Countries indexing highest on brand affinity scores reported increased cross-border sales in the last six months of 2022, creating a map of global demand for brands looking for international growth opportunities in 2023, the latest research in A Brand Guide to International Expansion from ESW shows.
ESW’s brand affinity tracker, informed by research from more than 16,000 consumers across sixteen countries, reveals China, the UAE, India, Mexico and South Africa scored the highest levels of brand rapport across five markers, including emotional connection, engagement, relevance, and purchasing benefits.
Despite global economic headwinds, these high affinity markets all reported increased rates of cross-border purchasing from July to December 2022 across four tracked product categories – clothing, footwear, luxury and cosmetics – with total international online purchasing by consumers in the UAE increasing the most at +12 per cent, followed by South Africa +8 per cent, China +7 per cent, India +3 per cent and Mexico +2 per cent.
Overall, global cross-border shoppers have a +13 per cent brand score and +4 per cent above average spend level, highlighting the importance of a robust direct-to-consumer international strategy, explains Martim Avillez Oliveira, Chief Executive Officer, ESW – Europe and UK.
“While the temptation amongst European retailers may be to assume domestic trading conditions prevail across all markets, our data shows areas of opportunity exist despite ongoing economic headwinds and inflationary challenges. Cross-border online sales amongst discerning, highly brand focused shoppers in some of the highest value economies around the world continue to grow.”
“The key to capitalising on this demand is having the capacity and agility to activate quickly into these growth markets using hyper-localised insights around channel strategy, demand generation, product assortment and pricing. For those brands that don’t have the digital capabilities, expertise or capital required to fully leverage direct to consumer opportunities, ESW offers a seamless end-to-end solution that helps brands capitalise unlock this demand,” he added.
Brands deploying ESW’s Fluency and Symphony DTC solutions can enter both domestic and new international markets in a matter of weeks, many times faster than if they attempted to do so on their own and access a suite of market-leading eCommerce solutions across store, pricing, payments, checkout, fraud and delivery – all through a single integration. ESW’s Velocity consultancy service provides the expertise to execute successful growth initiatives across customer experience, acquisition, and retention, all while engaging directly with customers and retaining ownership of all the data collected during the shopping journey.