Global Marketing

Amazon: Technology Making International Marketing Easy


According to a Reuters article from earlier this year, more than one-quarter of all Amazon sales for third-party sellers on the platform were cross-border transactions. Leveraging its supply chain infrastructure, brand recognition, and international customer service operations, Amazon is able to provide sellers with a level of support that makes selling internationally nearly as easy as selling domestically.  Amazon offers both international Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) in an expanding number of countries and FBA Export to sellers of all sizes.

Through its FBA program, Amazon is offering small and medium-sized businesses a means of quickly and effectively expanding internationally.  Amazon is able to distribute these sellers products to countries throughout the world with minimal shipping time, handle taxes and tariffs as required, and provide customer service in the local language on behalf of a business. Additionally, Amazon is able to provide sellers with connections to services that will assist with customizing product detail pages and messaging to adapt to local cultures on country-specific Amazon platforms.  Smaller companies are also able to capitalize upon the trust that consumers have for Amazon, reducing the need for individual sellers to build trust beyond that of Amazon reviews and rating.

This offers a significant opportunity for smaller businesses that may not have considered international sales an option.  An increasing number of these companies are opting to sell in Amazon’s expanding international channels, which has led to cross-border sales growth for Amazon increasing at a rate that is outpacing its 31% overall net sales increase.  This trend also means an increase in competition in all international markets that Amazon is able to serve as a growing number of sellers begin taking advantage of Amazon’s programs. For marketers, it may be difficult to continue with differentiation or low-cost strategies as more and more markets become saturated.  This may eventually lead to a large number of companies developing a more focused differentiation approach in order to target a niche market that may value a very specific product offering.

With the successes that Amazon is seeing from employing robotics, information tracking, and internet technologies to allow companies of all sizes to sell, market, and distribute products throughout the world, it is likely that other large global e-commerce players like Alibaba, jet, FlipKart, and Rakuten will work towards copying this strategy. There is a high likelihood that marketing globally will become more cost-efficient and simple for businesses of all sizes to incorporate into their businesses.  In domestic markets, companies will need to consider the potential threat that this ease of market entry by international competitors will generate. Additionally, companies, especially those that are early adopters, will have the potential to greatly increase their revenues and global reach.


Think You're Too Small to Export? Amazon Can Help

Global Marketing

How to prioritize your marketing efforts-with example of Amazon

Amazon has more than 40 product categories shown in their website and they continue to expand into grocery market (Amazon acquiring Wholefoods) and create their own house products. This retail giant is the largest online retailer in the world measured by revenue and market capitalization and second largest after Alibaba Group in terms of total sales globally.


One unorthodox aspect about Amazon is the fact that customer service has never been the priority of Amazon’s marketing strategy, so how is Amazon able to achieve better customer satisfactions than a lot of other online retailers who spend a lot on providing life help and other more traditional customer services? Typically customers come to already knowing what item they are looking for. They look for price comparison or reviews. So customers do the research, read the reviews and select the items into shopping cart, and pay online. During this process there are no cashier, no greeting person no sales person no information center. This process requires the customer have some knowledge of the product or have done the research to make a compelling decision for purchase. Customers are involved in these processes. Amazon did not do much to service the customer during the shopping process.


Amazon has no issue achieving customer satisfactions and continuously converting customers to become loyal repeat buyers. That’s because Amazon gave us the essential services and elements of shopping that we want: availability of almost anything available for sale and hassle free experience from buying to returning unwanted items. The two most common questions we ask Amazon is do you have what we want and how fast you can get us this item. Amazon gave us most definitely answer for these two questions than any other online retailer so we love their service. Their priority is never customer interaction or customer service instead it is about variety and fast delivery. Amazon spend most of their money and resource developing automation system in their fulfillment centers and warehouse to support and guaranteed a fast delivery of orders. It’s a resolution of lifestyle they provided for people who adapted the online shopping. This also allows the customers to be more independent and have a level of privacy and freedom to peruse, browse and do their own product research without pressure from sales people or paying extra for a company that do provides higher level of customer services.


Since Amazon is the front-runner in the online retailer market by far. They can afford to have an easy and generous return policy that makes them truly popular among customers. What we learn from them is customer service/marketing can be an important part of your business but should not be a standalone priority of the company. Knowing what customer truly wants and responsive to their need is the guidance to all service business. The company I work for is a small tech accessory design startup. With the company’s small scale we often find ourselves swamped by the volume of customer service that we need to deal with. In the busy season, we are severely off-balanced due to putting too much efforts and resources into customer service as suppose to product development and sales, which is the core function of the business. We find ourselves nearly solely reactionary at that point as supposed to be proactive in terms of brainstorming regarding the directions the company should move forward.

