Global ecommerce is no longer the future – it’s already here. Even without trying, most U.S.-based ecommerce sellers will notice that about 10% of their orders are being shipped outside the country.
So as an ecommerce seller, where should you focus your international selling efforts? Global ecommerce is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and it’s not as simple as targeting BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).
Here’s a look at four steps you should consider before you go all-in with global ecommerce.
Go where your customers are
The BRIC countries may be the global ecommerce hot spots. But if your customers are not coming in from those countries, don’t make them your primary focus. Look at your international order history first. The countries with the most orders are your low-hanging fruit. Then check out your analytics for visitors outside your country who are certainly browsing, but not completing orders. If visitors from a specific country are abandoning at the same part of your site, you can target those customers once you make the necessary fixes.
Determine shipping and delivery factors
Those above-mentioned roadblocks could be due to shipping costs, or it may be because of regulations in those specific countries. For that matter, not being set up for international delivery may mean you’re losing money whenever a customer from a specific country buys from you. Your rates are affected by several variables, including duties and taxes, package dimensions, specific country commodity restrictions, and handling charges and terms and conditions put in place by the carriers.
Tap the easiest markets first
Making sure your ecommerce site can be clearly understood in other countries is a must. We could recommend starting your global expansion by targeting countries where English is native or common (go for the easy first).
If your customers are in countries where customers prefer their native language, then a localized website is necessary. However, a localized website means you need localized customer service, and agents who speak that language.
Make payments easy
Another important thing marketers need to keep in mind is the shopping habits of the country they are looking to sell to. How do customers like to pay for online goods? Credit cards are the most popular form of payment in most countries. But many customers in for example Russia and Eastern Europe prefer to pay by cash-on-delivery, while customers in Japan prefer to buy online and then pay for their goods at a convenience store kiosk or cash register. Also, digital payment methods such as PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay can attract global mobile customers.
To summarize, global e-commerce is already a fact for most e-tailers. But to grow profitably takes some effort, which is why it’s always good to start with the low-hanging fruit.