If you own an e-commerce store, you already know the advantages of selling online, from an extended outreach to a significant increase in profits. But when you decide to open up your business to a global market, you can unlock a whole new range of opportunities in terms of profitability and long-term growth.
Distributing your products internationally is a smart decision, but it won’t come without its challenges. With that in mind, here are some international e-commerce tips that will help you ensure success:
1. Select new markets carefully
When choosing new international markets to expand to, you will have to consider a number of different factors. Just because an area is potentially lucrative, that doesn’t mean it’s the right option for your company.
Consider all possible aspects that might affect your success rate, including the spoken language, the culture of local consumers, the cost of shipping, the needed import and export licenses, political stability in the region, tax implications, how to advertise your store, and more. After you’ve assessed a wide variety of important factors, it will be easier to determine which markets represent a good opportunity for your e-commerce business.
2. Understand local regulations
Every country and region has a different set of laws and regulations. Many of them will affect your company when you start distributing your products internationally, particularly tax and import rules. The exact amount you will be required to pay can depend on a number of factors, such as the market’s local regulations, your current location, and the types of products you’re selling.
Before finalizing your choice of global markets, it would be wise to learn as much as possible about their laws and regulations, and include any rules in your pricing if required. Think about contacting local financial and legal experts to support you throughout this process.
3. Localize your current store
In case you decide to sell from your own ecommerce store, however, you will have to adjust it to each market. This means creating a version of your website in the local language to allow audiences from your new target market to easily find what they’re searching for. Make sure to provide support for international currencies on your website, and check whether your current payment methods are supported globally.
You might need to add a few more options to make shopping easier for local audiences. In the beginning, you can ship products from your current location, but this won’t be sustainable in the long run. Consider partnering with local companies and using third-party services before setting up a local entity.
4. Consider using global platforms
To make the process of selling international products and services as seamless as possible, consider leveraging established global platforms. For instance, you can use Amazon’s Global Selling service and streamline the entire process with the number of useful tools and services provided.
This will give you the opportunity to decide where and what to sell, register and list your products easily, ship and fulfill effortlessly, and even manage your business using one convenient platform.
Being industry leaders, you can rely on such platforms to simplify and support the process of international expansion. It will also make aspects such as compliance, market research, and advertising much easier due to its established nature.
5. Market your offerings wisely
Running an e-commerce store, you likely already know which marketing strategies and campaigns are effective at attracting consumers and convincing them to make a purchase. While your experience will be useful, you also have to remember that every global market requires a unique approach.
For example, you need to keep in mind that customers in certain Asian countries won’t be able to use search engines like Google to find a product in the same way a European or American consumer might. That is why you have to research the market in advance and understand the local culture as much as possible to determine which marketing tactics will be most successful.
6. Provide local customer service
Although you might already have an established customer service department, it’s recommended to invest in local customer support as well. There are two main reasons for this. The first one is simply about time and practicality, allowing you to ensure that an agent is always available to assist your consumers when they need it.
The second reason relates to customer satisfaction. When consumers know their concerns and questions are handled by someone who can communicate with them and relate to them effortlessly, they will also feel more valued and appreciated. This allows you to build strong customer relationships much more easily.
No matter how lucrative, expanding your e-commerce business to international markets is often quite challenging as well. Use the advice mentioned above to streamline this process and distribute your products globally with success.