Amazon is inspirational and allows me to take a step back to evaluate my work and identify critical priorities and objectives that can add value to the company and which are the tasks just reactive and how to prioritize them.






Global Marketing

E-commerce Regulations: International Opportunity or Threat

The US, Japan, and Singapore are among nearly a dozen World Trade Organization (WTO) members that are pushing for international e-commerce regulations.  The US has specified that the agreement should cover the free flow of information, digital security, fair treatment of digital products, trade facilitation, protection of proprietary information, and facilitation of internet services. At the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires last December, 71 members of the 164 WTO members were in support of beginning talks on e-commerce with a join statement formalizing this stand.

India, which has yet to establish a national policy on e-commerce, is concerned that many countries do not yet understand the full implications of binding rules in this space due to asymmetric development of e-commerce globally. Several countries in Africa have are also opposed to e-commerce negotiations at this point.  However, with the US, EU, Japan, and China backing negotiation proposals, it is unlikely that India will be able to prevent negotiations from going forward.

This comes at an interesting time for India as India’s e-commerce is experiencing a period of rapid growth and its largest e-commerce player,, is close to closing a deal with Walmart and Alphabet, Google’s parent holding company.  According to Forrester Research, India’s online commerce is expected to grow from $19.6 billion in 2017 to $27 billion this year, nearly a 38% growth. Additionally, the deal to acquire a more than 70% stake in for $20 billion by Walmart and Alphabet is close to closing.  As a nation with a quickly growing e-commerce market and no national policy for e-commerce, an agreement by the WTO is of great concern to the country. It is for this reason that India is now rapidly working to develop a detailed national policy, which Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia has stated would assist “India in articulating its stand on e-commerce at the World Trade Organization.”

What is FlipKart?

There is also speculation that the US is attempting to utilize an agreement on digital trade to counter China’s digital trade barriers. As Stephen Claeys noted in an article in The Hill, the US paper on negotiations states that the agreement should cover all trade-related aspects of commerce through electronic means.  This would expand the negotiation agreement beyond the WTO’s narrow definition of e-commerce, which “only covers activities related to the electronic provision of goods and services, such as distribution, marketing and sales (Claeys).”   Although it is unlikely that all objectives in this paper would be accepted into a WTO on e-commerce, if they were, it would eliminate the top barriers to technology and information companies and would make a significant move towards the liberalization of digital trade.  

For companies currently in the global e-commerce market or considering entering this market, a WTO agreement regarding e-commerce could pose a large opportunity or threat.  One topic of concern is that of information freedom and security which may alter the gathering and storage of data for companies either in a more restrictive way or more open.  Additionally, the negotiations are likely to cover taxation, tariffs, and other potential costs for companies, which may increase or eliminate these costs for international e-commerce.  If eliminated or reduced, large international companies would be able to compete more aggressively with domestic companies in many countries. Companies looking to enter international markets through e-commerce will need to continually monitor progress on this front as regulations may offer a significant opportunity or threaten the profitability of their business in the near future.



Clays, Stephen. The Hill.


Global Marketing

Greener Shipping: Impact on Global Marketing

Earlier this month, the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO) reached an agreement to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.  The implementation strategy for this plan is not expected to be finalized until 2023 and it has been suggested that it may be subject to review in 2028. However, mandatory rules have been put in place by the IMO for new vessels to increase fuel efficiency in order to reduce carbon emissions from ship engines. Some proposed measures for the plan “include speed reductions and tougher energy efficiency design rules in the near term, market-based levies and subsidies in the mid-term, and the development of zero-emission fuels further down the line (Stefanini).”  The next meeting of the IMO’s environmental committee will not be until October.

Outside of the shipping and ship manufacturing industries, this new agreement is likely to impact the global supply chain of many companies engaged in international trade.  Depending on the requirements agreed upon, it is likely the cost of transporting goods through shipping channels will increase to cover new ships and compliance upgrades to existing ships.  Additionally, one of the proposed short-term measures is the speed reduction of shipping, which will slow delivery time significantly to international markets and increase product lead time.  These cost increases and delivery delays may result in price increases for imported products and may reduce the viability of international trade with certain countries for some companies.

Chile and Peru have already spoken out against the short-term speed reductions to reduce emissions as these would negatively impact the export of avocados, cherries, and blueberries.  These countries have submitted a 13-page document to the IMO requesting that the organization work on developing an “optimal speed” rather than a “speed reduction” while detailing the impact on fruit shipping, especially to specific geographies.  One scenario that Chile provided in this document was the example of shipping cherries from Chile to Shanghai, China, which currently takes 33 days, but at the proposed slower speed would take 44 days, which is likely to impact fruit quality. In considering products like fruit, it is possible that these countries will need to discontinue exporting to countries that are too far away to maintain quality or will need to raise prices to make up for the cost of spoilage and additional man hours for the ship’s crew.

