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ABOUT YOU- The Most Inspiring Online Fashion Shop in Europe

Are you a US fashion brand looking to grow internationally? This is your lucky day. 

Stay and learn more about the fastest growing fashion marketplace in Europe; AboutYou.

AboutYou was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 2014. It is a member of the Otto Group a global retail and services group with a clear focus on innovation and digital transformation. AboutYou as a fashion technology company with a solid and savvy team, the aim is to digitalize the classic shopping stroll by creating an inspiring, personalized and unique shopping experience on the smartphone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vision was to create the first online destination where brands could showcase their products inspiringly, so that consumers could find and be inspired by relevant products that fit their style, regardless of the screen size, in addition to offering the most personalized fashion online shop.

AboutYou has achieved this goal of transforming how people buy fashion online, and has built a multi-award-winning app. Customers can find thousands of inspirational and versatile designs from over 3,500 brands on its website and the app.

Imagine having the opportunity to sell your designs not only in Germany, but also in other 25 European countries?

As the biggest market in the EU, Germany offers consumers keen to shop online and from foreign brands due to benefits like a wider range of products available, convenience, and better service. Also, marketplaces and smartphones are the most popular ways to shop online. Germany is a great market to start your expansion journey into Europe. Learn more about it in our blog Germany – The Biggest Online Market in Europe

With AboutYou, all this becomes possible, as it is active in Germany and other 25 European markets. With 45 million unique active users per month, more than 26 million app installs and more than 1,000 influencer collaborations, your brand will have all the exposure and tools to succeed in Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AboutYou is the ideal marketplace for US fashion brands. Its target market is the young generation willing to be part of not only its current success of it, but also of what the future might bring. This fashion marketplace stays current with the trends, needs and wants of consumers, and works further into the future.

 

 

Everything this marketplace does, they do it with passion, innovation and excellence, always thinking ahead and with an open mind to learn and improve for their customers. It is the same effort they put into brands so that they can succeed and work towards the same goal that focuses on their customers, who are supported in expressing themselves through unique fashion. The AboutYou team is also consistent with personalization, inspiration and mobile shopping.

With the experts in fashion e-commerce, you can be sure that your brand and collection designs are in great hands. As already mentioned, your brand will also have the highest market exposure. AboutYou works with many of the most successful European influencers and models awarded each year in the ABOUTYOU AWARDS EUROPE, which means your brand has the exposure needed to shine.

 

 

And what would an innovative brand be without being environmentally and socially responsible? 

AboutYou strongly supports sustainability, and some of the actions that have taken are:

  • One of the first companies to receive verification for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Brand and Retail Module
  • The use of eco-friendly boxes and poly mailers 80% recycling material and fewer prints.
  • Increase transparency through new shop features, which label sustainable products and show all criteria and certificates
  • Increase the number of sustainable brands and products in their portfolio
  • Continuation of the AboutYou Vintage Wardrobe – A space where festival and event visitors can rent secondhand clothing for free and learn more about used garments and the concept of circularity

If you are a US fashion brand committed to sustainability and want to make changes to impact the environment positively, you are definitely in the right place! As AboutYou is a marketplace acting in the present for a better future and constantly looking for improvements. They want more sustainable fashion brands to be part of their sustainable project and serve the high demand that these fashion products currently have, as Europeans have become more environmentally aware. They are supporting and loving brands that are transparent about their actions and bring a positive impact to the table.

You can learn more about sustainable fashion in Europe and the German online fashion market in our previous blogs “Sustainable Fashion Industry in Europe” 

 

This is the best time for your brand to expand its international footprint in the European market.

How can you be part of AboutYou?   

All you need to do is contact us now. BorderGuru, as a member of the Otto Group, has the Marketplace Partners Solution, which allows US fashion brands to be part of AboutYou and other exclusive marketplaces to expand into the European market. We provide brands with tools to expand into these marketplaces efficiently, allowing them to succeed.

Our solution provides businesses with localized services, tax and legal compliance, customer service, warehousing, and logistics that eliminate all complexities of international growth.

Don’t wait anymore and grow your brand successfully in the European market!

