webs ecommerce website design

Going Global eCommerce Strategies

Date: March 2, 2016

Here are 11 strategies to help you scaling your eCommerce business:

Make a decision about whether or not to expand internationally.

Overcome the major international expansion roadblocks

  1. Determine the level of demand

It can feel as if the world is your oyster when it comes to eCommerce.
Because the Internet has no borders and global expansion can be done from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you are), it's all too easy to pick a new market at random.
Data-driven store owners, on the other hand, rely less on intuition and instead look to their existing customer base to determine international demand.
You may find that the majority of your international orders come from a single location, and this is where you should concentrate your overseas expansion efforts.

Hoverboard searches on Google Trends

Review old customer inquiries to see if there are any requests to ship to specific countries if you haven't sold any products to international customers yet.
Alternatively, examine your website's analytics to see where the majority of your international traffic originates.
Alternatively, you can use Google Trends to see how popular your product is in different countries around the world.
Hoverboards, for example, have exploded in popularity in the United Kingdom in the last year.

  1. Acquire a working knowledge of foreign currencies and prices

Before you set a price for your products, learn about the value of each country's currency in relation to your own, as well as how much locals are willing to pay for similar items.

A product worth $50 USD in the United States may be worth $73 AUD to Australians (due to the 1.42 exchange rate), but a product worth $50 USD in the United States may be worth $73 AUD to Australians.
This is because consumer prices in Australia are estimated to be 3.17 percent higher than in the United States, according to Numbeo.

Also, as a general rule, stay away from countries with historically high inflation rates.
The IMF predicts that inflation in Venezuela will rise by 720 percent this year, meaning that any Venezuelan bolvar you earn will be worth a fraction of what it was before the end of the year.

  1. Pay attention to local and import taxes.

For most consumer goods in Spain, the value added tax (VAT, also known locally as IVA) is 21%.
When most stores in the United States only charge a single-digit sales tax, this is a significant cost to account for.
When it comes to importing products, eCommerce businesses must consider how much more they will have to pay in duties.
Most imported goods in Thailand are taxed between 10% and 80%, not including the country's 7% VAT.

Christopher Ward Value Added Tax

While these additional costs can be passed on to the customer, such price premiums may make it difficult to sell any product.

  1. Distribute only a limited number of products

Customers in Brazil might think your best-selling products in the United States are ridiculous.
Surprisingly, products that you may have stopped selling last year may be in high demand in Norway.
Conduct thorough research before beginning international expansion to determine which of your products should be exported to specific markets.
This will help you keep costs down while also establishing a brand that truly understands the needs of locals in various countries.

  1. Use local marketplaces as a test bed for sales.

Before investing heavily in launching your product in a new market, distribute it on local marketplaces to see how well it sells.
You can, for example, resell your product on MercadoLibre (Argentina's eBay equivalent) to see what copy, prices, and products customers in Latin America are interested in.
You can use Taobao to market your products to Chinese consumers.
Rakuten is the Japanese equivalent of Amazon.

MercadoLibre

This is a risk-free way to introduce your product to a new market and assess its potential.
The hard work is already done for you because you have instant access to millions of shoppers.

  1. Create packaging for the local market.

When it comes to international orders, eCommerce store owners should start by reusing their original product packaging.
It is both cost-effective and simple.
However, problems arise over time when some customers are unable to understand how to use their products or when shoppers put themselves in danger because the safety warnings are written in a foreign language.
Local governments may, of course, take action against products that do not comply with their regulations.
To accommodate the bilingual residents of Quebec, Canada, products must be labelled in both French and English.

  1. Collaborate with regional distributors

When you only fulfil a few orders per month in a given market, it may be more cost-effective to ship product directly from the manufacturer to the customer or from your company's main distribution centre to buyers.
Unnecessarily long shipping times can result as a result of this.
As demand for your product grows in international markets, it may make sense to ship product in bulk to local distributors who can store your inventory and ship orders as soon as they come in.
Local logistics companies may also be able to assist you with return management and processing.

  1. Create a site that is localised.

It's difficult to break into a market as an outsider.
Most eCommerce managers believe that cloning their original website and translating some text is all it takes.
Wrong.
Many cultural factors influence how customers perceive your marketing messages and respond to your offers.
Collaborate with local graphic and web designers to create an online shopping experience that local customers will appreciate.
Spend some time looking at other eCommerce sites that cater to the same demographic to get a sense of how they're set up.
This should also reveal how your target customers shop on the internet.

Purchase a country-specific domain to instantly build trust among customers.
Shoppers in South Africa are more receptive to websites with the.co.za domain extension.
Customers in China are more accepting of stores with a.cn address.

  1. Make company representatives available to the public

Quality customer service is a major reason why some brands are preferred over others and why people remain loyal to specific stores for shoppers all over the world.
So, even if you and your team are halfway around the world, you should make yourself available to customers who may have complaints or concerns about your product.
If at all possible, provide live customer support via instant message and a local phone number.
At the very least, provide email customer service with the assurance that you will respond within 24 hours.

Consider hiring someone local to lead customer support once you start processing hundreds of orders per month in a specific market. They will be better able to empathise with customer issues and can be held accountable for timely responses during local business hours.

  1. Make payment options that are convenient for customers.

Credit cards and PayPal are the most popular payment methods among online shoppers in the United States.
Customers in Germany typically pay for products via bank transfer after they are delivered.
iDEAL is a payment method used by Dutch shoppers.
Alipay, China's answer to PayPal, is the country's version of the payment service.
In other markets, customers pay cash on delivery.
Avoid making the assumption that all customers are happy to pay for their purchases in advance and with a credit card.

  1. Be wary of con artists.

One of the most significant risks of expanding your business internationally is falling victim to fraud.
Thieves can steal your personal information and use it to liquidate your local bank accounts or order tens of thousands of items using fake or stolen credit cards.
While this could happen in any country, remote resolution of these unfortunate events may be near-impossible.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud, eCommerceWeekly recommends paying close attention to unusual transactions such as:

"Orders that are larger than average"

"A large number of the same thing"

"Orders for large-ticket items"

"Orders for same-day or overnight delivery"

"Different payment methods were used to process multiple shipments to the same address."

"For the shipment destination, a P.O. box vs. a physical address"

"Email addresses that don't match the names"

Finally, be aware of your legal options for recovering stolen assets.

final thoughts

Although selling your product internationally has many challenges, it can be extremely rewarding.
Consider expanding your store to markets where shoppers are eager to spend money and purchase your products if market forces at home (such as an economic downturn and a general drop in local consumer spending) stifle growth.
Going global is simple if you prepare ahead of time.
You may also make more money selling to foreign countries than you do to your own country in some cases.

Danny Wong of receiptful.com is the source.

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