platform that enables brands and retailers to deliver purchase experiences to worldwide customers.
After being injected into international logistics right after college, Matthew saw brands voicing out opportunities on how logistics partners can help to drive more upstream impacts to merchant customers before having to ship the package. That’s where his interest piqued and began his journey. He began his career in DHL Express before moving on to FedEx. That’s when he saw that both powerhouses had the goal of bringing international expertise to brands.
With the knowledge and experience he has garnered from two logistic powerhouses, he went on to join Global-e. Matthew opens the doors and shares how Global-e uses a Geo-IP detection system to instantly apply pricing strategies to cater to local and international customers. He even goes in deeper and unveils the fundamental-first principle for cross-border eCommerce and how Global-e is operating a business-to-business-to-consumer transaction.
It’s an enlightening episode as you’d hear Kunle and Matthew talk more about cross-border commerce, Global-e’s pricing rounding engine, and their method of keeping their merchants safe from international fraud. They also share their views on the cash-on-delivery approach that is widely popular in Eastern European geos, Middle East, and Southeast Asia. This is truly an episode of merchants looking into cross-border eCommerce to further the reach of their brand.
Here is a summary of some of the most important points made:
On today’s interview, Kunle and Matthew discuss:
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In this episode, we’re going to be talking about Cross-Border Commerce and what you should know from a pricing and a transactional perspective. It’s a great episode you do not want to miss.
Welcome to the 2x eCommerce podcast show. The 2x eCommerce podcast is dedicated to digital commerce insights for retail and commerce teams. Each week, on this podcast, we interview a commerce expert, a founder of a digital-native consumer brand, or a representative from a best-in-class commerce SaaS product.
We give them a very tight remit to give you ideas to grow your brand and improve commerce growth metrics such as conversions, average order value, repeat customers, your audience size, and ultimately, your gross merchant value or sales. We are here to help you sell more sustainably.
This episode is an interview I had with Matthew Merrilees, who tuned in from North America. He’s the CEO of a FinTech Cross Border eCommerce platform called Global-e in North America. I quizzed him on his backstory first and then we swiftly moved into international commerce or cross-border commerce. He worked close to 9 nine years with DHL. He moved over to FedEx. He’s the CEO of Global-e, which is this FinTech global FinTech company headquartered in Tel Aviv.
The European headquarters is in London and the North American headquarters is in New York from where he dialed in. We talked about those fundamentals you need to know about cross border commerce, taking a crawl, walk, and run approach rather than saying, “We feel like we’re a global company and let’s just do it.” It’s quite interesting because he gave examples from a D2C standpoint to a more enterprise standpoint because they cover all those extremities in that case.
If you’re toying around cross-border commerce or you’re trying to get a grasp of the elements of cross-border commerce from a financial standpoint, in terms of the payment processing and localization. In my opinion, there are 3 or 4 key pillars to running out an international commerce strategy. The first is the website experience. Second, your pricing strategy. Third, how do you effectively process international orders, which is what Global-e does from a taxation standpoint, from a duty standpoint, and from a localized pricing standpoint.
The final bit is the fulfillment. Do you have a localized supply chain? Are you going to be dispatching internationally? What partners would you use? Would you be using a DHL, for instance, which is very international? Those are the things you want to think about. The final piece of international cross-border strategy is when things go wrong, what happens? What is the customer service layer to your tool? You plug everything in and deliver that experience.
This one is very specific to FinTech, the payment processing towards the awareness that this an international order and what pricing shows. They cover the pricing strategy and what the payment strategy is like, the localized payment processors, and then moving that ahead. Read this if you want to get a grasp of international or cross-border commerce. It’s a good conversation that I had with Matthew. He had a lot to share. I will leave you and I’ll catch you on the other side. Cheers
Matthew, welcome to the 2x eCommerce Podcast. It’s amazing having you on the podcast.
I’m happy to be here.
I’ve been hearing or coming across a lot of news articles, content, and updates on Global-e. I don’t even want to talk about Global-e yet. You’re the CEO of Global-e or Global Business in North America. I want to get your background, your backstory. Do you want to introduce yourself and then we’ll take it from there?
