Growing your own business beyond the shores is a dream come true for every eCommerce business owner. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a challenging job. Even though the world is your oyster, taking your eCommerce globally can be tough in many areas, including legal and regulatory barriers to langue, cultural barriers and so much more.
Luckily, going international can bring you so many benefits. You can sell more products since your audience is increasing, and you can perfect yoru products due to another type of feedback from new people. So, if you are thinking about taking your eCommerce business globally, here is how you can do it.
Do Your Research
Even though this is something you’re certainly going to do, it is worth mentioning that you should do the research before expanding. Even though your business cannot serve the needs of every single customer, you should still do some background research and inform yourself about the new audience you’re going to acquire. Also, don’t forget about the competition that already exists there, and see what you can do to stand out.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Responsive and Fast
Today, it’s not enough to just have a website with your products. People love it when the site is optimized and it can only bring you more benefits. Most of the population today uses the internet on their mobile phones and that is why your website needs to be mobile-friendly.
If your eCommerce is not optimized for mobile phones, chances are huge that it’s going to be slow, nothing will be nicely visible, and this will cause users to immediately leave your page. What’s more, if your website is mobile-friendly and fast, it will be ranked better on Google which promises a higher bounce rate, conversions, and more visits.
Pay Attention To Customer Support
This is always important to eCommerce businesses, especially if you’re going global. Good customer support means more satisfaction with customers which brings loyalty. Every successful eCommerce business, like Balkan Store, for example, has good customer support.
What’s more, you should make sure that your support is ready for the international market. You can’t just offer customer support in the English language for example, since not all people speak it fluently or are comfortable using it. That’s why you should hire diverse people who speak all the languages of countries where you plan on taking your eCommerce.
Update Your Payments
When going international, you have to offer several different payment options. Different cultures have different payment methods that they prefer, so when going global do the research on those payments. For example, most of Europe uses PayPal, but in China they prefer AliPay.
The more payments you offer on your website, the easier it will be for the customers to check out. Also, you are enabling a larger number of people to be able to buy your products. On the other hand, if you offer only a few payment methods, people may be discouraged to use your website if they have to use a payment method they are not familiar with or don’t prefer.
Furthermore, you can provide a sense of security and confidence if you list products in local currencies and allow people to use their local currency to buy your products. This can be highly beneficial to your business sine different payment methods have different fees.
Shipping and Returns
This is another essential element to consider when going global. When you’re offering international sales, you have to offer shipping and returns on the same level. Without this, you cannot get your products to your customers.
To achieve this, you can display real-time carrier fees, and if you want a flat fee it will depend on the location or you can provide free shipping. According to much research, shoppers love free shipping even if it means that the products would be slightly more expensive.
Additionally, international returns are important, too; especially if you are in the fashion industry. The right to return is a crucial part of the consumer law and if you fail to state how the process goes you may be liable. Also, you can easily achieve this whole process with ease. Most customers love the idea of a stress-free and simple return policy, so you should offer this both nationally and internationally. You can offer returns through courier collection, marketplace, or through programs to resell unwanted items locally.
Adapt Your Marketing Strategy
If you want to successfully grow your eCommerce globally, to new audiences, you will have to adapt your digital marketing strategies. This is where you have to pay attention to language barriers. Even though Google Translate works fine now, it is not always accurate. Your best option is to hire a native speaker to help with optimization and content creation.
Also, remember that search engine uses vary throughout different countries. If you want to reach local niche markets, you should advertise through local search engines. Plus, you should research global advertising regulations since some countries have strict product requirements.
Test The Water First
If you are not sure how the global market would react to yoru products, you can test the waters first. You can do this through online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. This can be your first step towards entering the international market and here you can test how people react to what you have to offer. Global consumers are much more demanding now, and they do expect simple payment methods, plenty of product choices, speedy delivery, and so on. So, sites like these could be perfect for testing how it all goes before you take your eCommerce international.
Having an eCommerce business is fun and amazing. You can reach so many people with it, but you have to be careful and do the research. When entering an international market, you will have to take care of a few things first, and you can always test the market and see what to expect when you’re officially an international eCommerce business.