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Homeware and Furniture Market in Europe

We have seen how sales of e-commerce have increased in recent years, especially during and after the pandemic. Growth between 2019 and 2021 was significant. It went from $3.3 trillion to $4.9 trillion, and is expected to rise to $7.3 trillion in 2025. This shows that e-commerce is here to stay and is changing not only the way we do business, but also the purchasing behavior of consumers.   

If we look at the top online selling categories worldwide in 2022, furniture is third with a forecast sales of $492.6 billion, as seen in the graph below. This is important, as furniture and homeware have been an offline market for many years. Until recently, consumers have been open to the possibility of purchasing these products online. This is because companies in this segment use new technologies to improve the experience of consumers and try to adapt it to the experience of buying in person.  

According to Technavio, by 2025, the homeware & furniture category will grow by $52.95 billion and progress at a CAGR of 9%. Since this market in the online world is still new and unexplored, there is an amazing opportunity for brands to monetize this channel.   

Where are the opportunities for US homeware & furniture brands to grow internationally?   

Let’s begin by mentioning the key consumers of online homeware and furniture products, starting with the US and followed by the UK, China, Germany, Canada and Japan. Europe will, however, have a higher importance in the growth of this segment. From 2020 to 2025, this market will account for 42% of global sales growth.   

As shown in the graph below, Europe’s online homeware and furniture segment has grown by an average of $3,634.6 million each year from 2020 to 2022. It is expected to grow at an average rate of $2,584.825 million annually from 2023 to 2025. It seems a little less than in the previous period, but that’s because the boom was during the pandemic when people were confined to stay indoors. However, this also helped to develop the online sales of this segment. 

                                                                   

 

Within the European Union, Germany is one of the largest e-commerce markets. According to Statista, Germany was second in e-commerce revenue in 2021 with $105 billion, as France was above $120 billion. Of the total e-commerce sales in Germany, $15 billion came from homeware and furniture, which accounts for 14%. Like global e-commerce sales, the homeware and furniture segment is not the largest, so the market is not saturated. New brands have more opportunities to penetrate the German online market and be part of this growth.    

Main drivers for the increase in online home appliances and furniture in Germany 

In Germany, consumers used to buy from offline stores due to the touch-and-feel experience, but this has changed and homeware online sales have grown due to technological advances and the use of mobile phones. 

Online homeware and furniture retailers such as Otto and Ikea have implemented the following to be more attractive to consumers and reduce the reluctance to buy online.    

  • 3D product visualizations   
  • Augmented reality apps    
  • Omnichannel shopping (combine stationary showrooms & online distribution channels)

These implementations have helped customers to have a better experience when shopping online for furniture and homeware. As a result, this segment has gained traction in Germany.   

How is it best for US homeware and furniture brands to expand into Germany?  

As previously mentioned, Germany’s homeware and online furniture market has only been significantly growing recently and is not yet saturated. This has become the best channel for new brands to capitalize on in the German market.   

The ways for US online homeware and furniture brands to expand into Germany are to have their online store or join a local champion marketplace. The first option is pricey, logistically and operationally too complex, especially for SMEs that may need more extensive infrastructure to handle all international orders.

The second option, selling their products in a marketplace, is more viable, as it already has the infrastructure and resources needed to sell products in Germany. There is also awareness and respect of local customers; it is less complicated and less money is required to invest.    

Here we present the best online stores for homeware and furniture:

The top three are Otto, Amazon and Wayfair, focusing only on marketplaces. Otto is Germany’s leading online marketplace in this category, with net sales of 1.5 billion euros, and is also among the top players in growth.   

Otto marketplace is part of the OTTO Group, founded in 1949. Now with over 3,400 sale partners in the fashion, lifestyle, homeware & furniture industry and more than 11 billion euros in sales, it’s the biggest marketplace in Germany.   

Given Otto’s presence and market penetration in Germany, it can allow US homeware and furniture brands to enter the German market, which is the largest within the EU, and be part of its success. Otto has a strong presence and the infrastructure and resources to support brands entering and growing in the German market. Otto is the best choice for logistics, marketing, and customer service.   

How can your brand be part of the Otto marketplace?  

We know that expanding into a new country can come with several complexities, even if it is selling in a marketplace. Here is where we can provide help to your businesses.  

