March 1, 2012, 3:14 PM

FiftyOne Global Ecommerce buys a Canadian competitor

FiftyOne helps online retailers sell products across international borders.

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FiftyOne Global Ecommerce, whose services help online retailers sell their products across international borders, said today that it has bought a similar but smaller Canada-based company, Borderfree. FiftyOne did not say how much it paid for Borderfree.

FiftyOne’s clients include Sears Holdings Corp., No. 7 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide; Macy’s Inc., No. 17; Gap Inc. Direct, No. 24; Overstock.com Inc., No. 27; Drugstore.com Inc., No. 46; Crate and Barrel, No. 55; and Barneys New York Inc., No. 222.  Its pricing, payment, customs and logistical services enable retailers to sell products in 106 countries, and to accept 41 currencies.

“We’re constantly exploring new technologies and service ideas to enable our merchants to maximize international sales, and the acquisition of Borderfree allows us to provide more insight and resources towards transactions with Canadian consumers,” says Michael DeSimone, CEO of FiftyOne. “Borderfree is one of the pioneers in cross-border e-commerce, and we are excited to leverage its platform and resources to continue providing the best possible service for our merchants.”

FiftyOne says it will combine its technology with that of Borderfree, and base the core Borderfree team in a Toronto office. Those Borderfree employees who will join FiftyOne will build a Canadian logistics program that will help e-retailers in that country ship their products more quickly and cheaper across the border, FiftyOne says.

Canada represents the largest market for FiftyOne’s clients, says Zia Daniell Wigder, a Forrester analyst who covers web globalization.

“FiftyOne’s acquisition of Borderfree will supplement its offerings in Canada, reducing shipping costs for Canadian online shoppers and enabling large products such as furniture to be shipped cross-border,” she writes in a blog posting today. “With this acquisition, FiftyOne boosts its Canadian offerings and takes a small competitor out of the market, but the acquisition does not counter any direct threat from another solution provider in the space.” That’s because FiftyOne faces no rivals with as many large retailers as clients, she adds.

Brian Walker, Forrester’s vice president and principal analyst, e-business and channel strategy, will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in a session entitled “Leveraging a commerce platform in the era of the anywhere, anytime, any device consumer.” Additionally, Felicity Lewis, executive director of global online and CRM for Jurlique Holistic Skin Care Inc., and Maryssa Miller, vice president of e-commerce for Createthe Group, will speak in a session entitled “Six Keys to an Effective Global E-commerce operation.

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