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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Cultivating E-Commerce Trust Across the Globe



Re: Cultivating E-Commerce Trust Across the Globe
Posted by: Doris Linke 2011-12-03 12:10:20
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Online retailers considering selling their goods overseas need to know the expectations of consumers in the countries in which they want to do business. This is particularly important at the checkout -- with payment methods becoming an increasingly sensitive issue, consumer trust will help determine conversion rates. A consumer in Germany, for example, expects to see a retailer with a German address and prices posted in euros, not U.S. dollars. In the UK, people assume an online shop will have prices in British Pounds. Any deviation from these expectations will make a prospect hesitate.


the right payment method and transparant pricing
Posted by: loek_stolwijk 2011-12-06 10:14:20 In reply to: Doris Linke
I agree with the remarks on payments methods in the above article. However there is another issue regarding over seas shopping. A lot of internet retailers include a disclaimer in the check out procedure not taking any responsibility for costs incurred by importing your goods in their European country by Wouldn’t be preferable to give full transparency on the related taxes and import fees? To enable European customers to decide to buy products with full price transparency?
The total price to be paid by European customers buying in the US includes also custom duties, VAT and clearance costs. These additional costs are dependent on the country of destination, the type of product and sometimes threshold values of the purchased products.
With over 25 different countries in the European Community with different VAT rates and sometimes additional rules and regulations which may change overnight it’s not easy for internet retailers to show the total price to their potential customers. Making these customers very cautious in buying overseas! “Horror” stories are spreading mouth by mouth regarding the unexpected additional costs when the courier or mailman rings at the door to deliver the product including an additional invoice for customs, duties and clearance costs which can be 50% or more on top of the price as advertised on the webshop.
Some companies do offer integral services for logistic services including the additional costs. So far, however, a straightforward solution is missing with respect to providing insight in the total costs for those retailers that do not wish to oursource the full logistics. I am involved in an initiative to offer this insight. Main issue is the mapping of products as offered by retailers onto the huge table of customs oriented technical descriptions of the products. “Shoes” are not just “shoes “ with VAT percentages and custom and clearance costs. One is confronted with hundreds of descriptions of shoes, where size, material and design are included ending up in descriptions like “WOMENS TRAINING SHOE. NOT COVERING THE ANKLE. UPPERS OF LEATHER. OUTER SOLES OF RUBBER/PLASTIC. WITH A EVA MIDSOLE DESIGNED TO ABSORB IMPACT. WITH LOGO ON UPPERS AND TONGUE. LACE UPS, INSOLE LENGTH EXCEEDING 24CMS. CIF PRICE MORE THAN 7.5 EURO. PINK AND WHITE IN COLOUR”. And all those elements may lead to different custom duty percentages.
To come up with a rather simple tool to be able to add the full costs arrangements have to be made between several parties including local customs, import-agencies and shipping companies.
Sales price, shipping costs and custom duties together offer a transparent pricing for the customer. Avoiding disappointment at the moment of delivery. Making sure customers will come back and –in the worse case- not return the products or spread negative experiences.
And of course the right payment methods should be offered.
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