The most suitable way for your brand to sell in this exclusive marketplace is to be part of our Marketplace Partners Solution. We provide brands with tools to expand efficiently into this marketplace, allowing them to succeed. Our solution provides businesses with localized services, such as tax and legal compliance, customer service, warehousing, logistics, and more. We eliminate all the complexities associated with international growth.     

Let us help your brand expand successfully into Europe. Contact us now and open the door to endless opportunities! 

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Sustainable Fashion Industry in Europe

In recent years, sustainable fashion has become an important topic for brands, the government, and society. The fashion industry dramatically impacts the environment, with its carbon footprint accounting for more than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As climate change issues become more visible, current and new, brands in this sector are encouraged to be more transparent with their fabrics, production, disposal, and working conditions.    

Regarding global revenue, Eco-fashion is now a $6.35 billion industry while growing from $1 billion ten years ago. It is also expected to increase to $8.25 billion in 2023. As for the number of sustainable clothing items in 2018 grew by 508%, from 58,144 SKUs in 2016 to 353,817 SKUs in 2018. The world’s leading markets, measured by sold SKUs, are the US, Germany, the UK, France, China, and Italy.   

This growth has to do with younger generations being more aware of fashion brands’ environment and social impact. According to a survey conducted in the UK and Germany by Mckinsey & Company, during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers began to change their consumption behavior. The main findings were that 57% of 2,000 respondents had made significant lifestyle changes to reduce their environmental impact, and 60% had recycled and purchased products in environmentally friendly packaging. Other vital measures included buying more durable items, keeping items that already have for longer, and repairing items to prolong use. 

As can be seen, there is already a demand for sustainable fashion products, and companies have a job to do in this regard. However, to continue to raise awareness of sustainable practices and take action on this issue, we must first understand what sustainable fashion is, its issues, and its importance.   

Several definitions cover the same elements. Here we present the following three:  

According to the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Sustainable fashion consists of local sourcing and production, transparency across the supply chain, traceability of work processes and raw materials, environmentally friendly raw materials, safe working conditions, and fair wages.   

Sustainability in the context of fashion refers to the environmental impact of the production (production, processing, and production of raw materials), the wear and care of (use), and the disposal of clothing (end of use).  

According to several fashion experts, the most accepted definition: Sustainable fashion is an all-encompassing term that includes products, processes, activities, and actors (government, brands, consumers) aiming to achieve a carbon-neutral fashion industry based on equality, social justice, animal welfare, and ecological integrity.   

It is also important to recognize and be aware of the main issues that impact our planet. Bearing in mind that we all play a role, companies and consumers.  

  • Water consumption and contamination: high levels used in the production of clothing and when washing our clothes  
  • Energy emissions: high use of energy in the production of synthetic fabrics and the washing, drying, and ironing of our clothes  
  • Chemical usage: contaminating when using fertilizers and pesticides in the production of raw materials like cotton 
  • Waste creation: High levels of textiles incinerated or sent to landfill 

Why is it important? 

Now that we have set the definition and know the impact of fashion on our planet, we need to understand the importance of sustainable fashion and why we need it.  

Besides environmental issues, as mentioned in the previous definitions, sustainability also has to do with ethical working conditions, such as child labor, fair wages, and safe working space.   

Here we present the top 5 reasons that tackle environmental and working conditions.  

  • Creates Less Waste: By creating long-lasting products, it reduces the amount of waste. This can also be done by recycling and donating clothes.  
  • Ensure Fair Wages & Proper Working Conditions: By prioritizing fair wages and safe working conditions for all employees rather than prioritizing volume of production and spending. 
  • Reduces CO2 & Other Greenhouse Gases Emission: By using biodegradable materials from natural or recycled fabrics, reducing carbon footprint and the amount of energy used and other resources. 
  • Saves Water: By setting policies to have a budget on the use of water for production and prioritizing the use of textiles that require little to no water during the production phase, such as linen, hemp, and organic cotton.  
  • Saves Animal Lives: Using leather and fur alternatives to save animals from exploitation and preserve the ecosystem’s balance.  

