Step by Step S7E1
March 21, 2022

[Step by Step] How Does Cross-Border eCommerce Work?

Welcome to Season 7 of Step by Step! This season we’re partnering with Avalara to answer the question, “How can I take my brand cross border?” Tune in every day this week to hear from experts about what you need to know to begin selling internationally. Tune in now!

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It Takes an Ecosystem to Grow Internationally

  • Jason Nyhus is the SVP of Global Sales at Digital River, focusing on helping brands go global 
  • “The honest reality of today is a lot different than it was a decade ago. If you make any product, you are inherently global overnight.”- Jason
  • Just because you’re able to take people’s money, doesn't mean you will be able to fulfill the brands promise. You have to make sure that you will still be able to deliver an on-par experience. You have to be able to serve the demand
  • There are two categories to consider:
    1. Where is the product coming from? Does it have to cross the border?
    2. Where is the payment being taken? Does that also have to cross the border?
  • The more onshore, the better. Better in terms of products, how long it takes to get there and making sure you have the appropriate payment methods. 
  • A brand can really screw up when they go global if they surprise their customers in a negative way.
  • “It's not just your flagship. If you're going cross-border, it's your only ship.” -Brian
  • “A lot of people think that they can execute an international global expansion. The question is, should they do it themselves or should they find help from some of the companies that you have on this podcast? Because I think that's probably the most likely best path for a lot of them.” -Jason

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Phillip: [00:00:10] Hello and welcome to Step by Step, a podcast by Future Commerce, presented by Avalara. I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:00:15] And I'm Brian. And this is Season 7 of Step by Step. [00:00:20] You are listening to the first episode, so welcome. In our five-part series, we're going to talk to experts from industry leading cross-border platforms and technologies that power cross-border innovation. We're going to bring it all to you step by step.

Phillip: [00:00:37] That's right. This season, we're going to answer the big [00:00:40] existential question for any brand: When is the right time for my brand to go cross-border? And what are the things that you should consider when taking those first steps to grow your brand overseas? Maybe you've even taken some first steps, you've performed some tests, but now cross-border is a key part of your growth strategy. If [00:01:00] any of that fits your description, this is the podcast for you.

Brian: [00:01:06] I learned so much during this podcast.

Phillip: [00:01:09] This was a masterclass, this season.

Brian: [00:01:12] It was. It was. I did not realize how complex this was.

Phillip: [00:01:18] I didn't either. I didn't. And [00:01:20] I've worked with so many eCommerce stores over the years who take their first steps and a lot of what they go through, the pains that they go through, are hidden because it seems like every decision that you make is not necessarily a technology one, but it moves, the [00:01:40] problem space is complex. It affects everything: supply chain, technology, localization, maybe even the way that your brand is expressed in new markets. It's a very complex topic. You can't just you can't do what we used to do in the old days, back when I [00:02:00] was in eCommerce. We did something called price and pray. Do you know what that is? {laughter}

Brian: [00:02:05] {laughter} No. Explain that. I think having been through the series, I feel like I know where you're going. Tell me.

Phillip: [00:02:10] Back in my day, we would just charge like sixty dollars for shipping, and if it was an international shipment, just hope that covered [00:02:20] taxes and duties and that it didn't leave the customer holding the bag. Now I know having gone through this five part series with our friends at Avalara and all these really smart people that have been involved in this process in creating not just the podcast but the guide that will support it, which you'll hear more about here in the middle of the show, but all [00:02:40] the things that went into the preparation for this season of Step by Step, I realized, wow, that was a really infantile approach to doing cross-border. If you're doing cross-border like that today, it doesn't have to be that way. We can help you get your ducks in a row because brands have to think globally, right?

Brian: [00:02:58] Yeah, I think with the rising [00:03:00] cost of customer acquisition in local markets, this is just it's too great of an opportunity to ignore going into a new region. And the only thing about that is there's actually a lot of complexity involved. And so like you were saying, you're going to have to consider way more [00:03:20] than just translating your eCommerce site. You have to deal with duties and taxes and shipping and cultural differences. There's so much that goes into this, and that's why we partnered with Avalara to tell this story, to help our listeners learn more about what [00:03:40] is required to actually do this well.

