International expansion stories

Le Chameau, Brompton Bikes, and Life Style Sports share their international expansion experiences.

Are you planning to take your business into new regions? There’s never been a better time.
 
The global ecommerce market is projected to double, climbing from $2 to $4 trillion by 2020. On top of that, a report by McKinsey predicts that the flow of goods and services across borders will triple.
 
Businesses, both large and small, are expanding cross-border to sell to billions of new consumers around the world. And the good news is that you don’t need huge teams or a local presence to take advantage of these opportunities. Today, technology makes international expansion easy for everyone.
 
But you don’t have to take my word for it. 

Here are the international expansion stories from three great businesses:

  • High-end boot brand, Le Chameau
  • Brompton Bikes, the company behind Britain’s iconic folding bike
  • Ireland’s largest sports retailer, Life Style Sports

Small teams, big dreams

Each of these companies began with a strong local presence. Life Style Sports is a household name in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Brompton Bikes are an established part of the London commuter scene. And Le Chameau’s iconic rubber boots are popular among riding and shooting communities in the UK.
 
With such a strong focus on establishing a local brand, the companies are still relatively new to cross-border ecommerce. They were ready to take the next step but resources were limited, relying heavily on one champion to drive international expansion. This was: Harry Mann, Head of Customer Experience at Brompton, Gordon Newman, Head of Omnichannel at Life Style Sports, and Grace Bell, Ecommerce Executive at Le Chameau.

"Adyen's single platform processes payments across all markets at once."

Undeterred by the scale of the task and the size of their teams, Harry, Gordon, and, Grace took on the challenge, using Adyen’s global payments technology and local expertise as support. Le Chameau is now preparing to expand across Europe. Life Style Sports is focusing on Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. And Brompton now sells direct in the UK and the US.

“We had 3 months to go live in 6 markets while ensuring the customer experience stayed firmly on-brand,” recalls Harry. “Adyen made this possible with a single platform to process payments across all markets at once, so we were able to roll out quickly and easily. The launch was a huge success and we saw an immediate lift in conversion.”

Brompton Bikes

Catering to local preferences

Each market comes with its local nuances. In fact, buying behavior can vary as much as language from country to country. One important consideration for international expansion is how local customers like to pay. While mainstream cards are popular across the UK and Ireland, online banking, open invoice, and local card schemes dominate in other markets.

Try before you buy with Klarna

To accommodate local customers across Germany, Benelux, and the Nordics, Le Chameau is planning to support Open Invoice method Klarna. This method lets businesses try before they buy making it an ideal method for selling high-value products online.

"Giving our online customers the chance to try before they buy removes a major barrier to purchase."

“Our boots are hand-crafted from high-quality materials by master bootmakers,” explains Grace. “Naturally, this sets us apart in terms of both quality and price. So giving our online customers the chance to try before they buy removes a major barrier to purchase and lets the quality of our boots speak for themselves. That’s why we think Open Invoice is such an important payment method for us.”
 
With Adyen, supporting Klarna is easy. We simply register Le Chameau with Klarna and then activate it from our backoffice. There’s no need for a separate contract or additional integration.

Online banking

Life Style Sports started by supporting iDEAL in the Netherlands and is now rolling out Sofort for Germany, and Cartes Bancaires for France. Unfamiliar with these methods, Gordon was grateful to have Adyen on hand to help.

"Rolling out iDEAL was so simple that it’s given us the confidence to support other local payment methods."

“Adyen has been brilliant.” Said Gordon. “They’ve provided data to inform our decisions around new payment methods. And the initial implementation was it very straightforward. Rolling out iDEAL was so simple that it’s given us the confidence to support other local payment methods.”

WeChat Pay in Asia

Meanwhile, Brompton has experienced huge success in Asia, where the British-made bikes have found a devoted following. This is another region where payment preferences are very diverse. China, for example, is a pioneer when it comes to consumer app spending. In fact, customers think nothing of spending $2,600 in-app to get their bike. As a result, social networking app, WeChat, has become a key channel for Brompton. To accommodate this trend, Brompton set up a WeChat store and accepts WeChat Pay both in-app and on its ecommerce site.

"Launching in new markets with local payment methods builds trust between the customer and the brand."

Accommodating local payment preferences doesn’t just help increase conversions in each market. It also has strong implications for the brand. Grace explains: “By launching in these new markets with local payment methods, it builds trust between the customer and the brand. This is particularly important when selling a high-end product.”

Managing risk

Another key consideration for International expansion is how it will impact your risk management. Risk profiles and vulnerabilities also vary greatly from market to market so it’s important to know what you’re up against.
 
Initially, Life Style Sports was combating risk with a mix of 3D Secure (that additional step in the process managed by Visa and Mastercard). It was also manually reviewing every cross-border transaction. For such a small team, this was a huge headache and far from scalable.

Automating fraud defense

To remove the pressure, they implemented Adyen’s built-in risk management solution, RevenueProtect. This smart tool uses data from Adyen's platform to build detailed fraud profiles and identify the shopper behind each transaction. This lets Life Style Sports automate a great deal of its fraud defense.

"We’ve reduced our reliance on 3D Secure, which has had a great impact on our conversions.”

“I’m a big fan of RevenueProtect.” Gordon said. “Thanks to its data and machine learning tools, we’ve been able to reduce the cost of our risk management. We’ve also been able to reduce our reliance on 3D Secure, which has had a great impact on our conversions” 

Life Style Sports
 
Brompton has also benefited from RevenueProtect, which lets the team customize its fraud management in each market. This helps keep the company secure without impacting local conversion rates. And Le Chameau is seeing great returns in the US and France. “We’re happy to report that we have very few chargebacks,” says Grace. “Our fraud rules are working really well.”

Connecting online with in store

The more you know about your shopper, the better you can serve them. Ecommerce can provide great shopper insights, which can be used to benefit both your online and offline business. Adyen’s unified commerce solution lets you manage both online and in-store payments in one system. So you can build a 360-degree view of your customers regardless of the channel or device they’re using. As Harry explains: “The more we know about our customers, the better we can serve them. Adyen’s technology lets us consolidate our channels and harness data, which will help us go from strength to strength.”

“We love having seamless payments and insights across online and in store in one place.”

Life Style Sports also benefits from Adyen’s cross-channel payments platform. This lets the company provide endless aisle solutions where customers can buy online items via in-store iPads and kiosks. “We love having seamless payments and insights across online and in store in one place,” says Gordon. “It’s great for customer recognition; we can use store transactions to inform our online risk management. On top of that, it makes reconciliation so much easier for our Finance team.”

Mobile checkouts, international expansion stories

International expansion made simple

Of course, international expansion adds complexity. And we understand that payments is only a small part of a larger puzzle. But getting it right can take you a long way. With payments taken care of, you can concentrate on other aspects of your international expansion such as local languages and local fulfillment.
 
The trick is to start small and see how you go. As Grace explains: “For us, success lies in an iterative process. We test everything and see what works before rolling anything out large scale. Our current focus is Europe, and if that’s successful, we’ll launch worldwide.”
 
And we’re here to help. We’ll on provide guidance every step of the way, advising you on the right payment methods and helping you enter new markets as you’re ready to do so.

Our single platform solution lets you manage payments across all channels and markets in a single system. And our teams of local experts will walk you through all you need to know to succeed in each market. So you can be sure your conversions are maximized, your business is protected, and your customers enjoy the best experience.

“We benefit from a global overview with localized control."

“Our partnership with Adyen is fundamental to our international expansion.” Harry said. “We benefit from a global overview with localized control and are learning more about our customers all the time. I’m very excited about what our future with Adyen holds.”


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