Paul Grey wants you to think BIG
Exporter feeling the squeeze? Supersizing your market could offer the perfect solution, though there are significant stumbling blocks in the questions of how to start, where to ship and store goods and finding the right selling platform. The NZ Marine Export Group recently sat down for a discussion with Paul Grey, founder of ExportX to hear his solution for clearing the way for take off.
Founding his company six years ago, Paul Grey’s 25 years as a software developer placed him in good stead to help businesses drastically increase their market share through online sales and export.
ExportX began with the belief that there is a better way to distribute things online, within the e-commerce sphere, using internet giants such as Amazon.com. Intelligent software technology enables Grey and his team at ExportX to provide an economically- viable service by placing products where they will be seen by the widest share of the online market, positioning them for optimum sales.
ExportX works on behalf of companies who need an economy of scale and on-the-ground knowledge of new markets, to give them the confidence and support to break into pastures new. With well-known brands under their belt like Ecoya, Merino Kids, Nature Baby, the Village Press Olive Oil and Citta Design, Grey has some revolutionary theories on international export that will grow your business, helping you to unlock your potential in overseas markets.
The American market is an example, in a nutshell, of why a new approach to international export can have a marked effect on your business. Compare a traditional approach using distributors – it will take approximately ten years before you can claim national coverage in a country the size of the US,with a presence in thousands of stores.
E-commerce is so attractive as a market entry strategy because if you do it right, on day one you can have national reach. With the infrastructure that is available in the United States you can get products to people everywhere and it’s great for products that are new to the market.
E-commerce in the US is huge – at least 100 times what it is in New Zealand – and in 2013 was worth $USD263b. This is up 17% on the year before and has been growing fast for a long time.
American internet shoppers, thanks to online giants such as Amazon, are guaranteed free postage, quick service and reduced hassle. Impossible to compete with the tyranny of distance that comes with being an Antipodean company. This factor drives the need for Kiwi companies to establish themselves in the right way in overseas online markets.
Amazon is the example Grey frequently refers to. Amazon.com accounts for 130 million of 180
million online shoppers in the USA, generating a revenue of $USD79b per year, Amazon accounts for 30% of America’s E-commerce sector.
ExportX helps customers avoid poor brand representation in different geographic markets and skirt around the risky business of overseas export. Most New Zealand businesses can’t sustain what ExportX does as they don’t have the resources or scale to support it, with the company sending shipments to the US, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the UK, and France. The company consolidates products; shipping and storing them in bulk lots across multiple companies to ensure overseas markets are accessible for individual New Zealand brands. ExportX has storage in 30-40 locations across America to allow next day delivery and launched with a $2m per year marketing budget, allowing individual companies to avoid trade shows and the like, and setting up a direct ExportX marketing force.
This type of practice is helping Kiwi brands take the leap of faith into the online overseas market place.
Paul’s top tips for overseas export.
1. Anything can be posted; we distribute pizza ovens from Australia to the US.
2. But, if packaging is smaller than 18 by 14 by eight inches, then we can usually get it into our most efficient handling systems which make delivery a whole lot easier – so if something can be packaged smaller, it should be.
3. To compete in the American market provide free delivery, or eliminate 90% of your potential customers.
4. Mobile commerce is getting very big, very fast; growing at 75% yearly – make sure you’re ready for it.
5. You need to be on Amazon. There are 180 million active online shoppers in the US and 130 million active accounts in the US alone.