This change in the regulatory environment of shipping will impact a large number of supply chains for companies that are manufacturing or marketing globally.  Additionally, the loss of cost and time efficiencies for exporters to specific countries may be advantageous for domestic companies that will not incur these additional costs.  Going forward, businesses need to be aware of the potential cost changes that may impact their international sourcing or trade. In anticipation of these changes, companies should consider building additional margin into pricing in new international markets so that prices do not need to be raised in the future.  Additionally, this may make some international markets less desirable for companies to enter if there is a long distance over which goods will need to be shipped.


Stefanini, Sara. Shipping to halve carbon footprint by 2050 under first sector-wide climate strategy. Climate Home News.


Global Marketing

Facebook kickoff the race of AI M&A activity

Facebook acquired Ozlo to help boost its online chatting application (Messenger) ability to help its users and predict their needs via Ozlo’s AI technology. Facebook’s Messenger already are gearing towards understudying the users via a series of virtual assistants, Facebook look to increase that capabilities with Ozlo’s technology.

Facebook’s Messenger app earlier this year rolled out a virtual assistants that aimed to provide recommendations to the users based on their conversations, the move to include Ozlo means Facebook is seeking to increase the capabilities and expertise from Ozlo to make the program to robust.

The technology will be focused initially on text-based conversations on the Messenger, unlike Apple’s SIRI which is a voice-based virtual assistant. According to a spokesperson, they wanted to make sure they got the text-based AI technology nailed before they move to voice-based assistants.

Majority of Ozlo’s 30 persons team will join Facebook’s offices in Menlo Park, CA or Seattle, WA. The financial terms of the sale is not disclosed.

Facebook is a social media giant with global users. Its core business is understanding and categorizing people’s lifestyles, their social media interactions and monetizes them via product placements and ads, among others. It is only natural that Facebook seek to use Artificial Intelligence to help understand, aggregate and identify key selling opportunities to its users. Netflix has been using AI it to provide better, more personalized recommendations to its 100 million subscribers worldwide, reducing movie searching time, a big reason for cancelled subscriptions.

Using artificial intelligence also allows two things to happen: making the art of understanding people’s needs/choices into a scientific and quantifiable endeavors, as supposed to relying on its human employees’ interpretations, which is subjective and inconsistent. It may also eventually replacing humans as its employees in the long run, reducing costs and errors.

I think AI will play an increasingly key role in Facebook’s operations and core business investments. With Google’s DeepMind, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s SIRI and Microsoft’s Cortana, many have invested time and resources to stay ahead of the game. Recently Amazon acquired KIVA, a robotic system that automates shipping, already inventory capacity increased by 50% while operating costs fell an estimated 20%.

According to a 2017 McKinsey report, corporate M&A is soaring in this area with the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) reaching approximately 80% from 20-13 to 2016. Tech giants including Baidu and Google spent between $20B to $30B on AI in 2016, with 90% of this spent on R&D and deployment, and 10% on AI acquisitions.*

Facebook must be able to integrate AI into its business and acquire more related expertise to help with its ever growing users. This will allow Facebook to concentrate its most valuable talents and resources to focus on expanding the company’s reach and influence and keep up with the tech world’s ever changing goal post.




Wagner. K. “Facebook acquired an AI startup to help Messenger build out its personal assistant” Recode. Web. 31 July 2017. <>

* Bughin. J, Hazan. E, Ramaswamy. S, Chui. M, Allas. T, Dahlström. P, Henke. N, and Trench. M “How Artificial Intelligence Can Deliver Real Value To Companies.” McKinsey Global Institute June 2017. <>

Global Marketing

Harley Davidson: Globalizing to Survive

Harley Davidson

Photo Credit: Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels

Founded in 1903, Harley Davidson is an iconic American motorcycle brand with a rich history and loyal brand following. The company is known for its heavyweight motorcycles with engine displacements greater than 700 cm³ but has broadened its product offerings to mid-sized and smaller motorcycles in order to remain competitive. Due to the passion that Harley Davidson’s community has for the brand, it has also been able to successfully licensed a wide range of products, including apparel, home decor, toys, accessories, and more.