Phillip: [00:03:42] You've heard the phrase, "It takes a village." Well, it takes an ecosystem to go cross-border, and we have compiled the best of the best here. So if you are a growing or mid-sized brand and you're looking to grow into new markets or you're a retailer [00:04:00] and you're looking to expand your presence overseas, hey, this is the podcast series for you. We're going to help bring it to you step by step. It's a fascinating list, and I can't wait to dove into episode one. So without any further ado, we're going to get into it. We're going to join in this interview with Jason Nyhus, who is the Senior VP of Global Sales [00:04:20] at Digital River, as he teaches us how you can successfully launch your brand into a new market, step by step.

Phillip: [00:04:31] Today, we are kicking off our seventh season of Step by Step, and we are joined by Jason Nyhus, the Senior VP of Global Sales [00:04:40] at Digital River. We won't hold it against you for being in sales there, Jason. Welcome to the Future Commerce seventh season of Step by Step.

Jason: [00:04:48] Yeah, no, I appreciate that. I'm also sales and partnerships. I like to use the other part to water down just the sales, the pure salesmanship of it, but no. Absolutely thrilled to be here. Big fan of your podcast, I'm [00:05:00] a recent follower and I really love your work, so thanks for having me.

Phillip: [00:05:04] Thank you. And we're going to spend the next five days and five episodes of this season of Step by Step getting into the why and then into the how of going cross-border. And I'm a firm believer that [00:05:20] people on the front lines, especially in business development and sales, understand what customers are asking for literally right now. We had conceived of this with our friends at Avalara and said, "How do you cover something so meaty like cross-border?" Well, we found a way to do it. And so [00:05:40] I'm really excited to get into it. Maybe tell us just briefly about yourself and why you're authoritative on the subject.

Jason: [00:05:46] Yeah, you bet. Thanks. Thanks for the opportunity. So my name is Jason Nyhus. And as you described, I work at a company called Digital River, and we were one of the first eCommerce pioneers helping brands go direct for [00:06:00] about twenty-eight years now, which makes us a little bit of a dinosaur in the context of eCommerce. But what has really changed in our business is we used to be a company that could do everything to take a company online selling direct, and that meant customer service, marketing, commerce platform, [00:06:20] or management subscription, as well as processing the transaction. So that's payments, fraud, tax, and compliance, to name a few. The reason that cross-border is such a meaty topic for us and why I'm excited to be here is because Digital River has transformed. So now instead of doing the 50 [00:06:40] things to help a brand sell online, we really focus on things centered around taking the transaction successfully in every market around the world. So its payments, fraud, tax compliance, and fulfillment all wrapped up into a super app that helps brands go global. And so we've been doing that for the entire amount of our history, [00:07:00] but that is our sole focus in the last three years, and it's really driven a tremendous amount of our growth and success. And it's why I'm excited to be here today.

Phillip: [00:07:10] You chose all the hardest things to do. So congratulations.

Brian: [00:07:14] {laughter} Yeah.

Phillip: [00:07:16] It's all this stuff that people don't want to do. Brian, this is something that's sort of near and dear to [00:07:20] us.

Brian: [00:07:21] For sure. Yeah, cross-border is huge in terms of expanding your offering in your market and all of that. But Jason, I'd love to hear from you. Why would somebody decide to go cross-border? Give us a little bit of that initial perspective. You've done this a lot, so [00:07:40] tell us what you're seeing as one of the most common refrains, the common motivations for someone to go cross-border with commerce.

