E-Commerce is growing at an increasing rate across the globe. This is becoming more than a trend as the still emerging industry is being projected to forever change the way shopping is conducted. The early days of e-commerce when only a few retailers dominated the landscape are over. Now, more retailers of both the online-only variety as well as those that have a physical location and online presence are pushing forward with their e-commerce efforts. Many advances in technologies and innovative features have brought the industry forward continuously through the years.
For example, as marketers began to understand more about how search engine web crawlers worked in determining the ranking and placements of webpages in the search engine results pages (SERPs), the practice of search engine optimization began to become more important for e-retailers. They began to see how optimizing their web presence for specific relevant keywords and keyword phrases that their customers are searching can get them increased exposure on the SERPs and increase conversions.
The Power of Appropriate, Timely Currency ConversionThere have certainly been many other technologies that have made a difference. One such innovation is the live chat feature, which I have discussed before, that enables businesses to engage with customers on their site. Now, an innovative currency conversion service is making it far easier for retailers to attract international customers.
The e-commerce industry has grown in all corners of the globe and many businesses are trying to capitalize on different markets expanding the areas in which they cater their products, sites, and marketing efforts to. As a result, e-retailers have international customers and process orders with different currencies. This can be problematic whoever, for the retailers and the customers alike.
As detailed in a piece by Internet Retailer, customers who make purchases in a foreign currency do not know the final cost until the purchase appears on their statement, resulting is considerable lag time for the customers. Additionally, in such transactions credit card companies can apply an exchange rate for the currency that occurs at any point of the billing cycle, not the rate that exists at the moment of purchase. The card issuers also can charge foreign transaction fees that run up to 7% of the purchase price (the fees are typically 3% for cards issued by banks and 1% for credit unions - Pew Safe Credit Cards Project).
This process is not very accommodating to the retailer or the customer. However, now the Dynamic Currency Conversion service put out by First Data Corp. allows retailers to provide customers with an accurate total at the time of purchase. The service, a collaboration between First Data Corp. and AJB Software Design Inc., enables customers to have an option to purchase in the local currency or in that which the card was issued and have the exchange rate that is experienced at that time. This results in a much more improved process for consumers. Further, the service allows for a percentage of the foreign transaction fees to be paid to the retailer rather than the card company so the retailers gain an added revenue stream.
In the end, e-retailers are having more reason to expand into international markets. If the increased opportunity for interested customers was not enough, then the ease of foreign currency processing and added revenue should push retailers not currently in foreign markets fully in that direction.