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Smart logistics are enabling Australian fashion labels to thrive abroad

Australian fashion brands are gaining momentum in the UK and Europe, reflecting the growing diversity and dynamism of the global fashion industry. 

But how can these brands optimise customer experience and delivery capabilities when they are based literally at the other end of the world?

While design can be managed from anywhere, logistics can be intimidating to many apparel companies contemplating expanding abroad.

But that need not be so, explains Denise McGrouther, VP, MD of DHL eCommerce Australia. 

“Advancements in technology and logistics have made it easier than ever to not only reach global customers but to thoroughly understand their needs. Harnessing the expertise of platforms such as Startshipit, together with our simple, reliable shipping solutions, can unlock significant opportunities.” 

That sentiment is shared by Abi Bennett, COO at Starshipit: “Put simply, to really succeed in global shipping, it’s crucial to tune into your customers’ needs and sharpen your shipping strategies, investing in the right technology can automate a lot of shipping processes for you, ensuring everything runs smoothly.” 

One example of a brand from Down Under prospering abroad is Meshki, a brand “launched from the desk of two restless architecture students, each passionate about style, substance, and the transformative power of a great outfit”. 

Today, the brand is shipped to more than 190 countries and has a loyal following of fashionistas, thought leaders, and celebrities. 

“Expanding your e-commerce business across borders is not just a step but a strategic leap towards embracing global opportunities,” Meshki’s head of operations, Damien Park-Neilson, told Inside Retail

Meshki leader’s top tips for expanding cross-border

Park-Neilson offers three key tips to brands looking to make it abroad. 

“To thrive in international markets, always start with a customer-centric approach. Be thoroughly obsessed with understanding who your customers are, their unique behaviours, and preferences. Tailor every aspect of your business to meet their needs. Remember, the key to customer loyalty is how well you know them and how effectively you serve them.”

Agility is crucial as you navigate through diverse markets. 

“Customise your delivery processes to match local tastes and expectations. This means knowing the preferred payment methods, partnering with top carriers, and aligning with partners that resonate with your brand’s values and vision. Your operations should not only be efficient but should also reflect the ethos of your brand in every market.”

Lastly, he counsels retailers selling across borders to let data drive their decision-making process. 

“With so many moving parts in international expansion, assumptions are your greatest enemy. Rely on concrete data to understand market trends, customer behaviour, and potential growth areas. 

“This data-driven approach ensures that you are strategically positioned to succeed, not merely participate. Embrace these best practices to not only expand your footprint but to excel in every new market you enter. Let your commitment to understanding and integrating into diverse customers and cultures be the cornerstone of your international success.” 

Park-Neilson’s advice on recognising the diversity of customers and market trends to succeed in overseas markets is backed up by Pablo Ciano, the global CEO of DHL eCommerce.  

“There are huge opportunities awaiting e-commerce businesses to secure sales all over the globe, not just domestically. For e-tailers looking to make that leap into cross-border shipping, it is important to meet the needs of the customers in the country you want to ship to. 

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all,” Ciano concludes.

From six stores in Australia to taking on the world

That advice is being followed by many Australian retailers thriving abroad, including Rebecca Vallance. Sales in the UK and Europe now account for 53 per cent of the labels’ wholesale business, a proportion the owners expect to grow significantly in coming years given the high rate of organic growth in those markets already. 

“We will then be looking at wider international retail rollouts to follow,” Australian designer and the company’s founder Rebecca Vallance-Gasan said in a recent interview with Inside Retail.

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