Elements to consider as a sustainable fashion brand    

Quality functionality: Fabrics in sustainable clothing should ensure comfort, softness, and non-irritability. They must be durable, easy to clean and take care of.    

 Material: The most critical factor is that materials must be produced using non-chemical treatments. Materials can range from organic to sustainable cellulose.   

Design: Concerning design, it is essential to attract consumers to sustainable clothing. Designers and developers can control over 80% of the environmental impact of a product. Some examples of alternative design techniques that can facilitate recycling and have a lower negative impact on the environment are: 

  • Waterless dying techniques 
  • Digital fabric printing 
  • Use pure fibers 
  • use natural dyes 

 Labeling: In general, the label should cover the following topics: 

  • General care and warnings  
  • Washing  
  • Drying  
  • Ironing  
  • professional textile care or dry-cleaning 

Sustainable fashion brands need to consider the instructions they describe on these topics, as they should encourage consumers to follow them to reduce the negative impact they could have on the planet.    

Packaging: Packaging is not only about considering the impact on the planet but also about being cost-effective to be sustainable for the earth and businesses. Using less packaging and/or biodegradable packing materials, as well as recycling old materials, are actions that should be taken to contribute to sustainability.    

Now, where are the most significant opportunities for US Sustainable fashion brands?  

According to research by us.npeal.com, after reviewing 64 countries to find out where the most green-savvy shoppers live. It has been revealed that the US is the top country for sustainable shopping. North America is second in terms of monthly searchers by continent.   

Number of sustainable fashion searches per continent  

Apart from Europe being the number 1, ten of the top 20 countries worldwide are in Europe. The UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and France are in the Top 5.    

Top Ten European Countries for Sustainable Shopping 

In Europe, environmental concerns and commitment to more sustainable lifestyles are more widespread among consumers, retailers, businesses, government, and non-governmental organizations. As a result, Europe is one of the most exciting markets in the world for sustainable apparel. In most EU countries, consumers, as mentioned above, are interested in sustainable fashion brands and expect companies to be responsible for social and environmental issues. The most trending topics around sustainable apparel include consumer education, fashion sharing, vegan clothing, transparency, standardization, and natural dyes.  

Germany is one of the markets with immense potential for sustainable US brands. This market is not only more conscious of sustainable products, but also 90% of the clothes Germans buy are from non-EU countries, and the US is a significant trade partner. In terms of sustainable fashion, spending on fair-trade textiles increased by 66% (129 million euros) in 2017 over 2016.   

Which measures has the EU taken to promote sustainable fashion?   

In recent years, the EU has imposed more policies on several industries to reduce its negative impact on the planet. Some measures the EU has taken include cutting back on the production and use of plastic products, increasing the production of electric cars, finding new ways to produce energy, and reducing the use of energy and water. Now is the time to develop new policies to promote sustainability within the fashion industry.  

Recently, the EU has unveiled a proposal to increase sustainability and reduce the consumption of fast-fashion products. This decision was made because clothing accounts for 81% of EU textile consumption, and fast-fashion products have built a culture of “take, make, break and throw away,” contributing to unsustainable practices and taking its toll on the environment. 

Under the new rules proposed by the European Union, products must be longer-lasting and easier to repair. Products sold in the EU would be developed on a sustainability scale, demonstrating their environmental impact, durability, and ease of repair. This initiative aims to boost the market for sustainable textiles and prevent companies from misleading consumers with false environmental claims or greenwashing. 

Under this strategy, manufacturers must ensure their clothes are environmentally friendly and hard-wearing. To contribute to this initiative, consumers will also receive more helpful information on how to reuse, repair, and recycle their clothes.   

Government support for continued growing demand and increased growth give US sustainable fashion brands a higher chance of entering the EU and having a fair chance of success within this industry. This is a good time for US sustainable brands to become part of this growing sector, as it is new and still underdeveloped, so there is room for learning and improvements to penetrate the EU market. 

What best way to expand into Europe as a US sustainable fashion brand?   

There are 27 countries within the EU, and it can be complex to simultaneously serve many countries with diverse cultures and languages. Germany is, therefore, the best market for US sustainable fashion brands to enter the European market. As already mentioned, the market is already interested in environmentally friendly products and recycling and is one of the largest markets in the EU.   

