In our increasingly connected world, e-commerce or electronic commerce is on the rise. It is estimated that e-commerce will represent 17.5% of global retail sales by 2021. It has never been easier for companies to expand into the global market than it is now.
As a result, retailers are jumping on the international sales bandwagon. However, going global is not without its challenges. As with any business, research and preparation are crucial. To give your business the best chance for global success, take some time to consider the following areas.
You probably know your local market like the back of your hand. However, don't assume that you can apply the same knowledge to foreign markets. Different countries and cultures often do things very differently, and what works in one market may not work in another. Find out how much demand there may be for your own products. Take a look at the local competition and their prices. There is little point in selling in a country if an equivalent product is available for less than your cost in that locality.
Make sure you choose an online e-commerce platform that can handle your global expansion. Look for a platform that offers language and location settings to customize the UX based on where the customer is. Make sure the platform is optimized for mobile devices, as this is the main way that many people around the world access the Internet. To broaden your reach, consider selling your products on large online marketplaces like Amazon, as well as your own online store.
In an ideal world, your product would speak for itself, but in reality, you need a few words to help it. Don't rely on Google Translate to translate your website and marketing messages into the languages of your target audience. The risk of error is too great, and potential customers are likely to be swept away by incoherent nonsense.
If you can't afford a professional translator, consider writing your message in simplified English. As the name suggests, this is a simplified form of English that is easier for international customers to translate and understand. And don't forget that you will also need to optimize your SEO strategy for the languages of your target markets. Cultural sensitivity is another important area that should never be overlooked. Do your research to make sure your products and messages don't accidentally offend your new audience.
Selling online carries unique risks, so make sure you protect your business with a comprehensive insurance policy . Work with a broker who understands the complexities of your industry. There are policies specifically adapted to e-commerce so that, whatever happens, your company is protected.
Carefully consider the payment methods you offer on your site. Preferred payment methods differ from country to country. For example, PayPal is an extremely popular payment system in the West, but it is restricted in several countries. Similarly, options like Alipay, WorldPay and Skrill are popular in other parts of the world.
Even with the slickest website and smoothest sales process, lousy logistics will let you down every time. Make sure you choose a reliable shipping carrier that caters to your target markets. Large carriers like UPS offer shipping management software. This calculates things like delivery time and costs, which can be invaluable to your customers