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24 September 2015

Market leading service provider Pentagon introduced 11 online marketplaces to over 250 brands, retailers and ecommerce experts, at international etail event Fashion Without Borders.

Speakers from global marketplaces demonstrated how their online platforms open doors to new international customers, in rapidly expanding ecommerce regions across the globe, at a low risk to the retailer. Delegates were taken on a whirlwind tour of China, the Middle East, India, France, Latin America, Spain, Southeast Asia, Ukraine and Poland, where they explored the potential ecommerce growth for each region.

Online marketplaces were promoted as sales channels with a pre-established, loyal customer base that British retailers can tap into, not only helping to increase international sales, but enhancing global brand awareness.

Pentagon’s CEO, Laurence Guy kicked off proceedings by discussing the huge growth potential in less established markets, such as the Middle East and Africa; whilst these markets may not currently be on a retailer’s roadmap, they are regions that are growing rapidly and still have first mover advantage for forward thinking brands.

Edward Donald, Ecommerce Retail Specialist from UKTI, then explored the power of the British brand, noting that the number of consumers searching online for British brands and retailers has grown by 46% p/a over the last five years. Santander’s Managing Director of SME solutions and insight, John Carroll, rounded off the first round of presentations and highlighted that finding the right partner/s for international trade is a key step for global expansion.

Next came presentations from three rapidly growing ecommerce regions: China’s, the Middle East’s MarkaVIP and India’s Flipkart. All speakers emphasised the importance of understanding the local consumer, and tailoring your offering to suit cultural expectations.

Throughout the day speakers from eBay, La Redoute, Spartoo, MercadoLibre, Privalia, Myntra, ModnaKasta and Allegro presented their local ecommerce landscape. Delegates were shown how the app only, Indian fashion platform, Myntra has taken off with 16-25 year-olds, and how selling in Latin America requires the support of an established platform, such as MercadoLibre or Privilia, in order to overcome local red tape.

Interactive panel sessions from industry experts broke-up the event, with panellists delving into the nitty gritty of selling internationally, with sessions looking at:

  • Capturing the local approach: from language to sizing
  • Evaluating the risks: a financial step-by-step guide to selling internationally
  • Understanding and overcoming the legal barriers to entry
  • International shipping and international returns: making logistics work for your brand

When commenting on the event, Pentagon CEO, Laurence Guy said, “we have received some fantastic feedback from retailers, who found the day very useful and interesting. It has certainly sparked ideas for future international strategies that we hope our delegates will be sharing with their internal teams.”

Guy went on to say, “online marketplaces offer a huge potential for brands and retailers who want to sell across the globe, but don’t want the hassle of setting-up direct stores. Through Pentagon we can establish new marketplace relationships and manage your international stores, so that all you have to worry about is which market you want to sell into next!”

Pentagon partnered with government department UKTI to deliver Fashion Without Borders. UKTI’s E-Exporting Programme helps British brands and retailers export goods through online platforms. To find out more about the E-Exporting Programme, visit:

Over the coming weeks, Pentagon will present a series of marketplace exposés providing you with more information on the new marketplaces introduced at Fashion Without Borders, the key facts and why you should be selling internationally.

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