August 12, 2009, 12:00 AM

Bakers Shoes steps up efforts to attract global shoppers with new service

Bakers Shoes is taking steps abroad—at least when it comes to its e-commerce site. The online retailer can now sell to consumers in more than 200 countries through a new program from a vendor specializing in international e-commerce for U.S. retailers.

Bakers Shoes is taking steps abroad-at least when it comes to its e-commerce site. The online retailer can now sell to consumers in more than 200 countries through a new program from a vendor specializing in international e-commerce for U.S. retailers.

The e-retailer implemented services from vendor iShopUSA to help it better cater to global customers. International customers can browse the Bakers shoes e-commerce site, find what they want and click “International Checkout” when they are ready to purchase. From there, they proceed to iShopUSA’s site where they can choose their currency, calculate their shipping costs, select their country and choose whether they want duties and taxes included in the cost. Global shoppers also can select priority shipping for an additional fee. When finishing their purchase, shoppers can register with iShopUSA to make the checkout process quicker if they later choose to shop at another iShop merchant.

In addition to taking care of shipping, currency conversion and customer service, iShop says it assumes the risk of any international customer’s chargeback on behalf of the retailer. IShop makes its money by purchasing products ordered by global shoppers from the retailer at a 10% discount. It then charges the international customer the full retail price for the item, iShop says.

“A key iShop advantage is our simple integration,” says iShopUSA co-founder Thorsten Knoche. “Most online retailers can fully integrate with our international checkout solution in less than four hours. Once a merchant is integrated with iShop, they immediately gain access to orders from all over the world.

Accessing international shoppers opens up a key market for U.S.-based e-retailers, iShop says. In Europe alone, online spending will reach $149 billion by 2010 according to Forrester Research.

“IShop has allowed us to continue to grow our e-commerce business with a minimum of capital investment and without disrupting our existing operation,” says Bakers Footwear Inc. president and CEO Peter A. Edison.

IShop’s clients include Petco.com, AmericanBridal.com and eHobbies.com. Bakers operates 240 stores in 38 states across the U.S. as well asthe online shoe store BakersShoes.com.

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