In more recent years, the company has been challenged by the changes in the sociocultural environment of its primary market, the United States, and the legal environment internationally and domestically, in the form of trade barriers. In reference to this shift in US market demand, an article in The Guardian noted that “gas-guzzling hogs” are not appealing to younger consumers and the core Harley Davidson community is aging out of the market. The company has also faced challenges with trade tariffs in its attempts to expand outside of the United States market. In order to get around some of these tariffs, Harley Davidson has opened assembly plants in India to avoid 100% of tariffs and Brazil to take advantage of the free trade zone. More recently the company is facing the potential impact of steel tariffs on United States imports, which according to the investment firm, Wedbush Securities, could add $30m to Harley Davidson’s costs.
India Thailand Locator
In addition to the challenges that Harley Davidson is facing in its domestic market and in trying to keep most factories in the United States, the company is seeing increased opportunities internationally. Countries that are becoming more developed represent an increasing market of demand and the improved infrastructures of these countries are allowing for better distribution and usage of motorcycles. The company has taken advantage of some of these opportunities with the opening of factories and stores in both Brazil and India over the past few years. A recent article in The Times of India explained that Harley Davidson’s opening of new stores in the Northeast region of India was a strategic choice based on the higher demand for fashion in the selected locations and the upcoming highway that will connect this region to Thailand through Imphal.

Harley Davidson recently announced the closing of its Kansas City, MO factory, one of its five factories in the United States. The timing of this factory closing being close to the opening of Harley Davidson’s Thailand plant and recent steel tariffs has brought a lot of publicity to the story. Many have claimed that the company is offshoring these jobs and are blaming Trump for the impact of recent steel tariffs and for pulling the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year. Harley Davidson has stated that the factory closing is due to excess capacity in the United States and is unrelated to the opening of a Thailand factory, which was a decision made to avoid the 60% import tariff on motorcycles to Thailand and to gain tax breaks when selling to neighboring countries.
Harley-Davidson shop. - Budapest District V
As an iconic American brand, Harley Davidson is currently in the difficult position of trying to grow the foreign market it sees as crucial to the company’s survival while retaining its image in its domestic market. The United States market for heavyweight motorcycles is shrinking, international demand for Harley Davidson products are growing, and domestic operations are becoming less profitable. Harley Davidson anticipates a 50% growth in international sales by 2027 and sees its Thailand factory as a key resource in selling to the Southeast-Asian market. However, the loyal community that Harley Davidson has relied on in building its brand and staying in business for over a century looks unfavorably upon shifting jobs and operations internationally.

Harley Davidson’s struggle is one that many American brands are facing or will soon be facing due to shifting sociocultural, economic, legal, and political environments. There is an increasing number of countries where demand for many products is growing due to economic improvements and sociocultural changes in preferences.  Additionally, legal and political factors that impact trade are creating an environment in which it is often more profitable to manufacture outside of the United States in order to sell into these growing markets. As more traditional American brands continue taking advantage of these opportunities, one thing to watch will be the whether any brands attempt to compete by keeping manufacturing in the United States and if America will begin to care enough to significantly impact sales.


Global Marketing

Samsung Electronic’s road to global domination


Headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Samsung operates in numerous locations in South Korea, the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and China. Altogether with a series of subsidiaries and affiliates, Samsung operates in more than 72 countries globally.

Located at the heart of Asia and as part of an island, South Korea has the advantage of proximity when exporting their manufactured and agricultural goods to neighboring countries like Japan, China, Russia, Singapore and others in the region.

The government of South Korea focused their development efforts to be in the areas of burgeoning demands within those Asian countries such as electronic manufacturing, IT technology, ship-building. That’s a substantial contributing factor that allows Samsung to seize the market.

South Korea’s main industries are in the fields of electronics components manufacturing, telecommunications, automobile productions, chemicals, ship-building and steel mining/manufacturing. In 2015, total exports of South Korea is $526.76 billion, which ranks 6th globally. Main export partners include China, United Stated, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In the early part of the 2000, many South Korea’s major industries are the leaders in the IT sector thanks to the sustained aids received by its government to boost the industry.

To date, South Korea has firmly established itself as a main provider of semiconductors and beginning to look to the future of its manufacturing industries by investing in the robotic technologies. Open trade policies give South Korea the access to international markets, which has been further helped by the multitudes of advantageous free trade agreements the Korean government has signed. South Korea boasts a sophisticated and well-integrated logistics network, which greatly aids the highly efficient supply chains and a robust utilities supply for the country's favored industries. The export-driven economy is set to record healthy growth over the medium term, and investment in the transport network will continue to improve the already-strong international connections and allows South Korea to meet the ever growing global demands for manufactured products and parts. Open trade and investment policies have helped South Korea's development and the investment climate is also greatly benefited by South Korea's moderate tax rates.


