April 17, 2003, 12:00 AM

Barewalls.com fulfills its largest orders for international customers

Barewalls.com’s overseas customers have higher average orders than its American customers as they take advantage of the flat shipping fee for all orders.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

One surprising thing about international sales at Barewalls.com is that foreign customers tend to buy in larger quantities than do U.S. shoppers, CEO Lorne Lieberman tells Internet Retailer. A main reason for that, he adds, is the standard $29.99 shipping fee Barewalls charges on nearly all orders.

"We noticed our international customers always order more, probably because they can`t get it locally," he says. About 15-20% of Barewalls` overall sales are to overseas customers, maintaining a fairly steady 5-7% increase in international sales, Lieberman says.

But foreign customers also take advantage of the fact that they can increase their order size without also increasing the shipping fee, Lieberman says. "They pay the same $29.99 shipping fee if they order one or 100," he says.

Although it doesn`t offer foreign-language versions of it site, Barewalls is careful to make the ordering process as easy as possible for non-English-speaking customers. For example, it has designed its shopping cart with common symbols that explain its usage. "We try to make them feel comfortable," he says.

Barewalls helps drive international sales by advertising on other web sites that attract foreign shoppers, such as travel and foreign language sites. But it`s also careful to show care for customers after they place orders, Lieberman says, by often contacting foreign customers to double-check their credit card information to prevent fraud. The extra confirmation can pay off in stronger customer relationships, he says. "People are happy to hear that we get confirmation to assure there`s no fraud involved."

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