Without a doubt, I oversee the North America region here at Global-e based out of New York City HQ. Taking a bit back, when you look at the overall background and upbringing coming directly out of university, for me, it was directly injected into international logistics. I got brought up with an operational background. It’s understanding how to break down the downstream impacts of brands trying to reach an international customer from a delivery perspective. How do we get a parcel from point A to point B and what are the different complexities that fall within making that successful?
As I progressed in that career, which started over fifteen years ago in specifically that region of the business, I started to see brands voice opportunities for how we help drive more upstream impacts on the customer before we even reach the point of having to ship that package out. For me, that’s where the bell went off and drove me into this industry. There’s a much bigger impact upstream and in the eCommerce industry when a consumer hits a website that will have many more friction points than even downstream of being able to move a parcel from point A to point B.
It’s more like a domino. A customer takes an action in the front end and it sets a domino effect down to payments, logistics, fulfillment, and all of that stuff. Your initial background was DHL so it was quite operational and FedEx. Let’s speak about DHL and FedEx. DHL is a German-European company. FedEx is more American. What was the difference? What was the uniqueness of each of these companies? In the backend, what should we be aware of when engaging these companies before we get into Global-e?
When you look at the background, I began my career with DHL Express and then transitioned over to FedEx. When you look at the two and combine them, both companies are powerhouses in what they do. When I look at the majority of the initial onset of my career, which I’ll begin, DHL was a very international-focused business.
When you look at their offering from an express perspective, it was purely focused on bringing international expertise to brands. Also, helping them reach international markets that maybe they weren’t able to tap into or streamline that overall experience to make sure that it’s one and the same for the domestic shopper.
When you look at that overall approach, the international focus and upbringing that I received, right out of the gate of my education into my career, was invaluable. The ability went differently from FedEx when I jumped on board there, they helped us spearhead that overall cross-border segment of their division and operation.
It’s something that ties from a skill set perspective that all brands are looking to break down, which is, “How can I seamlessly get a parcel from point A to point B with as little friction as possible?” They all had that same goal. Those goals quickly drove into, “How can I help further upstream?” What are the next steps that we can take outside of the downstream impacts, which is a key component? If you can’t get that person from point A to point B, the experience breaks down completely and they won’t be successful. In order to get to that point, there’s a lot needed to get done.
You’ve been in Global-e for more than five years now. What attracted you to their proposition to want to transcend from, in your words, downstream and upstream?
In my view, what got me excited was the eCommerce, the software, and the technology approach of what the market was bringing. What attracted me initially to Global-e was it was one of the most dominant players at the time when I joined the European market. It’s one of the most complex markets to be able to conquer because Europe is much different than North America. Brands did not solely rely on their home market as in the US, it’s always been the focus for many merchants to conquer and dominate what is a massive opportunity.
Whereas when you look at what Global-e did, we set up shop with our first market out of the UK and then we spread our wings all throughout Europe. As you can imagine, if we did not help brands sell cross border, which is something that they heavily relied on, then we were not providing the value to be able to get to the level of detail that these brands needed.
What attracted me to the overall business was, number one, the sophistication of the technology and the abilities that we were able to bring from a European-first mindset into North America to help brands think about the 2nd and 3rd level to break down international barriers. Versus looking at an international market. As a single market, Global-e, what we do is essentially break down that international strategy market by market to make sure that experience reaches that customer the second they hit the site so the experience is optimal.
How many international markets does Global-e cover?
We’re breaking down and servicing over 200 destinations and territories worldwide. Essentially, if you were to think about wherever we can enter an international market where these brands are looking to sell a product we are there. There are some embargoed countries and such that are limited for trade that we do manage, which is also super important as the world is constantly changing from markets being able to be service versus not. From a regulatory perspective, not only the reach that we provide but the overall management of the reach we provide is key.
For the eCommerce director or founder reading thinking about growth through international or cross-border commerce, what fundamental-first principle thinking should they be aware of towards rolling something successful and glitch-free? Nothing is glitch-free, to be honest, but something successful, something without any major issues, something predictable where the issues are smaller and manageable.
