The Hermes Group is rigorously expanding its digital services along the retail supply chain. Hermes is now going beyond the European market it already serves with its own companies and offering global market retailers integrated logistics and e-commerce solutions. Focus is primarily on the booming e-commerce markets of the US and Asia. The Hermes service BorderGuru enables retailers from Europe and North America looking to expand globally the opportunity to sell and deliver their goods worldwide.
"The ongoing boom in e-commerce is opening the door for many retailers who, to date, have been solely operating on their national market, giving them the chance and the potential to roll out their business models beyond country borders and to tap new sales markets," says Martin Kreiter, Head of Global E-Commerce Business Development at Hermes and Director of BorderGuru. "Hermes provides them with the services they need, whether they are European retailers touting its products in China or American providers looking to get a foot in the European markets."
With BorderGuru, retailers and brand manufacturers can leverage Hermes' e-commerce services tailored to their individual business. Alongside managing the international logistics chain, these include first and foremost country-specific import and customs clearance. Dedicated BorderGuru software is integrated directly into the client's webshop, providing shoppers with an accurate listing of all costs, including potential customs. On top of this, retailers have access to a global parcel tracking system, enabling them to follow just where their shipment is around the world.
The need to integrated services in e-commerce is on the rise: a recent survey anticipates that around one million people will be employed in global e-commerce by 2020. By then, the study estimates, turnover through online channels is set to top $1bn – roughly 27% up on today's figures. "Many customers are put off by the high costs of shipping, long delivery times or currency and customs issues. These factors are still big hurdles on the global market," explains Kreiter. "BorderGuru sees itself as an enabler for cross-border shipments, offering clients an exciting launch pad for sales expansion, focussing on convenience and transparency without the risk."
The Hermes service portfolio also includes integration in worldwide retailing platforms such as through the Hermes subsidiary Zitra and the sales platform of China's trading giants JD.com. "Many of our clients are on the cusp on the international distribution and are looking to expand gradually, without having to build up their own facilities in target countries, for example," explains Kreiter. "For these clients, the Hermes Group - with its rich background in providing retail-related services - is able to offer a range of appealing options to help them tap new markets. These allow them to set up their own websites or position themselves on platforms of established retailers and to market their products this way."