Samsung Electronics optimized its transportation plan by introducing the key distribution TMS (Transportation Management System) and set the optimized transportation route for shipping period by introducing professional TMS package. Also it changed fixed transportation route as flexible method and it expanded and applied WMS (Warehouse Management System) into the all distribution center step by step.


in the United States, Apple is still the dominating force in the smartphone market. Apple’s popularity and consumer loyalty are just two of the many reasons Samsung is facing challenges as a direct competitor.

Another serious challenge is overcoming the legal hurdles, as Apple has alleges many of Samsung’s products to infringe on its design and utility patents.

Samsung is looking to expand its market presence in The United States, by making it easier for solution providers to source product and support through its new “Samsung Team of Empowered Partners” (STEP) program.

STEP is the cornerstone of a global effort by Samsung to consolidate resources and simplify accessibility for partners. Currently, Samsung’s channel efforts are divided by regions and product lines. So by consolidating, Samsung is making a concerted effort to bring more partners into and expose more opportunities to channel partners.

Samsung operates via modern retailers and distributors. The sales and service dealers handle key accounts for Samsung and are involved in corporate sales. These dealers may also open exclusive Samsung showrooms.

In several cities, Samsung has a single distributor through whom they distribute throughout a territory. For example – In Mumbai, Samsung has SSK distributors who are distributors for all Samsung products. This distributor has a huge investment in Samsung and both, the distributor and the company go hand in hand for the sale of Samsung’s products.

As the largest conglomerate which operations and growth occupies a large proportion of South Korea’s GDP, Samsung’s are part of every South Korean’s life directly and indirectly. Which large-scale resources and business and jobs opportunities, Samsung is increasingly credited with reducing income inequalities and increase median salary and average quality of living for many South Koreans.

The Samsung Hope for Children program was created to help make a difference in the lives of children worldwide. By donating products and financial support, we’re able to give thousands of children access to education, mentorship, and life-saving medical treatment.

Samsung operates a large non-profit in South Korea. The Samsung HOPE FOR CHILDREN program provides financial support, mentorship and career opportunities for thousands of children access to education, mentorship, and life-saving medical treatment. They also spearheaded an environmental program called ECO MANAGEMENT, which seeks to prioritize the planet’s sustainability through many of its environmental and recycling programs.

One of the peril of a promoting a company as it slowly becomes “too large to fail”, South Korea as a nation is increasing its dependency on a business venture. The people of South Korea are both benefited when the company achieves success and also will suffer along with the company should it suffer catastrophic failures.




Global Marketing

How food businesses leveraging social media to boost brand loyalty

Many social factors influence markets that retail businesses serve. Business are keenly interested in effective marketing and in the quality of the products and services they sell. Many food businesses in the U.S. understand that they need to become familiar with the various social factors that can influence their customers' buying behaviors. Further more, some business even become expert in leveraging social media to build brand loyalty.

 Ben& jerry is a high quality ice-cream manufacturer who focusing on creating Innovative flavor of the ice-creams and improving the quality of life for their customers.

They are different than other ice-cream brands on creating a Social progressive brand image, which they focusing on social, economic in addition to product aspects. Ben & Jerry’s has the best social media presence in U.S. restaurant industry beating the giants like McDonald and Starbucks.

They’ve been on the cutting edge with respect to environmental causes; they are good on communicating with customers on social media. For example, Ben& jerry are actively involved in social factors like the presidential campaigns by making politically related ads and launch limited time flavor with names like Empower mint and Bernie’s yearning. It’s their strategy to use their product to connect with their customers on an emotional level. Engagement has always been a high priority for the brand and the company has remained a strong presence on social medias following trendy news and social events.


Another way that Ben and jerry is different from other brand is they offer customer with high-perceived value by the use of high quality, innovative flavoring, natural ingredients as well as considering environmental issues while production and distribution.

Taco bell is an American fast food restaurant held the biggest market share in low cost Mexican fast food market and identified as winner with millennial. They seem to be aware that their target market is young people who looking for a different option for late night snack or people between 16-33 years old who know that eating healthy is important but also enjoy having one or two taco from time to time. Taco bell is one of the early players that recognize the importance of social media in the lives of millennial and understand how the social media can help boosting the brand’s popularity. The company’s has 1.86 million followers on twitters and regularly top lists of best brand accounts on social media.

Brand loyalty is defined as the partiality of a consumer towards one business or product over another, and it can truly make or break a company. In today’s international marketing environment, brand loyalty depends on your ability to leverage the power of social media to build connections with your prospects and customers.