Lingble Presents the Future of E-Commerce at Social Innovation Week


Lingble co-founders Mahoto Harada (CEO) and Alejandro Vargas (COO) with advisor David Lindsay presented the Future of Global E-Commerce at Social Innovation Week (SIW) 2020. SIW is Japan’s largest urban festival held in Shibuya, featuring future-oriented entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

As a global eCommerce service provider, Lingble supports customers in over 14 different languages while handling transactions of over 100 payment methods worldwide.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, demand for Lingble’s services exploded. In part due to the feature in WWD Japan, but mainly because companies that previously relied on the traditional retail market have been hit hard.

For many of these companies, the consultancy service offered by Lingble, resonated with their needs, particularly when entering into the world of global eCommerce for the first time.

Lingble offers hands on support for reputable and highly acclaimed brands to seamlessly enter into the eCommerce space, helping to build a global eCommerce brand, risk-free.

Cross-border eCommerce vs. Global eCommerce

Lingble CEO, Mahoto Harada, distinguishes cross-border eCommerce as utilizing inventory that is currently available to increase sales. The objective of global eCommerce is to develop a system that can be used to continuously increase a company’s sales on a global scale.

Lingble’s long term eCommerce strategy

When Lingble is collaborating with partners, one of the first objectives is to develop a 3-to 5-year business strategy. This approach is also partly influenced by the cross-border eCommerce ceiling. At some point, cross-border operations experience friction with local corporations and wholesalers. They attempt to get you to stop selling in what they deem to be their territory.

eCommerce rivalry and division by country

Furthermore, there’s an influx of eCommerce divisions in each country. eCommerce eventually gets into a rivalry with other divisions of the same brand. An increase in eCommerce sales will come at the expense of fellow business associates who have to be pushed aside for better ranking in online searches. Subdivisions end up failing at raising general brand awareness as they focus on monopolizing a small trading area.

Additionally, with effective SEO, prices in the country of origin become more visible, which hurts sales in each country. As a result, businesses may have to deliberately suppress eCommerce in the country of origin. Such companies ultimately fall prey to the competition and are soon bankrupted.

Attracting and managing global customers

With global eCommerce, all product lines are visible on the same website serving as a kind of digital warehouse. Front and back-end products will have their respective subdomains. In case the division in one country is underperforming, the marketing efforts of another country’s division such as increased back-linking could boost the other division’s web traffic.

When such efforts happen on a global scale, they can attract a multitude of customers. Global eCommerce companies can also take a more ingenious approach to addressing price discrepancies. In cases such as out-of-stock prompts, a few customers manage to discover the prices in other countries through methods like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

They proceed to make inquiries via the live chat options about these price differences. To ensure that customer trust isn’t eroded, the company can shift from customer support delivered by a single division to more harmonized global customer support. To thrive at global eCommerce, it is advisable not to over-compartmentalize eCommerce websites and other services.

Technology implications of global eCommerce

David Lindsay, an advisor at Lingble also offers valuable insight into how the pursuit of global eCommerce will impact a company’s technology stack.

While it is important to reduce compartmentalization of eCommerce websites and services, serving customers in disparate countries comes with a lot of unique nuances. Inventory varies, and so do other aspects such as: order processing, shipping, payment methods, website languages, pricing, etc. This means that companies need to serve customers differently while using centralized resources.

Global eCommerce companies should adopt a headless approach

Simply put, this is a mode of operation where the front and back end are split, allowing for a more personalized approach. The company can have customers in different regions interfacing with varying front ends that all draw from the same back end.

This approach is made possible by an Application Programming Interface (API) layer between the front and back end that governs how both ends interact with each other. Therefore, companies can be rest assured that every customer is viewing offers and getting a user experience that is tailored to their specific needs. Companies that neglect this approach will likely expose themselves to a lot of unnecessary risk and duplication of costs.

With very individualized ecosystems for each region and scattered data, the quality of customer care and overall service delivery will eventually be negatively impacted.

Legal implications of global eCommerce

Alejandro Vargas, COO of Lingble, explores the regulatory complexities that come with practicing global eCommerce in some of the major markets that clients focus on:

One aspect that many companies downplay is the compliance standards that come with operating in different countries. For example, to properly establish a foothold in China and market your business through platforms like WeChat, you may have to fully register the business locally. The company has to adhere to a number of regulations around issues like data privacy, file tax returns, etc.

Adhering to the rules of China

One aspect that many companies downplay is the compliance standards that come with operating in different countries. For example, to properly establish a foothold in China and market your business through platforms like WeChat, you may have to fully register the business locally. The company has to adhere to a number of regulations around issues like data privacy, file tax returns, etc.

America’s Americans with Disabilities Act

In the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has become a major point of contention. With many websites being deemed places of public accommodation, they are required to make their offerings more accessible to people with disabilities. This means that global eCommerce companies have to build their online presence while incorporating features that ensure that the blind, deaf and other disabled people are not sidelined.

EU’s Generated Data Protection Regulation

For companies intending to operate in markets within the EU, there are even more intricacies in how relevant laws like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are applied. A company selling to an EU citizen within a non-EU country may still be subject to GDPR laws. If they are found to be in violation, they can be subjected to crippling fines.

Lingble’s team of specialists to guide partners through global eCommerce

In conclusion, Lingble has specialists in a variety of fields oriented towards global eCommerce. More importantly, Lingble will provide first-hand information on the risks involved in penetrating certain markets and let clients know whether it’s worth the investment.

To learn more about Lingble’s services and expertise on global eCommerce, be sure to watch the full presentation!