Learning by doing with Markberg
Written by Lotte Andkjær Christensen
One of the key elements to success is willingness to listen to, learn from and share experiences - good and bad - with others.
This is also true in the world of international e-commerce.
Earlier this year, at Succeed Abroad 2023 in Copenhagen, we met up with Malene Svendsen from Markberg, who had joined our annual event to learn from peers and be inspired.
Markberg is a Danish brand and producer of leather bags, clutches and accessories. This year Markberg expanded their operation to include Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.
But Markberg’s expansion did not come without concerns.
“I was worried about profitability, the scope of our investment, and logistical barriers,” says Malene and continues, “It is very important, when venturing into a new market, that you are able to trust in yourself and your business understanding. You know best.”
Trusting your gut
Launching into the unknown takes a lot of guts. There is only so much due diligence to be done, and at some point you will be faced with a simple choice. Either you go ahead, or you abandon plans.
One thing to remember is that some lessons can only be learned from experience. For instance, jumping into the unknown with both feet is the only way to find out.
“Testing, and testing a lot, is important,” says Malene. “But some things can be difficult to test on a scale that will produce valid results. In those cases you just have to trust your gut.”
Taking the leap will often lead to valuable insights. Worries will be put to shame, others will arise and sometimes you’ll be surprised. Maybe the markets you selected because of their proximity to home, are not as similar as you would expect. Perhaps real life will differ from your test environment.
“Something interesting that we discovered, says Malene, “was that while the markets and culture are similar, something that we had tested and would not work in Denmark would perform much better in the Netherlands and Norway.”
The learning curve
But there were also more negative learnings. Such as the difference in customer behavior.
“In Germany,” Malene continues, “our return rates were through the roof and very different from the other countries we operate in. That was not the most fun experience. But, it was definitely a learning experience.”
See the full interview with Malene right here:
Thanks for sharing your experience, Malene.
This is the latest story in our series where 50+ top e-commerce professionals share their learnings on market expansion tactics, localisation and technology across markets with our learning community. Check out the full collection for more tips.