E-commerce allows companies to sell products anywhere in the world. To do so, you have to enter the market of a particular country. Many online stores are limited to a specific region or country. However, every e-commerce company has a chance to become global. How? Read the article to the end to learn about effective international e-commerce strategy.
Why would an e-Commerce business want to go global?
Companies seek international markets to promote their unique product and technology, which they intend to spread to other countries. Or businesses may implement new skills and technologies to improve their competitiveness and long-term sustainability.
It is no secret that when entering new markets, competition becomes more challenging. Businesses need to demonstrate maximum efficiency and innovation to remain competitive in such a case. Going international is one way to take yourself to the next level. That is especially true for the e-commerce industry. According to statistics, online retail sales continue to grow every year (by 20% on average).
However, each e-commerce company can take different approaches to globalization. We have analyzed the most promising and impactful methods resting upon some industry-leading experts' opinions.
7 practical approaches to globalizing e-commerce business
You'll learn more about this, starting with an initial assessment of your potential and readiness for international trade, finding and researching foreign markets. As well as identifying and planning an effective way to enter the market. Here's a quick overview of the specific steps an e-commerce business must take to enter the global marketplace.
Determine your company's competitiveness and value proposition
It is essential to understand whether your company is ready theoretically to enter the international market at the initial stage.
Do you have a product or service in demand in the domestic market? If yes, then the chances of success abroad are high. Conversely, when there are problems with selling a product domestically, going international may be questionable.
Adapt your site and other services for global audiences
First, decide on the areas where you expect to sell. Second, localize your website, mobile app, and company services into multiple languages. This could be several most-spoken ones: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican.
Plus, users should have access to language selection in a couple of clicks from the leading site or app. The translation must be of high quality and understandable. This way, you will be able to catch international audiences.
Integrate international payment systems into your e-commerce site
The United States, Europe, and Asia have diverse payment systems. Users from some countries may have difficulty paying for items. And it is not uncommon for banks to block questionable purchases made by a non-international payment service.
Therefore, to globalize your e-commerce business, integrate international payment systems supported by all banks in the world into your site. You should have access to Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Visa/Mastercard. Make sure that banks do not charge additional fees for payments from other countries. This way, your customers will be assured of a fair price.
Think about international logistics
You will make a mistake if you start selling on the global market without thinking of the logistics. Buyers should have a choice between various delivery methods when making a purchase.
For this purpose, conclude a contract with transport companies or carriers in advance. This allows you to send the goods immediately to the desired region. There are many shipping companies in the United States whose services you can use for international shipping (USPS, FedEx, DHL eCommerce US, etc.).
Take a fresh look at your marketing strategy
Whether you like it or not, you will need to invest in advertising to attract foreign customers. Start with globalizing your ads and launching new campaigns. For instance, try contextual advertising.
Contextual advertising is a variety of ads (text, graphics, video) that are shown to users according to their search queries or interests. This type of ad is shown on search engines, various websites, mobile applications, and other resources. You can set up PPC for users from different countries.
However, you will have to create a separate promotion for each country. This can be costly, but the result is worth it. It is enough to use search engine optimization to get organic traffic in some cases.
Make your support team multilingual
Customer service is very important to the globalization of your e-commerce business. As you expand into new markets, more customers will knock at your door and help desk requests will pile up. That's why staffing up is as essential as making multilingual hires before this happens. So, pick up the languages that you used to localize the site and go for it.
Research the law and make sure there are no restrictions
There are no one-size-fits-all laws out there. Each advertising, trade, and taxation regulation vary. Consider learning about the legal aspects before entering new markets and selling products in the rest of the world. Otherwise, you may have problems with taxes and accounting. And the violation of any law will result in a large fine (at the very least).
After completing this journey, you will definitely globalize your e-commerce business properly. And, sure thing, increase your income several folds.
Don't forget, though, that global commerce is highly competitive. There's no room for mistakes. Think through and carefully plan every step of the way. Stock products, work out an advertising strategy, and set up logistics. Only then launch sales and advertising in the global marketplace.