Fashion is the number one category sold online in Germany. Therefore, the best way to enter the EU market and start selling is through the most popular German fashion marketplaces. Three of the best marketplaces in the fashion segment in Germany’s top 10 are Otto, Zalando and Aboutyou. 

These fashion marketplaces are not only the best in this segment but also the best for sustainable fashion brands. They are interested and committed to contributing to sustainability and taking measures to be part of the solution in reducing the fashion industry’s impact on the planet. 

OTTO  

The Otto Group is Germany’s biggest fashion and lifestyle marketplace, with more than €11 billion in online sales and over 3,400 brands.   

Otto is committed to sustainability and has taken measures to reduce its impact on the planet. Some measures include searching for alternative packaging, such as 100% recyclable polybags, recycling bags, and recycled cardboard. There is also an initiative to encourage consumers to donate by offering free shipping from the consumer’s address to Hermes Parcel Shop and a voting system where consumers can choose their preferred charity institution.   

They also have a code of ethics that brands should follow, which goes along with EU regulations to encourage brands and consumers to improve sustainability. For example, sustainable raw materials like cotton and wood from certified forestry are used.  

About You 

Founded in 2014, it is Europe’s fastest-growing fashion e-tailer and part of the OTTO Group. It is considered a unicorn with more than US$1 billion. Since 2020, About You has expanded to 23 countries in the EU with over 2,000 brands, including exclusive collaboration collections with designers.

 AboutYou strongly supports sustainability, and some actions it has taken are: 

  • The use of eco-friendly boxes and poly mailers 80% recycling material and fewer prints.   
  • Increase transparency through new shop features, which label sustainable products and show all criteria and certificates 
  • Increase the number of sustainable brands and products in their portfolio 
  • Strengthen their sustainability criteria for used materials, processing methods and working conditions
  • Integration & launch of the product category “Second Love” for quality checked second-hand items in the About You Shop that can be purchased with their known customer benefits, such as free shipping and returns  
  • Continuation of the ABOUT YOU Vintage Wardrobe – A space where festival and event visitors can rent second-hand clothing for free and learn more about used garments and the concept of circularity 

Zalando 

Established in 2008, Zalando is the most prominent fashion e-commerce marketplace in Europe. It’s available in 23 countries and sells over 4,500 different brands, with net sales of €8 billion. Zalando is a unique marketplace with a betting process, providing exclusivity and visibility to its brands. 

Zalando has been taking several measures to be part of the solution towards sustainability in terms of the planet, product and people; some of these are:  

  • Source 100% renewable electricity and reduced emissions from our operations 
  • Eliminate by 2023 single-used plastic 
  • Launched the sustainable flag in their Fashion Store to help customers find more sustainable items and tripled their more sustainable fashion assortment 
  • Their private label Zign has been fully dedicated to sustainability since the summer of 2020. 
  • They launched their first Circularity strategy in 2021. 
  • Make it easier for customers to reuse and resell their clothes. 

How can US sustainable fashion brands be part of these Marketplaces?  

Our Marketplace Partners solution allows US fashion businesses to be part of these exclusive marketplaces. We provide brands with tools to expand into these marketplaces efficiently, allowing them to succeed. Our solution provides businesses with localized services, such as tax and legal compliance, customer service, warehousing, logistics, and more. BorderGuru eliminates all complexities that come with international growth.    

Don’t wait anymore. Contact us now and learn how your brand can succeed in the European Market! 

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Germany – The Biggest Online Market in Europe

Country Report – GERMANY

Population & language 

Germany’s population is 84.3 million. It is the most populated nation in the EU. The median age is 47.8, and the official language is German. The country is the biggest economy in the European Union, and the currency is the Euro.  

Economy  

The German economy is the fourth-largest in the world in terms of PPP and Europe’s largest economy. Its GDP accounted for one quarter (24.2%) of the European Union’s GDP in 2020. Its current GDP per capita is $50,900 and purchasing power parity (PPP) is $4. 23 trillion.   

Trading Partners 

Germany is the United States` largest European trading partner and the sixth-largest market for US exports. As for imports to Germany, the US was third place in 2021 after China and the Netherlands, accounting for goods worth €72.1 billion. Imports from the US rose by 13.6%. In December 2021, the surplus was €6.8 billion. 

