Grow Your Brand Globally Online
For Estee Lauder's 29 individual brands, each has its own social media strategy. While all are designed for consumer engagement, they accomplish that in various ways. Its M-A-C brand of cosmetics, for example, uses Twitter as an outlet to give fashion updates; Bobbi Brown provides makeup advice on the social platform. Lauder's consumer engagement via social media isn't limited to Americans: Seventy percent of M-A-C's Facebook fans are from outside the U.S. Don't launch a foreign social media campaign from the U.S., advised McEniry; do it on a local level.
Leverage scale where it matters most
This is Estee Lauder's strategy when it comes to growing internationally. Here's how the retailer segments its tasks:
local — payment, privacy, delivery, language, marketing and social media;
regional — distribution, development, speed to market, strategic partners, consumer insights; and
global — best practices, strategy.
Payment processing is a prime example of a task best handled on a local level, said McEniry. In the U.S., nearly 100 percent of online transactions are completed with credit cards. But that differs in other markets where Estee Lauder hosts e-commerce sites. In the U.K., bank transfers are the norm; in China, it's a form of PayPal; and in Germany, it's an open invoice system (i.e., a promise to pay), where retailers send products without recieving payment first. And there's actually less fraud in Germany than in the U.S., McEniry said to an amused audience.
In addition to payment processing, there are other retail characteristics specific to individual countries that Estee Lauder learned as it grew internationally online. In the United Kingdom, consumers are able to name the day they want their order delivered. In fact, Estee Lauder allows customers to change delivery dates via text message. And in Korea, privacy laws state that retailers can't expedite customer data outside of the country.