Global or Cross Border eCommerce is the best way to expand your market share and boost profits. With easier internet access worldwide and the immense growth opportunities possible with social networking, shoppers are now more likely to buy from global online stores. Expanding to cross border eCommerce does pose some challenges but it’s not impossible for smaller businesses to get in and go big. Associated costs can be mitigated by working smart.
Here are 3 very basic but very important things to think about and execute well.
1. Choose the Best Region for Your Product.
You need to choose the best region that will have sufficient demand for your product. Not all products sell in all different countries. Sure, you may be a great salesperson and could sell ice to Eskimos, but for how long?
If your selected product has good demand in a certain region, you could justify extra shipping costs, taxes, VAT, and custom duties. On the other hand, if your product has lower demand and doesn’t sell much, then your price point would have to be too high and may be out of reach of foreign shoppers. You wouldn’t be able to really take off in that market.
2. Your eCommerce Store Must “speak” Local.
To appeal more to your local clientele in a foreign market, you must make sure that your eCommerce store design, text, language, and content marketing are localized. You will succeed if you can successfully communicate your brand’s message clearly. Lingo that works in your home country may not work elsewhere.
For localization to be effective in driving engagement and sales, it is critical that every part of your eCommerce store is locale specific. But focus on the content, product catalog, payment methods, and search engine results for any popular local search engines. You must understand the host country and deliver an experience that does not seem foreign to the locals.
3. Provide Foreign Customers Payment Options they Already Use.
The most important thing in a online business is to be able to get paid for your products. Make sure that you are able to accept payments for your goods using payment options that are already established in your new market. The more payment options you have, the better. Credit cards are international and used by many, but in some emerging markets, Cash on Delivery (COD) is the default choice for paying online retailers. Many consumers in emerging markets do not have bank accounts or they do not have debit cards linked to their savings accounts. Some consumers new to online stores may also be wary of paying for goods before they actually see it. So, in such markets COD is key in successful sales.
Emerging markets in developing countries are heavy on COD and installments. In Europe, credit and debit cards as well as bank transfers are common. In Asia, credit cards and COD are very popular along with monthly payments on credit cards.
Do your research, read about other retailers’ success and failure stories online and then do a market test. It is easy to find out how well your products will perform in a new global market by using a small amount of ad spend for your new target market.
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