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31 March 2016

Leading global marketplace event, Fashion Without Borders, returned for the third installment last week, introducing speakers from 30 ecommerce companies to more than 300 brands, retailers and industry experts.

The day began with a welcome address from Pentagon’s CEO, Laurence Guy, who highlighted the growing importance of global marketplaces, noting that future growth is becoming more and more dependent on exports. Guy commented, ‘marketplaces provide speed-to-market, are trusted by local consumers and are a fantastic way to soft launch a brand into new territories’, particularly in more complicated markets. He then went on to introduce the Pentagon Solution, which is a full complement of services from software, account management, local compliance and returns that has been designed to accelerate speed-to-market for UK retailers wishing to expand internationally.

Next to present was Judith McElhinney, Senior Ecommerce Advisor from UKTI, who continued to highlight the importance of e-exporting, and observed that cross-border sales are growing at a phenomenal rate of 28% YOY. Sarah Ward, from headline sponsor Pitney Bowes, further reiterated this message stating that retailers can stay domestic and work on improving their processes, but they need to be aware that there is a ‘big piece of the pie for the taking in the international domain’.

To round off the morning, Simone Lovati, Founder of Fashionbi, delivered an engaging presentation on the importance of crafting the perfect micro-moments to capture buyers when they are most likely to purchase, in order to guarantee online success.


After the first break the marketplace presentations began. All 13 marketplaces delivered a short 10-minute pitch on their platform that explored the growth opportunities in their respective markets. The pitches were then followed by interactive regional panels that were moderated by leading ecommerce experts Practicology, GS1 UK, Oban Digital and Pentagon. The panels focused on:

  • Fashion in Western Europe with Spartoo, La Redoute and Privalia
  • Global Fashion with Trade Me, eBay and ZigZag Global
  • Fashion in Russia & Emerging Europe with Allegro, Ozon and ModnKasta
  • Indian Fashion with Amazon India and Flipkart

During the panels, the marketplaces addressed key questions on how to adapt a sales strategy for a new market, which products are most sought after by local consumers, and what are the preferred payment/delivery methods in different regions.


As well as marketplaces, Fashion Without Borders, introduced speakers from four leading ecommerce companies who explored some of the tools that can support global expansion. These sessions included:

  • Managing your international payments: from small local merchants to large international marketplaces by Luke Trayfoot, Head of Partnership Sales EMEA, World First
  • Language localisation, trends and opportunities by Maggie Little, Head of Retail & Ecommerce, TranslateMedia
  • How to drive sales alongside third-party marketplaces by Martin Newman, CEO, Practicology
  • Insight into the shipping preferences of global consumers by Darko Atijas, Vice President EMEA, Temando


This year, Fashion Without Borders opened up a new section to the event, called Retail Without Borders. Set in a less formal roundtable environment, delegates had the opportunity to meet and effortlessly interact with marketplaces that sell items from across a wide range of product verticals, not simply fashion.

The morning session focused on Global Retail and introduced seven global marketplaces, including Trade Me from New Zealand, eBay Global, Ozon from Russia, Flipkart from India, Allegro from Poland, Amazon India and ModnaKasta from Ukraine. Each speaker began by discussing the online opportunities in their local markets and answered direct questions on the benefits of selling through their various platforms.

The afternoon session had a French theme, and leading marketplaces Cdiscount, PriceMinister and Fnac were introduced by Maxime Zablot, Ines Hammami and Oliver Guy respectively. A lively debate followed each presentation, with the marketplace representatives providing live examples in answer to all delegate questions.

eBay Masterclass

The final session of the day for Retail Without Borders, was a practical eBay Masterclass, where delegates heard from and interacted with experts from Pentagon, GS1 UK and eBay themselves. The Masterclass provided invaluable insights into eBay’s most recent updates and best practices, while also allowing delegates to share their own experience with selling internationally on the platform.


Fashion Without Borders is a fantastic platform for brands, retailers and manufactures to explore how online marketplaces can accelerate global sales growth.

The next step is to start selling and this is where Pentagon’s full complement of services can help make your international journey that much simpler! We can establish new marketplace relationships, provide the technology that delivers a seamless integration to multiple global marketplaces, manage and increase profitability on your international stores, handle all customs, duties and legal aspects of selling into a new region, and handle local, low cost returns.

To find out more give one of our team a call on: +44 (0)20 8940 5392 or email: Let us take your brand global and discover the simplicity of retail without borders!

To view the Fashion Without Borders picture gallery click here.

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