Speaking to any business owner or to any business founder or an executive on the commerce side, specifically in North America, what you find often is brands have solved for domestic. We understand it needs to be two-day shipping. In most cases, we understand it needs to be free. Brands, even though the overall pandemic that we have, had exposed an overall situation where you relied on two sources of revenue. One was international eCommerce and one was domestic eCommerce. Those times opened the eyes of people to understand where we are all in that arena and how to help break down that overall barrier to trade.
My advice to brands, typically what they’re thinking is, “Where do I even begin? What markets do I need to register in? How do I need to remit things like VAT? How do I make sure compliance is at the forefront of what I do? How do I then delight the customer in every aspect of the experience internationally?” That takes a heavy lift as a business to be able to do for a market that falls after that of the US where we see a lot of focus domestically. My advice is to always start with the fundamentals.
Whenever we partner with any one of our brand partners, let’s set up your overall domestic US site and sit the Global-e platform on to break down barriers and make sure that every dollar you spend on a new customer internationally coming to your site doesn’t leave and they convert. The basics is that brands have international traffic right now.
When you look at the overall international traffic statistics, it’s one in which you often see a very strong following for these brands in the international arena where almost 30% of their online traffic is coming from international. Whereas you typically see no more than maybe 5% or 10% of those clients converting, which is where we come into play.
The initial advice I always have is to start with the foundation. Let’s start converting those customers that are finding their way to your site and are buying through an experience for international that’s not optimal. Once we master that, which is where Global-e plays a crucial role with each one of our brands, then we look at, what are the growth phases? How do I start driving an overall customer to my site now that I have an optimal offering? You get into things downstream such as translations, where it makes sense, and bigger investments that will round off that overall experience. Overall, typically that’s the life cycle and journey that we take our brands to make sure that they’re successful.
From a resource standpoint, in terms of people, for brands you’ve come across that are tip-toeing from the UK to North America or vice versa, what key members of staff would you need to effectively roll out? Would you extend the duties or responsibilities of existing staff members to rolling out an international or cross-border eCommerce strategy?
I’ll give you a landscape of some of the types of brands. When you look at some of the brands that we focus on and see a strong following, you do see many global brands within the portfolio on a global basis, not in North America, Europe, APAC, and all throughout the world helping them across borders. When you look at brands like Adidas, Disney, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, and a lot of these sophisticated global brands that have a presence everywhere down to very nimble digitally native brands such as FIGS and Yeezy Gap, Alo Yoga, Kith, Skims, and SKKN by Kim.
These are the types of brands and we see many different paths of approaches from brands that are central in the market to brands that are digital only or digital-first and continue to knock down those barriers. When I look at the overall strategy of each of the brands, it’s how can I be successful within the strategy that I’m laying out internationally and how do I make sure that we’re following a path to success to be able to convert that international shopper?
When you look at them both, they play very different strategies, whether it be from a dynamic or a fixed pricing strategy, which is one in that, “I have products in every single market that I serve on a global basis.” “I need to make sure that I adhere to and match with MSRP. I’ve got a wholesale strategy. I’ve got a store strategy. I’ve got a digital strategy.” “How do I make sure that they’re all aligned,” is a key pricing discussion that we often have with brands to help support and break down those barriers.
When I look at the audiences right now to directly answer your question, brands typically don’t have more than 3 or 4 individuals looking after the international eCommerce business, even at the largest scale, even at the smallest scale. When you look at our overall involvement with brands, as you can imagine, it touches everyone from eCommerce.
It touches everyone within digital and tech because there’s an integration that needs to happen. There’s a customer service element because customers internationally now need to be serviced. They need to be serviced in a localized way to be able to support and give the brands the tools to be able to be successful downstream all the way through operations and then settling from an overall financial perspective.
With brands, we operate a business-to-business-to-consumer transaction, which essentially means brands are selling us the goods locally in their home market so it’s a domestic transaction for them. What we’re doing is handling all of the complexities of international, from a currency, from an FX, from hedging, and from an overall conversion back into the merchant’s home currency so that they’re seeing goods in USD no differently than they would a domestic transaction. That also includes finance as I round my story up.