Digital overview 

The most common domain used in Germany is .de. The total internet users are 78.81 million, accounting for 89.81% of the population.  

The most used device is a smartphone; 81% of Germans owned a smartphone. An interesting fact is that mobile no longer means on the go. 69% of all advertising is displayed via Wi-Fi, and only 23% via a cellular network. This report shows that Germans prefer to look at their phones in the commodity of their homes rather than using a tablet or computer to shop. 

                                                                                                   

In terms of media usage time, people in Germany spend the most time on the internet than on any other medium.  

Common Payment methods  

The most common payment methods used for shopping online in Germany are PayPal, credit card, direct debit, e-wallet, and instant transfer. Having these payment options in your online store ensures a cart abandonment rate of 3%. It is important to consider these options because Germans trust them and are loyal to what works for them, which means that if you don’t offer them, the chances of leaving uncompleted transactions will be higher.  

 

E-commerce Outlook 

E-commerce has been on the rise worldwide, and Germany is no different. In 2020, online sales grew 14.6% compared to 2019, about 83.3 billion euros. The most significant increase was in 2021, which grew 19% over last year, worth 99.1 billion euros. If we account for digital services, the total worth of e-commerce reached 107.1 billion euros. 

In Germany, e-commerce has become the “New Normal,” It was strongly noticeable during the pandemic. Now, post-pandemic, it is still going and getting stronger as it shows that its benefits, a wider variety of products, and better service are what consumers need and want. Currently, the thinking of trading without e-commerce is unimaginable for both consumers and retailers.  

According to a study by RetailX, 85% of Germans shopped online in 2020. Consumers in this country are keener on shopping online rather than offline. The most popular product categories are apparel, consumer media, and electronics. 

As can be seen, there is a great opportunity for US online stores to sell to Germany as e-commerce continues to rise. Germany has an excellent trade partnership with the US, and there is a demand for US products.    

Fashion E-commerce industry 

Fashion is a profitable industry in e-commerce with steady growth. Global sales in 2021 amounted to 759 billion US dollars and are expected to grow by 78 billion US dollars in 2022. As shown in the graph below, this segment continues to rise. The most popular sub-categories are apparel, footwear, and accessories.   

                 

Source: Statista, commonthreadco.com

 The fashion segment is no different in Germany; it is one of the most popular segments in e-commerce. Revenue is expected to reach 38,467 million US dollars in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 11.66% from 2022 to 2025. User penetration will be 58.4% in 2022 and is expected to reach 67.9% by 2025. In 2021, the fashion segment accounted for 24% of the German e-commerce market, with a turnover of $26 billion. In 2021, the largest sub-categories were apparel, which accounts for 66% of sales. Then is footwear with 22%, and the remaining 12% is bags and accessories.   

 

Concerning imported apparel, Germany was the number one import market in the EU in 2020, along with France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland, with a total import value of 30.2 billion euros, of which 14.3 billion euros came from other EU countries and 15.9 billion euros from non-EU countries.   

The information presented here suggests that US brands have room and an excellent opportunity to sell their products online and have a piece of the pie.   

The largest Online Fashion Marketplaces  

The top marketplaces that offer US brands the opportunity to succeed in the German market are Zalando, Otto, Amazon, Bonprix, and AboutYou. It is worth looking into these marketplaces to see which one or which ones are suitable for your product in terms of the target market, traffic volume, and competition.   

Otto, Zalando and About You are the most suitable for US fashion brands to expand to Germany. The three offer US brands a great opportunity to expand into this country successfully. Once companies have acquired brand awareness and sustainable sales, the chances of success in other marketplaces are higher.   

                                                                     

At BorderGuru, we are part of the Otto Group and offer our Marketplace Partners solution. This solution allows US fashion brands the opportunity to expand into Germany and 26 other countries in Europe by participating in marketplaces such as Otto, Zalando, About You, and many more. This solution offers content localization, tax and legal compliance, logistics and customer service, and much more to facilitate the international expansion process.    

Learn how your brand can benefit from our solution by Booking a Demo and start achieving your international goals.