Jason: [00:07:48] Yep. Great setup. So [00:07:51] the honest reality of it today is a lot different than it was a decade ago. If you make any product, if you're a brand, you are [00:08:00] inherently global overnight. There is nothing that is preventing people from places in Asia or Latin America or Europe or other places who might want your product. And so that's fundamentally different from the way that people used to manufacture and go to market regionally and maybe even in a single country. It is just different. [00:08:19] And [00:08:20] so now the fact that there is global demand for products means that brands are looking at the traffic to their website and looking at their underserved customers. And by underserved I mean, they may be showing them English, US dollars, only paying with international credit cards, but the people still [00:08:40] want their want those goods. And so when brands look at those facts, you know, 30 percent of their web traffic is coming from outside of the domestic market, they really start to say, how can I unlock this revenue potential for my brand? And that's where the fun starts.

Phillip: [00:08:56] Wow. It is. And also the sweet, sweet, incremental revenue, [00:09:00] baby. That's the thing we're all after, right? When you're sort of like expanding your tent poles and your brand now is going global, you start thinking about all the things that are the exciting parts to build. There are probably a lot of things that have to come first before you even begin to build. Let's talk [00:09:20] maybe like at a spiritual level. What does a brand or operator within a direct branded manufacturer or retailer have to consider to start putting pieces into place before they start thinking about tech?

Jason: [00:09:33] Yeah, well, I like it. So the first thing that you really have to  [00:09:40]ask yourself is if I'm able to take someone's money am I able to fulfill the brand promise by getting them the product? If you walk down Fifth Avenue in New York City, you see how much money brands spend just [00:10:00] romancing their consumers with great experiences. And then you kind of put that up against, "Well, you know, we have all this international traffic. Maybe we should just find a way to take their money and ship them a product." Well, philosophically you have to make sure that you are going to try and deliver [00:10:20] an on-par experience that you do to someone you serve domestically. And that philosophical point is really, really important. You can't just take their money and give them the product in a month and make them pay duties and taxes when it shows up at their door and all of those kind of rough edges around a transaction. So to me, the philosophical [00:10:40] point of view is just because there's demand you have to still be able to kind of serve it at the expectation that you would your domestic customers. So I'm not sure I answered your question perfectly, but that's kind of what I think about is just because it's there doesn't mean it comes for free. You still have to earn it.

Phillip: [00:10:56] There's a philosophical why like an existential why.

Jason: [00:11:00] The [00:11:00] existential why to should I sell internationally?

Phillip: [00:11:03] Yeah, I think there's like an existential conversation to be had that's beyond just the revenue growth. Like, how will this actually change the way we do business and the systems and operations internally over the next few years? It's not just about can we see growth, it's about are we ready for the system's [00:11:20] changes and the architecture, the operational structure of the business to have to also adapt to a growing market?

Jason: [00:11:28] Oh, OK. I appreciate the re-center of the question. So when brands do business in their backyard, it's relatively simple. If you think about the dynamics of selling in your own [00:11:40] market, you have people, you likely have somebody who understands, say, payments or tax, you have scale, meaning all of your revenue, and so the philosophical question you have to ask yourself is, "Have we built our business to scale? Are the processes and the people we have [00:12:00] in place to execute the domestic side of the equation going to allow us to take this business to new markets?" Even though the revenue will be a fraction of what it is in our backyard and the expertise around the things you don't know start to really mount up. It becomes almost this inflection point, and it basically paralyzes [00:12:20] brands on whether they should or should not continue to move forward with global.

Brian: [00:12:25] Hmm, that's a really good point, yeah. One of the things that you said a couple of minutes ago that just sort of sparked my brain was that you said that you look at a brand and what they've done and the incredible experiences [00:12:40] they've built, and you think, OK, that's incredible. These in-store experiences on Fifth Avenue or wherever, wherever they have their flagship stores are beautiful and on brand and on point. Then you look at like, OK, well, now, in the past few years, the [00:13:00] flagship has moved from physical to digital, and we've built these incredible eCommerce experiences that serve a specific market. But now you're saying, OK, I want to take that experience, and I want to make it available [00:13:20] for other regions as well. And the interesting thing is, it's not just your flagship. If you're going cross-border, it's your only ship. And so it is literally the only way that a customer in that region has [00:13:40] the ability to interact with your brand. And there are some nuances to this. In fact, one of the things that I kind of wanted to ask you about was what's the difference between cross-border and onshore and what does that mean for a brand as they look at moving into different [00:14:00] markets?