To me, Global-e, your FinTech company is tailored to solving cross-border commerce complexities for eCommerce businesses. However, the other things founders should be aware of like the website, for instance, should it be localized? Should it be translated? Should we have a domain name? Should we get a localized domain name or an extension to our core domain name? What about warehousing? Where do we put our goods? There’s a lot.
There are fulfillment partners, as you alluded to, like DHL or FedEx. Besides all that I’ve mentioned, are there any other nuances? There’s also customer service for international creating that awareness initially with the customer services team and then creating a special unit for international. Are there any other key things to be aware of when you roll out or are about to roll out a global or cross-border commerce strategy?
There is. When you look at it right now, historically, we’ve often seen brands initially thinking, “When going international, I need to think about positioning inventory in every single market.” “I need to think about setting up a domain in every single market.” When you start to see more of a modern approach to international, the digital-first strategy, there is more of an approach right now in the market of how do I set up a single instance of a website yet leverage the international capabilities to break down the experience of what my customer will see without having to do all that.
We’ve seen more brands time and time again be strategic in the overall rollout from a digital perspective and from an inventory perspective. Meaning the days of having to put inventory next to every single customer in every single market and run a digital storefront with a local team and every country worldwide are behind us, in my opinion.
When you look at brands, they’re thinking a lot more smarter, and a lot more efficiently than what we’ve seen in the past, which is maybe I have 2 to 3 dominant URLs. Maybe I have a single URL. Leverage top-selling inventory and position it within the market but not have to replicate the catalog which is an extremely challenging thing to do for brands because typically your home market holds the full catalog.
When you look at a market like Europe, there may be a top-selling pool of your inventory right now that you do want to place in the market because you want to leverage advantages that you can have by having the overall product closer to the customer. These strategies have far become where brands started to consolidate their digital footprint. They started to consolidate their overall regional supply chain footprint where they position inventory. They are thinking a lot smarter and a lot more efficiently than I’ve seen over many years.
It’s that simplicity in getting the fundamentals right. With your proposition at Global-e, do you want us to break down what a Global-e experience looks like for the merchants you work with? I’m looking at some of the merchants. I saw some interesting brand names on your website. You had Marc Jacobs, Etam, Sigma Sports, Hugo Boss, Skims, Vivobarefoot, and even Marks and Spencers. It’s a mix of enterprise and agile, nimble, big, and substantial D2C companies. When they use Global-e, what problems do they solve in the cross-border commerce conundrum or puzzle?
Each one of the brands that we do operate has similar challenges. When you look at the overall experience right now, it starts with the second that an international customer hits your website. We are doing Geo-IP detection. Meaning we are detecting where that customer is coming in from so that we can serve Him with a local experience whether it be from the UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Australia.
You name it. There is an experience that a customer in that country expects to receive and we are first detecting that customers that we know where they’re coming in from. What we do is greet them. We greet them. We greet them to say, “In a market like Europe, we know it’s what we would consider a VAT-inclusive experience,” meaning shopping your local currency. See prices locally within Europe, see prices locally within pounds. We have a local settlement of currency.
We have the ability to calculate and guarantee duty and taxes so that it’s an all-inclusive VAT experience that is no different than shopping locally. We do greet the customer with a very welcoming greeting that says, “Welcome to the site. You can continue the journey,” so that we don’t see things like bounce rates. Once you have a customer hit the site, we want them to continue the journey and that’s the goal.
The second is they see all prices fully converted. I should not ever be showing a customer in the UK US dollars most importantly. We see this with many brands. They have a site in the US, the US instance of their website fully served up in US dollars and US experience. International customers don’t resonate with that. Local currency and pricing strategy are key.
With some of the sophisticated brands that you mentioned earlier, it’s making sure that that pricing strategy from a brand perspective is very seamless to, “If I want to go buy locally in a Marc Jacob store it should be no different from a fixed pricing strategy on the website to make sure that I’m seeing an omni experience, which is one and the same.” Pricing, conversion, settlement, and within currency are key to one of the barriers we face and we see with brands to be able to communicate.
