Operating an e-commerce company means having the world at your fingertips. The global market offers an enticing promise of ever-increasing visibility and sales. However, starting to do business on an international level requires a lot of research and planning in advance.
Today we’ll take a look at the theory behind international expansion, followed by some useful tips to help your business off the ground overseas.
Options for Partnerships
Research shows that about 70% of customers are already making at least one cross-border purchase a year. Nowadays, the choice of partners when expanding your sales horizons is more crucial than ever.
Both the choice of third-party logistics providers and big established names in the industry abroad matters. Do a thorough assessment of the market and see who’s the most prominent. The stakes are too high not to think long and hard about the choice of partners.
When it comes to getting goods to your customers cross-border, there are options of drop-shipping companies, as well as working from your local store using a central system. You do the math and decide on the best alternative for your operations.
Using the Right Integration Technology
The only way to take advantage of the potential of the international e-commerce market, you need to integrate suitable technology both into your online stores and in the back-office operations. Luckily, integration has never been as simple as it is today.
‘A hybrid of clicks and bricks’ may be the best business model nowadays. Integrating the online features into the brick-and-mortar store can help gain traction and reach out to customers all over the world.
In a world where everyone is developing an online presence, offering the most seamless experience is vital.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the essential tips for a cross-border business in the making
Define the Reasons
Before you venture away from the home market, you must be as sure as possible that your products will sell elsewhere. Avoid the mistake of assuming that you’ll be successful abroad just because you’re selling at home.
Before you branch out, test new markets and find out whether they’re ready for your products. Check your prices and buyers’ expectations, too. This way, you won’t have to trust to luck and market your products blind.
Learn About the Local Culture
Once you decide where you want to expand, spend some time learning about their culture. These insights can help you avoid accidentally alienating potential customers.
Don’t rely on the same concepts you used in your home country if they will be foreign to the new market. You might find alternatives, but ensure that you’re showing respect for the local culture. This approach is the only way to compete with local retailers who have a home-turf advantage.
Prepare a Payment Processing Method
Make sure that the way you process payments makes sense in the country that you’re targeting. Learn how people make payments and offer solutions that cater to them.
Inform Yourself on Taxes and Fees
Failure to investigate fees and taxes in the market you’re entering will, in most cases, lead to disaster. The consequences include financial impacts and even being branded a criminal. So, research into the differences and the requirements for foreign companies.
You’d be surprised how different even neighboring countries can be. As the tax specialists at fariscpa.com say, there’s a fundamental difference in cross-border taxation between Canada and the US. Get informed.
Find Useful Partners
That is, those familiar with the local market. Find people and companies that know how marketing, sales, and distribution works in that country.
Besides, if you choose a well-known name, you’re already building customer trust! So, even if your company is large enough for the expansion, be sure to take reap the benefits of having a respected local partner.
Provide Meticulous Customer Service
Your success often comes down to offering high-quality customer service. The service your business provides should be kind and responsive so that the customers forget you’re a new name. It needs to feel targeted and personal.
The Bottom Line
Globalization is defining the business landscape, and if you choose to involve your company in international markets, many doors will open for you. You’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of the many benefits you won’t find if you stay within your home market.
However, to make the most of it, you need to prepare. There are many risks that you’ll need to take, and only by mitigating these are you lessening the chances of suffering ruin.
Devise strategies that will react to the forces of globalization, and you’ll see your business not only remain competitive but also thrive.