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Hendrik Laubscher is the founder and CEO of Blue Cape Ventures, a boutique research and consulting firm specializing in global and cross-border e-commerce. He is a trusted adviser to technology investors and operating companies all over the world.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Hendrik runs a very successful blog entitled Electric Thoughts in a Digital Era. Before this, he was a contributor for Forbes and the Marketplace Research Director & Lead Writer for Buy Box Experts.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Hendrik Laubscher discusses the important distinction between global e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce
  • If there is a demand for your products in another country’s market, should you create a physical presence in that country?
  • The first step brands should take when looking to expand to global markets
  • How to find digital agencies to help you sell your products in other countries
  • Hendrik explains what it takes for a country to build its own online marketplace
  • Is it worth it to invest in marketplaces in new markets?
  • The importance of trademark protection and controlling your sales channels across borders
  • Where to learn more about Hendrik Laubscher

In this episode…

The growth of e-commerce marketplaces all over the world has created new and exciting opportunities for brands to grow and expand their businesses. This has led to what is referred to as global e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce. But what is the difference between these two terms, and how can you use them to start reaching new markets?

e-commerce expert Hendrik Laubscher is committed to helping brands, agencies, and investors make the most out of this new global market, without landing in some of the pitfalls that come with cross-border sales. He founded his boutique research company and e-commerce blog to keep his clients in the know about the latest news and trends in global and cross-border e-commerce.

In this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast, Hendrik Laubscher, founder of Blue Cape Ventures, joins host James Thomson to give his advice for brands looking to sell in other countries. Hendrik discusses the difference between global and cross-border e-commerce, the steps brands should take before entering a foreign market, and whether or not you should build a physical presence in a different country. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace. 

The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload. 

Buy Box prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:09
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.

James Thomson 0:18
Hi, I’m James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts podcast. I’m a partner with Buy Box Experts and the former business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I am the co author of the book Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon, and co-founder of The Prosper Show, one of the largest continuing education conferences for Amazon sellers here in North America. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire Buy Box Experts you receive the strategy optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. Go to to learn more.

Today we are joined by Hendrik Laubscher, CEO and founder of Blue Cape Ventures, a consulting and educational organization specializing in global and cross-border e-commerce. Hendrik is a trusted adviser to technology investors and operating companies all over the world. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Hendrik runs a very successful blog titled, Electric Thoughts in a Digital Era. This is my very favorite source of insights on what’s happening around the world and e-commerce. So welcome Hendrik. And thank you for joining us today on our Buy Box Experts podcast.

Hendrik Laubscher 1:34
James, thanks for having me and going looking forward to our conversation.

James Thomson 1:39
So let me start with a clarification of terminology. We hear the word global e-commerce and the word cross-border e-commerce both being used in reference to companies selling outside their own markets. Is there an important distinction between those two particular terms global e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce

Hendrik Laubscher 2:00
I think that’s a very interesting question because I think the belief that it’s used interchangeably and it leads to a huge amount of confusion by executives and either by and also by people in the industry. They are not the same thing. And cross-border e-commerce is essentially when a business transact with consumers outside the borders of the country. And by the company’s country of operation, I’m referring to each headquarters. Secondly, cross-border, global e-commerce is basically commerce that enables businesses to go global and reach consumers in Markets through, whether that be through software or into by marketplaces. And these are a variety of tools that people that brands can use. But I think also what’s important to note is that cross-border e-commerce has grown between two and three and a half x on normal local e-commerce. Whereas global e-commerce, it’s essentially an aggregate of the percentages that e-commerce has grown in all the various parts of the world. So I think from a brand point of view, you know, cross-border is the, the important thing Do not forget about but it’s also you need to be very clear what it is and what it’s not.

James Thomson 3:50
So if I’m a U.S. based company, and I sell only in the U.S. today, and I decided that I’m going to sell into Europe, what would have to happen for me to be Experiencing cross-border e-commerce versus global e-commerce as it relates to me expanding into Europe.

Hendrik Laubscher 4:07
So with cross-border, you are accessing consumers in new markets that you don’t sell into so as a Amazon brand, you are going to leverage Amazon’s platform and open in markets like Germany, the UK, France, Spain and like and for global the Global e-commerce, you know, that’s we you open a brand website and in that country because you feel that the cross-border has given your brand enough visibility into the local market.

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Hendrik Laubscher is the founder and CEO of Blue Cape Ventures, a boutique research and consulting firm specializing in global and cross-border e-commerce. He is a trusted adviser to technology investors and operating companies all over the world.