There are some apps that do the currency conversion but it’s very superficial in the sense that, in real-time, they do the conversion for you. Sometimes it’s really odd where they do a conversion and it’s not even rounded up. Let’s say it’s $100 and then it comes in at £84.46. People who tip from a pricing standpoint, people are typically used to rounding up pricing in general. How do you solve that problem? You’re factoring in local tax. You’re letting them know that they’re not going to have to try and clear it from customs. It’s one and done. Do you mind elaborating a bit on the cross-border commerce experience?
From a pricing perspective, you hit it spot on. There are two very dominant methods that brands will follow and take to make sure that the number that we’re showing to that customer at that point of experience of shopping is localized. I use a few different examples I can give you but you take the USD conversion. We call it Dynamic Pricing, which means we’re taking the USD conversion. We’re then converting that based on a daily spot rate.
What we do is we have a very smart rounding engine that essentially rounds those prices for each one of our merchants which does a few different things. It showcases a number to the customer in that international market that makes sense. Rounding prices to the nearest 100 Yen in Japan makes sense. You’d never round it to the dot whatever. It wouldn’t resonate and it would drive abandonment. Into a market like Canada, maybe rounding to the nearest $0.95 or the nearest whole dollar.
In Canada, if you spit out a currency conversion it may round to the nearest penny which the penny was abolished in Canada. Those are the types of things that we do from a smart rounding perspective that will resonate market by market when we’re converting a USD price point into the local currency. Not only does it show a number that’s going to convert to your international shopper, but it also does two other things.
There’s volatility in the market when it comes from a currency perspective and the fluctuation of currency. By rounding those prices up it also stabilizes the currency so that customers don’t see a different price every time they hit the shop. With those converters that you mentioned, those points solutions, that is often a challenge that brands end up with. Our customers are seeing a different price for the same product every time they hit the site and that’s not something that customers will from an experience perspective respond well to.
Finally, the ability to have this rounding engine also built in a slight margin for the overall brands who want to be able to offer free shipping or be able to build in these different strategies where we all know shipping is not free. From a pricing perspective, what are the ways we can help the brands not only have the right growth strategy but also have the right profitability strategy? You can grow topline as much as you want but the brands need to make sure that this business internationally is profitable, which is one of the things that we play a significant role in.
Do you roll this out on a catalog segment basis? Would you go into detail as to 1 to 1? I’m thinking about an extensive catalog that has loss leaders or products that are more expensive to ship. The strategy for that, to pretty lightweight inventory or SKUs, should differ.
We went through the dynamic setup. When you look at the dynamic setup, that’s one path that brands typically follow. When you look at the second path, you look at fixed pricing, which is another key when you think about some of the brands. We talked about Adidas, Disney, Ralph Lauren, etc. You’ve got brands right now that have an in-market experience even matching MSRP or RRP to the SKU level.
Some of these brands are super sophisticated where in markets where they have full price strategy and availability to set the new pricing where they don’t sell products today, we go to the dynamic path, which works. It’s giving them the ability to set the pricing strategy in a market where they have no presence but when brands have a presence, which many of them do in the brands that you mentioned, what you ended up seeing is they need to be able to match MSRP. They need to be able to match to RRP and they need to be able to have a fixed price strategy down at the SKU level, which is a hybrid of both strategies together on a global basis.
As I get to the way that we manage it right now, we manage it on a market-by-market basis and we literally look at the pertain margin that these brands have and we measure it closer than any KPI than our teams would manage on behalf of our brands because they view us as an extension of their eCommerce team.
They look at us as the experts in international. They expect us to not only help with the pricing strategy as we talked about but all of the regulatory duties, the tax strategies, the world-changing strategies that impact their business. We need to make sure that they’re not only growing but they’re staying in profit and that’s a strategy that we have market by market and continue to feed that information back to the brand, which is key to the success.
From a fulfillment standpoint, I’m speaking to brands that are kicking off. They are still in the early days of their cross-border commerce. They partner up with a company like DHL. What then happens with Global-e? How does Global-e communicate from a payment standpoint? Is that it with Global-e or does Global-e flow or go with that package and order end to end? Where do you start and where do you end?