Jason: [00:14:01] Yeah, it's an excellent question. So we define cross-border... Well, so first of all, I think there are two categories that you have to consider. The first one is where is the product coming from? Does it have to cross the border? And the second one is how is the payment being taken? Does that also have to cross the border?  [00:14:20]The example of onshore means that the payment is local, with a local bank/acquirer taking a local payment method and is subject to local taxes. Well, that feels like a local transaction or an onshore transaction for a consumer. And the [00:14:40] product may be coming from, say, the United States shipped over to the UK. Well, that would then be a cross-border fulfilled product. So those are really the two dimensions. How is the transaction process domestically or onshore and how does the fulfillment happen, domestically versus onshore? [00:14:56] The rule of thumb is the more onshore, [00:15:00] the better. The better in terms of physical products, how long it takes to get there, and how you don't have to deal with things like land and cost. But it comes at a cost to the brand of having to put inventory in region and making sure they're really good at demand planning and making sure they don't have stock-outs in one region and too much in others. And then on the transaction side, that's [00:15:20] again, it's all about making sure for onshore that you've got the appropriate payment methods with the appropriate local acquiring, and that you're using a local entity to process all of that. If you do all of those things locally, then that becomes an onshore transaction. And it's the best consumer experience. That [00:15:40] is a physics problem for most of the brands selling online today. They simply don't have the means or the expertise or the capital to do pure onshore, which is why we have cross-border as an offering. [00:15:55]

Phillip: [00:15:56]  [00:15:56]It turns out electrons are a lot cheaper than atoms. [00:16:00] It's really easy to move things around digitally, and it's incredibly hard to move things around physically. [00:16:06] And I think when you're when you're thinking about this, we'll get into this in later episodes in the season. But there are as many ways to go cross-border as there are products [00:16:20] and brands and categories and brands in this world. And I think that's where we, you know, navigating our way through trying to give good advice in the series is what we're trying to do. Let me ask you a question. We didn't prep you for this, but I always love asking the off-the-cuff question, how does your thinking adapt around what you just said [00:16:40]? When you're distinguishing between, say, a branded manufacturer who's going direct to consumer versus, say, a retailer who may have lower margins or may have constraints around the ability to govern what's in the supply chain to be able to go cross-border and to be flexible there and potentially even maybe [00:17:00] how marketplaces which would combine maybe some of the two types of doing business into making it even a little more complicated. I'm curious what your thoughts are on how the different types of business models might be impacted by their strategy to going cross-border.

Jason: [00:17:15] Yeah. So I think brands have a huge advantage here. Progressive [00:17:20] DTC brands in particular. If you think about the primary role of a retail business, and I'm talking about retail like people who sell products they don't make. So think of a Best Buy or Target or others. As it relates to global, people [00:17:40] know Lenovo in every country around the world, they know Fitbit, they know Dyson. They know these brands in every country around the world. They may not know Target or Best Buy. And so brands who can create a brand in virtually every country around the world have an enormous advantage in terms of brand [00:18:00] strength, but also in terms of product margin so that they can determine how they're going to service those markets. And a retailer, as an example as well, their whole model is around commerce, taking people's money for goods and services. So they have an infrastructure [00:18:20] that they are designed to build. They are the merchant and seller, and that is their primary function as a retailer. Well, the brand is different. A brand's primary mission is to build great products, market great products, and get them into the hands of the consumer. So that fundamental difference is really important as it relates to international eCommerce. [00:18:40] Brands can use marketplaces to get distribution into every country around the world, and they can also use direct to consumer to do the same. [00:18:51] Target tried Canada, so did Best Buy. They tried Canada. What they found in that process is that retail in other [00:19:00] markets, much like politics, is largely a locally-driven thing. And so, I would bet you that a company like Macy's, the percentage of international transactions is sub-three percent, five percent of their overall gross sales. But when you talk to a brand, they're [00:19:20] in the double digits with 30, 40, 50 percent of their revenues coming from outside of their domestic market. So just from how they're set up, how they're structured, what they're focused on, I think brands take the wheel here as it relates to the internationalization of their story and owning that relationship with consumers because you [00:19:40] can't rely on a retailer to do that for you. [00:19:42]

