Prepare Your Business for International Shipping in 6 Steps
If you’re ready to grow your business with cross-border eCommerce, then this post is for you....
Looking to launch your brand into new markets or start a successful international brand? Then these eight global eCommerce tips are just what you need to dominate your niche in every region you launch into!
There is no doubt that launching in various markets will come with a host of challenges. However, it will also skyrocket your sales potential - if done right, that is. This means doing extensive research and adapting your fulfillment and shipping, marketing, customer service and payment policies to the languages, cultures, and laws of each market you enter.
So sit back, grab that coffee and get ready for this week’s global eCommerce guide.
Before launching a global brand or expanding an existing brand into new markets, you need to do thorough research. You want to look at all aspects that will affect your market, including political, tech, social, cultural and legal differences that come with operating in various countries, as well as the competition these markets will be within your niche. You will also want to look for the key differences between these markets will mean for your brand, products, and marketing. To kick-start your research, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Once you have the lay of the land, it’s important to set your short-, medium- and long-term goals for each market, as well as for your global strategy. Having a clear plan - a road map if you will - can grow your market share step-by-step in each location. This way, you can expand or market to the location with the most potential for reaching your goals, and then add each market systematically, ensuring they align with your goals.
To truly excel as a global eCommerce seller, you want to ensure you localize your website and channels as much as possible. This includes product descriptions, currencies and eliminating cultural/slag discrepancies.
For those of you launching into new markets through various marketing channels such as Amazon UK or Mirakl, tools like StoreAutomator will help you easily adapt all your product descriptions per sales channel.
This should also include considering showing product prices in the currency of the location a potential shopper is visiting your store or marketplace product listing from. Some other adaptations to consider include:
And what about letting customers pay in the way they are most familiar with?
Your research may point to differences in how potential customers pay in various locations. For example, the top payment gateways in the US are Stripe and PayPal, while shoppers in Germany prefer transfer services such as GoCoin. Here is a list of popular payment gateways used by eCommerce per locations to research how customers with access to these platforms can pay.
To ensure you can dominate your niche on a global scale, you will need to build, adapt and plan your marketing strategies from market to market - or location to location, if you will. Potential shoppers in different countries may spend more time on various platforms and respond better to different marketing campaigns in terms of channels, visuals, and text.
Therefore, you don’t want to take a one-size-fits-all approach to your marketing. Instead, you want to create promotions and strategies that talk directly to potential shoppers in each location in a tone, language, and vibe that appeals to them most.
Why is this so important?
A simple example to demonstrate is the climate. Let’s say you are in New York and are busy expanding your brand to Australia. Running a swimsuit promotion that targets both countries would be a waste of budget, considering it is winter in Australia when it is summer in New York.
Your market research, as we discussed in tip one, can help you build your initial strategy for the first market and then build on it. In other words, building different customer acquisition channels for each marketing region. This includes having different SEO, Google Ads, Facebook marketing, Emailer and promotional strategies for each market.
Although we touched on this with regards to market research, it deserves its own tip as it can have a big impact on a global selling business. Many countries and states around the world now require online sellers, regardless of where they are located, to pay tax or collect VAT for that state if their revenue exceeds a certain amount.
For example, in the United States, certain states have economic nexus. Meaning that if you sell a certain amount in that state, even if you aren’t located or registered in the US, you could be eligible for paying tax. This is a relatively new law, and this threshold will vary from state to state. This gets even more complicated if you are using an FDA and have warehouses in the US: you will need to file tax returns for that state. You can read more about US tax implications here.
If you’re selling in the EU, on the other hand, you may need to add the VAT, even if not located or registered in the EU, depending on the niche you’re selling in and the threshold amount set by that country.
Another eCommerce global selling tip to ensure niche domination is to localize your customer service strategies. This means using platforms and tools that are preferred by your shoppers in each market. This also means dealing with customers in their preferred language. Here are some steps to get you started:
Lastly, to dominate your niche on a global level, you need to have a streamlined business. The best way to do this is by investing in the right global eCommerce tools. Tools that can help you sell on a multitude of platforms and in a multitude of locations, all while ensuring inventory, shipping, and other important eCommerce admin is performing well to increase sales. Here are some vital global selling tools international eCommerce sellers should invest in:
Head over to our Top 5 Tools for Managing Multiple eCommerce Businesses post to learn more about these and other tools.
There you have it, eight global eCommerce tips to help you dominate your niche and build a successful international brand.
Have questions? Email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole is an eCommerce business blogger, Small Biz consultant, and content managing wizard with over 16 years of experience. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie or hanging out on LinkedIn.