Jumping from the pricing strategy, we’ve talked about everything from the second the customer hits the site to the experience on-site from a pricing strategy perspective that you see even on local messaging on the front end, the PDP, and the PLP that reinforces the proposition. To your point, yes, they jump into the checkout.
As you can imagine, payment methods are key. For our brands, we unlocked over 150 different payment methods to be able to make sure whatever that shopper has in his or her wallet, we have the ability to convert them at that point and that we don’t lose them because it’s the most crucial point. It’s not only from a checkout perspective do you want to make sure that you have the most international incapable checkout. Where there’s a city, we show the city. Where there’s a state, we show the state. Where there’s confidence, we show confidence for their need to capture their overall tax ID for a market.
Zip code versus postcode.
These nuances we continue to iterate and we have since 2013 when we launched the business to make sure that internationally, we’re staying ahead of where that overall checkout experience needs to be in order to convert a shopper. One of the key pieces you mentioned is payments, yes. Whether you have a payment method that we curate, which is typically anywhere between 4 and 6 payment methods per market. We don’t want to overwhelm them with a, “Here’s a list of 100 payment methods,” you pick your favorite and it doesn’t work.
Why 4 to 6? It sounds overwhelming at the 6th mark. Is it something you’ve tested yourself?
It typically is. When you look at it from a traditional card scheme, it’s something that we test over and over again. Card schemes are always going to be your AmEx, your VISA, your MasterCard and so on and so forth. Once you get outside of that you have an alternative channel and that alternative channel is going to resonate within a few different key payment methods for each market that we service. Whether it be Alipay, WeChat Pay, or UnionPay in a market like China, whether it be Klarna, a buy now pay later option in markets like Germany, throughout the Nordic Region, and making a big push into Canada.
These are payment methods that resonate whether it be TWINT in a market like Switzerland, which is one that is super popular including iDEAL in the Netherlands. The curation of what we serve up is what works. To be quite candid, we’ve tested this iteration over iteration to make sure that we understand what are the most prominent payment methods that customers are adopting and flattening to in that market and that’s what we’re going to serve up. That’s what we’re going to make sure it’s available.
On the back of that what a lot of brand owners don’t think about is the ability to locally acquire transactions. Local acquiring internationally is a big play and a big lift to be able to set up in the sophistication that we have which means essentially, we’re acquiring these transactions within a local bank in that market.
What does that mean to an owner brand? It means that we’re going to have more successful transactions. It means that we’re going to have less declines and less failed orders. Because it’s no longer that cross-border payment capture, it’s more of a local capture in that market, which envisions and sees these transactions from a local acquiring perspective. It’s a huge play at a successful transaction, which brands benefit from immediately after unlocking our platform.
Lots of localized payment processing is done with payment options shown on the front end. How does that translate from a fund receipt standpoint because that’s a ton of localized bank accounts? How does Global-e capture that into your accounts and then disperse the funds to the merchants’ accounts? How does it work further down downstream?
The beauty of it for the brands is that we manage the overall merchant of record responsibilities. That begins with our integration with over ten different payment service providers. The brand, from an international perspective, domestically, continues to work with whom they work with because the domestic market typically continues to run outside. They keep their PSP in place. What we do is everything international.
Those ten PSPs and direct integrations too which means essentially, we’re taking on the financial risk for all of those transactions on their behalf. They don’t have to integrate any one of these PSPs that continue to build out the overall payment offering that we have on an international landscape. They wake up one morning when we add OXXO into Mexico, and they have it available because we rolled it out across the entire portfolio, which is key. For brands to build that strategy out and have that integration takes a lot of lift and effort. It’s something that we bring down for them.
To your point, yes, we capture the overall payment. We are taking the payment for those transactions in local currency and then that’s guaranteed right to both the consumer and to the merchant and then we’re reconciling back with the merchant in their overall home currency. Whether it be USD for a US merchant, Australian dollars for an Australian merchant, pounds for a British merchant, etc.
As you can see with that overall merchant of record responsibility, we also take on things like fraud. We expose these merchants to international fraud, which is something that’s very key to think through because fraud typically is double the rate of that of a domestic transaction, which they end up doing, and they end up a bit careful as they internationally expand.