Phillip: [00:19:45] Are you considering selling to international customers? I think you are because you are listening to this season of Step by Step. We have partnered with Avalara to create a 40-page merchant's guide to cross-border commerce. This new Step by Step [00:20:00] guide will take you through all of the things that you need to consider when putting people, processes, and platforms into place to have a winning cross-border strategy. Cross-border sales are a great way to increase your customer base and drive revenue and position your brand for the future, but it's not without complexity. You have to consider the customer experience. [00:20:20] You have to have a comprehensive timeline. You have to understand compliance, custom duties, and tax requirements, and you have to work with a wealth of partners. Our eight step, 40-page guide will help you to do that and create a winning cross-border strategy. Download the guide for free right now at [00:20:40]

Brian: [00:20:58] Talk to us a little bit about the impact [00:21:00] that selling cross-border could have on a consumer and a new market and their perception of the brand and introducing that new brand to them, and as a result, the overall impact on the brand, what that looks like.

Phillip: [00:21:14] Wait, a customer-centered perspective, Brian? I am aghast.

Jason: [00:21:18] {laughter} Well, first [00:21:20] of all, I'd be remiss if I didn't share a few stats on what we've seen. In the last few years, eCommerce has obviously rapidly grown. It's north of 20 percent of all retail sales. A lot of that is being fueled by a lot of these new DTC brands. There are four billion internet users in the world. Half [00:21:40] of those are digital buyers. In our patch of business, the international business, the non kind of domestic business, is growing at 2x the rate of the domestic business. And so from a brand's perspective, I'll get to customer in a second. But from a brand's perspective, this is a market that's hot, it's growing, and [00:22:00] there are international customers who are chomping at the bit for new brands and new services to consume, but they don't have access to traditionally. So that's kind of point one in terms of the customer-centric view, I think as Americans, we take a [00:22:20] lot for granted because our 50 states are one big trading pattern. But international customers really appreciate it when you have more local payment types available to them to be able to transact the way they want to. They appreciate when translations are localized in [00:22:40] a way that makes sense, not just kind of Google Translated. I think international customers can recognize when they're doing business with a kind of non-domestic merchant, and they look for things like how open and upfront are they on things like duties and tariffs to get the product to them. A [00:23:00] brand can really screw up going global if they surprise their customers in a negative way, and that means like, "Hey, your product's here, you've got to pay 50 bucks to get it out of customs to get it." Things like that. And generally speaking, when we go into meetings with prospects, they usually have one of two pain points. They're underserving their [00:23:20] customers and they know it, and it shows up in the way of kind of negative reviews on their website, lots of returns, lots of chargebacks, or alternatively, they're not built to scale things like fraud or payments, and it shows up in a whole bunch of fraud that's not actually fraudulent. They're just frauding out good customers, [00:23:40] and they're being too tight in terms of their loss prevention, trying to serve customers that they can't get good decisioning around. And all of those have really negative implications on a customer which really make the 30/40 percent growth not worth it if you're going to create that much collateral damage. So there's a lot to think about as you think about [00:24:00] how do you delight your customers, back to the earlier part of our conversation, and give them a great experience that you'd expect to give them on Fifth Avenue?

Phillip: [00:24:10] I mean, that goes back to Brian's insistence now for three and a half years that eCom is your flagship. And I'm kind of like, "Is it though?" I think this kind of seals [00:24:20] the deal that I guess it doesn't depend necessarily on how you position it or how you build it, but necessarily maybe where that customer is located as to how they experience your brand. So I think that is a really, really astute point to be [00:24:40] made there. If we were to talk a little bit about all of the choices we have, like a million choices for being able to go cross-border. I think we opened up talking about there are ways to go about this in a bespoke sort of, the new trendy phrase is "composable commerce." Like we're going [00:25:00] to take best-in-class solutions that do various pieces of this. What are all the layers there and what are the various options between maybe agencies who pull these things together all in one like technical platform solutions? Maybe very specific, like just landed cost calculation and maybe layering in some technology [00:25:20] or maybe some manpower on the brand side. Maybe talk us through some of the many options you have.

