Accelerating cross-border sales with one of the leading international e-commerce service company through a networking mobile application.
Glocal is a digital platform that connects cross-border brands with local influencers to improve marketing of their products and drive cross-border sales.
Lo-Hi Fidelity mockups
Every market in the world is not the same. Introducing a new product in a different market poses a myriad number of challenges. Pitney Bowes, one of the leading international e-commerce service companies who specialize in global e-commerce, shipping and mailing, collaborated with students of Cornell Tech to solve the challenge of introducing cross-border brands to consumers in different countries.
We intended to create an influencer marketing digital platform for connecting local influencers to the cross-border brands in order to introduce their products in different countries.
Cross-border brands can connect with influencers of any country using the advanced search filter and strike a deal with them on the messaging platform to market their products.
Influencers registered on the platform can get discovered by industry-leading cross-border brands and partner with them for local influencer marketing. Through the messaging feature influencers can interact with brands, negotiate deals, complete milestones and get paid.
We front-loaded our generative research by interviewing both sellers and buyers to understand their pain points in selling and buying products internationally. I interviewed a representative at Pitney Bowes, Rick Watson, to understand the challenges some of their existing brands face in introducing and sending a product internationally. My teammates interviewed buyers who buy international products to understand from their standpoint. Here are the insights we synthesized:
Identifying marketing channels and gaining consumer's trust
International shipping logistics and country by country cost variances
Customer dissatisfaction and product returns
Shipping costs and minimum order associated to the buyer
A digital platform for connecting cross-border brands with local influencers
Shipping products with frequent international flyers
An AR app try-on for product experience before making a purchase
Online cart sharing option with shoppers in the neighborhood
We decided to go with creating a digital platform for connecting cross-border brands with local influencers as we believe that marketing phase is crucial in introducing products to consumers in different countries and also it solves various pain-point for the buyers.
The success of the idea relies on influencer sign-ups. To test this aspect before developing the platform, we created a mock website to lure influencers into signing up for the service. We also designed a social media campaign to direct people to the site for signups.
We marketed on social media and sent the links out to friends and family in 8 different countries over a span of 10 days. The results and insights are as follows:
After discussing with our advisor, we went ahead with creating the platform as they believe that the brands would benefit out of this and getting influencers on the system is a matter of marketing efforts.
The idea is to create a 2-way app ecosystem for both cross-border brands and influencers to connect, network and market products. Let's take examples of some of our potential users and the scenarios in which our app is utilized.
James, a sales manager at Coach wants to increase sales by expanding COACH internationally and is looking for right marketing channels to do so. He onboards the Glocal app and does the following steps to meet his requirements.
The trending news feature provides James with industry related news in different countries. He browses them and marks them as favorites to revisit later.
After rigorously researching, James decided to reach out to the UK market. He browses for influencers in England using the advanced filter option and connects with Kylie.
James sends a message request to Kylie to discuss plans of endorsing his company's products and Kylie receives the request, reviews the company profile and responds with her interest.
Kylie, a fashion blogger from London is interested in using her social media following to get some influencer gigs and earn money. She onboards Glocal connecting all her active social media accounts and does the following steps to meet her requirements.
After signing up and creating a profile, Kylie browses various brands using the filter and shows her interest by liking the profile.
Max recognizes Kylie's interest in Cartier's products, responds by sending a message to her to stay connected.
A visual language was adapted from the existing identity of Pitney Bowes and is consistently maintained across all elements in the product.
“I'm impressed by how far this has come along. A well crafted design solution and I would like you to present this to my senior staff.”
- Rick Watson, VP Product Management, Pitney Bowes
“Very interesting idea. I wonder if anyone else has done this before, if not, then this can be its own startup.”
- Karan Girotra, Professor, Cornell Tech
The designs are made considering potential users in mind but implementing them poses a set of other constraints which I envision to tackle soon.
The success of the platform lies in influencer sign-ups. We previously experienced the downside of a bad campaign. We intend to create an effective campaign to lure influencers for sign-ups.