Do you offer insurance for fraud cases or incidences of fraud from an international stand?
From a fraud perspective, we expose them from fraud. Once we take that order and it’s a good order, we guarantee it. They have a fraud guarantee against each and every single one of these international transactions, which means once we run these through our fraud engine, we go ahead and say, “This is a good order,” which is guaranteed for the merchant. The fraud guarantee is a big one. It means we’re going to pay them if for whatever reason that order comes back after the fact that it is a fraud, that’s Global-e’s risks that we take off the plate including things like duty and tax.
When you look at duty and tax, that’s a big element. If we are not precise in our calculation, that risk, whether it be up or whether it be down as we’re assigning HS codes guaranteeing duty and tax, it’s another risk element that we take on which brands very much are fearful of. How and what do I do from an exposure perspective if I get it wrong? That’s our risk factor.
It’s absolutely critical for customer experience because there have been instances with international shipping. Especially in the Middle East, if you ship something to Dubai or Qatar and you haven’t sorted the clearing issue, they’re going to get them to have to go to the local post office and pay the duty there. They come back and then they’re going to email you and your customer services team. They’re going to be like, “What the heck? Why is it stuck? I want a refund. Could you please return?” It’s a headache for several people which brings me to my final question.
How do you handle more bespoke payment methods such as cash-on-delivery? It’s still very popular in some Eastern European geos. It’s very popular in the Middle East and Southeast Asia? Is it something you handle yourself? I came across a Polish sports company doing some eCommerce judging. They seem to have that cash-on-delivery option. I was quite impressed with the fact that they did offer it. I would like to hear your thoughts from a Global-e perspective.
The simple answer is we enable it. When you look at it right now, we do from an overall payment and carrier offers. We integrate all the specialty providers on a global basis. Right now, when you look at our logistics network, we’ve got roughly about twenty different carriers on a global basis that are specialty to each and every single market. We need to make sure that we are providing what is local to that customer or what is expected by that customer and that the service is going to be seamless to be able to enable a successful transaction and a superior customer experience.
In short, cash on delivery is one of those payment methods that we do accept. We leverage a specialty provider in the GCC markets to be able to enable that. It’s common and adept. We’ve seen a significant uptick in cash on delivery orders in the Middle East and within those GCC markets because we enable it. We enable it.
We need to make sure that we’re supporting brands and not and that’s no different than buy now and pay later, which is super popular in many markets today including Australia and Canada. It’s starting to become very popular in the US here for our European clients. When you look at it right now, whether it’s cash on delivery, direct transfer, or buy now pay later, these are the types of nuances that we need to make sure are out of the box that our brands don’t have to think about when partnering with Global-e.
To clarify, cash on delivery does not necessarily mean cash on delivery means that the dispatched driver when they’re delivering your goods will ask you for a way to pay and it could be by card or cash, if you like at the point of delivery, right?
At the point of delivery, absolutely, and even to the point where there is a cash box for individuals who are looking to pay with cash. Cash on delivery is as marketed and it is being captured even from a return perspective. It’s having the ability to say, “Would I like to return that product,” right on the spot, before that driver even learns. These are the types of nuances where, at first, I’ll be very honest, I was a bit skeptical. I was like, “Cash on delivery? Somebody shows up and collects cash at the door?” It is. We need to make sure we’re local with what that consumer experience is. There’s a very big following within the moves that we saw.
It’s hugely popular in India. Matthew, I could go on and on. It’s a good convo. I’ve learned a thing or two around commerce, probably even more than a thing or two about Global-e. For people who want to find out more about Global-e, it’s Global-e.com. Are you active on LinkedIn or any social media platform professionally?
We are. If any brand is looking to learn more about Global-e, we’re excited to talk to you. Request a demo on our website, it’s the easiest way to get a hold of us. We’ll be happy to set up an international expert that can come by your side and walk you through the journey of how to capitalize on the growth strategy that you’re looking to achieve outside your own market.
Thank you, Matthew, for coming on the 2x eCommerce podcast. Cheers.
I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Have a good one.