Jason: [00:25:27] Yeah, it is a hot space. Any time you have tons of money pouring into the space, companies like Global-e going public, Shopify making their markets announcement, also, [00:25:40] Digital River, getting big-time into the game with all of our investments, you start to recognize that there are a lot of choices, almost too many choices as to how brands solve these problems. I would say my first point of view would [00:26:00] be to find a trusted advisor who's been there and done that and had some callous on their hands from doing it. Saying going global is easy, but executing it is really a country by country, region by region strategy. The second is to pick a platform that's built for global. We [00:26:20] grew up international, so we take for granted how a lot of platforms don't elegantly handle different product variations and the ability of different languages, the ability to support multi-currencies, all doing it through a single instance versus having like 20 different [00:26:40] versions of your Shopify store to try and manage your 20 different countries. So I would say the kind of challenge is one, is the right partner to help you do it. Two is the right platform that's built for international. And then three, is really where the digital river choice comes in. Brands have a choice whether they want to kind of roll [00:27:00] their own to buy a payment partner, buy and integrate a tax provider, buy and integrate a fraud provider. Probably hire a consultant to help you deal with all the compliance challenges. Hire extra accountants to help you deal with reconciliation. Pick a fulfillment partner. And there are just so many choices that you have. And so what [00:27:20] I would tell people, your listeners, is if you're at choice three, how are you going to execute the transaction level of eCommerce expansion? Look at a merchant of record model, a cross-border provider, or a merchant of record model. They're synonymous. They're the same thing. And see if there are markets where [00:27:40] you should draw the line that maybe you want to own your own backyard, plus two or three of the largest places, and execute that yourself with a bit of a roll your own. And then how do you find a partner to take countries number six through 240 and really lean on their scale in those markets to give you an advantage? That [00:28:00] would be my advice. It's self-serving, obviously, but that's I think the thing that brands really don't fully understand is there are ways to solve this problem that you may not traditionally think about.

Phillip: [00:28:13] Mm hmm. Woo. So what I heard was it highly depends. And some of [00:28:20] the highly depends depends on where you're launching into. And some of the highly depends depends on maybe the maturity of the organization that's heading into this, whether it's your first time or your third time.

Jason: [00:28:31] Yeah. And I host the podcast, and I hate when people ramble like I just did. So next time...

Phillip: [00:28:34] No. It makes our job easy. It makes our job easy, especially [00:28:40] when they're as knowledgeable as you are. I want to ask one more question here before we sort of get into the idea of what we can expect in the next few episodes ahead. What are some examples of maybe bad assumptions or bad reasons why a brand or [00:29:00] retailer might have to try to go cross-border?

Jason: [00:29:04] Bad assumptions? I think everything is a balancing act. The obvious thing when brands look at it is the revenue or the growth. The bad assumptions are around the real TCO of what's it going to take to deliver excellence. The investment [00:29:20] and complexity go up materially the further you get from your own backyard. And we used to say there are one hundred and fifty thousand tax laws that drive eCommerce, and if you or someone in your company don't know them, you have no business doing this yourself. You [00:29:40] know, there was a massive law change in July of last year, which changed things from the place you were selling it from, your tax nexus that was where you were subject to pay taxes, and it shifted to the place the consumer is. You now have to pay the taxes in those local communities and those local jurisdictions. [00:30:00] And it created enormous tax liabilities for brands and virtually every company we call is still not following the new guidelines, which went into place in July of last year, which means they're unintentionally creating enormous tax liabilities for their business. They didn't know it, they didn't do it when they started. But the rules change, and they [00:30:20] aren't agile enough to keep up with the dynamic nature of the international eCommerce market. That's a good example.

