E-commerce Merchant International Expansion Best Practices
Expanding to a global sales market is a good way to increase revenue. It also requires a lot of work ahead of time, including research, decision-making and documenting. Some detailed best practices used when launching an international eCommerce effort are categorized around planning, the local shopping processes, the product and marketing and execution.
- It is essential to develop a global strategy and a business plan for moving into a new market. On the to-do list includes many items.
- Creating a short, medium, and long-term strategy helps clarify tactical goals from strategic.
- it is important to document attainable and detailed goals and objectives and reach agreement on measurement data to track progress and cost-benefit.
- Complete the business model and reporting structure, as well as decide whether a separate company, branch, or accounting line item is preferred for revenue to track sales.
- Develop a detailed task list to project a project plan that commits to specific end dates.
- Planning should include gathering market intelligence, finding the target market for the product, and researching demand and local buying trends.
- It requires looking and analyzing the countries where the product is currently selling. First, expand sales into these markets to test the demand for the product.
- The federal government also provides information and free planning tools. The U.S. Small Business Administration and Export.gov both templates to find the best markets for the product and develop pricing strategies.
- It is also crucial to address tax or compliance issues, understand local regulations surrounding the product, and get legal documentation completed as necessary.
- The goal is to ensure ease of use by local customers around the world. A key first step is to research the local buyers' preferred methods of payment and shopping habits.
- An important aspect includes research of the top regions that have significant demand for the products.
- in addition, dig deep into consumers’ spending patterns as online shoppers from smaller countries make more international purchases than those who have local retail access, and they are more inclined to buy from larger global markets like the U.S., Canada and Australia.
- It is crucial to find an existing eCommerce platform that is international and meets several criteria.
- The criteria include the ability to accept and process all the payment methods identified in the research, be available in the local language, and use all the currency types from the countries in which the products will be sold.
- Beyond that, it should have location settings to provide information based on where your customers are shopping from. Everything from the language to the price, to the currency to the shipping rates could require a change depending on the market.
- A platform that adjusts all this automatically will save time and errors.
- The platform selected must provide an integrated solution and have an excellent reputation for security.
- Before selecting the product to sell the vendor must differentiate their product from those already on the local market to stand out from competitors:
- Review government and industry specific regulations again so that if necessary, the website that the product is on is in compliance. If relevant, obtain relevant certifications and post them on the website.
- Make sure the name of the product does not translate with a negative connotation.
- Conduct a review of local patents and trademarks.
- Ensure all testing and quality assurance reviews are complete based on local standards.
- Research the pros and cons of hiring a local logistics and distribution network to sell the product.
- The vendor must also be able to guarantee product quality.
- Product quality encompasses both the quality of the product and customer support.
- An international customer service team that can speak the various languages of global customers is crucial.
- They must also be adequately trained, otherwise, individual team members could have a significant negative impact on reputation and sales.
- Ensure the currency conversion logic the platform uses does not assess extra charges and negatively impact customer loyalty and retention.
- Guard against third party multi-language apps that "slow down page performance and often do not allow you to customize the checkout experience with branding or automated discounts."
To create this report, we searched for instructions on how to expand into international eCommerce. We were looking for credible sources like well-respected providers of business information or from providers of eCommerce platforms that are already in the business. Big Commerce is an award-winning eCommerce platform for vendors. It published a series of articles on working in eCommerce, one of which is entitled "International Ecommerce: 3 Steps to Global Expansion."
Next, we reviewed a comprehensive article from Forbes magazine called "Sell Globally — 15 Tips for Building Your Global Growth Strategy". From there, we extracted best practices applicable to eCommerce. From Shopify, a well-known multi-national eCommerce site, we found the article "International Ecommerce Strategy: New Tools to Simplify Global Growth for High-Volume Businesses" with best practices for international expansion.