Phillip: [00:30:27] Imagine that at scale in many countries, and that's the complexity of the landscape.

Jason: [00:30:34] Yeah, there was something in... There was one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world [00:30:40] who is selling in Spain, and they're doing something wrong with regards to how they're displaying taxes, and they got like some multimillion-dollar fine. And they looked in the mirror and said, "Why are we doing this? Is there another option that someone else who's full-time focused on this can handle?" And the answer is, yeah, that's what a company [00:31:00] like Digital River or our competitors do. They keep an eye on this all the time, so you don't have to.

Brian: [00:31:08] Wow, that's amazing. I think that this just gets me hyped for the rest of the season because I think the rest of this season is going to be about how to [00:31:20] be smart about doing this and do it in a way that actually makes sense for your business and for the new markets that you're going into, the new customers you're about to gain. And just looking ahead at what's coming next, we're going to be looking at how to sell internationally, [00:31:40] actually how to go to it, like walking through a typical international sale. We're going to look at how to optimize costs and build a good customer experience, something that we've sort of touched on here. We're going to look at weighing different options for partners and for ways to go about doing this and looking [00:32:00] at the different ways that you could do this well. And then we're also going to talk about a whole bunch of common mistakes that you can avoid and what the flip side of that is, how to do it right. And we're going to have guests, some incredible guests come on. We're going to have people from Avalara. We're going to have [00:32:20] Kent Allen from GELF on. We're going to have a number of experts on in the coming episodes that are going to help walk us through how to do this and I cannot wait to learn more. Phillip, I know you're excited.

Phillip: [00:32:37] Yeah, I am. You know what's funny is I've been on [00:32:40] the other side of the table. I worked the first part of my career, I worked directly for brands and I helped build engineering teams for direct to consumer brands. And when we walked into the door, when I walked in to build an engineering team at a wellness brand who had aspirations to go overseas, [00:33:00] you know, day one, I looked at it and said, "What is this sixty-five dollars charge that we're applying to international orders?" And it was, "That's our CYA fee. It's the just in case something goes wrong, we have money in the bank for us to cover whatever the delta [00:33:20] might be on landed cost." And you know, of course, the world has changed quite dramatically since 2008/2009. But the way we architected back then was just, I don't know, suck your thumb and kind of figure it out. Today, we actually have technology that can do that, right? So small brands can actually do this [00:33:40] well. I'm excited to hear what the implications are for the long tail of SMB, right? I'm excited to hear about global retailers and how they solve this differently to everyone else and how their challenges at scale can be solved with various platforms. And this is all about really [00:34:00] just business maturity at the end of the day. You have a mature business reason to need to grow, to want to be able to expand your markets. Does your business operationally have the same sort of maturity to be able to share the responsibility both in-house and out of house to make that a possibility? So [00:34:20] this is going to be exciting for me as someone who just sits around thinking about maturity models all day. I'm stoked. Jason, we'll give you the last word. Anything that we can do here today to sort of excite the audience for the journey that we're about to embark on together?

Jason: [00:34:39] Well, [00:34:40] I got to make a comment. I think you've got a power-packed lineup of people that I deem to be experts in going global. And I think as your listeners tune in, they're going to find some real practical takeaways that they can bring back to their business and help them have a strategy to expand. The last comment I would probably make is [00:35:01] a [00:35:00] lot of people think that they can execute an international global expansion. The question is, should they do it themselves or should they find help from some of the companies that you have on this podcast? Because I think that's probably the most likely best path for a lot of them. [00:35:16]

Brian: [00:35:18] It's a great question to leave [00:35:20] with, so yeah. Thank you so, so much, Jason, for your insight and your comments. This is a great way to enter the series out, and I really appreciate you joining the show.

Jason: [00:35:35] Thank you so much for having me.

Phillip: [00:35:36] And thank you all for listening. Hey, this was episode one [00:35:40] of five. Stick around and all that good stuff. Smash the like button and subscribe. You know what to do, but thank you so much for listening to this episode of Step by Step.

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