Expanding Beyond Your Borders Can Have Incredible Benefits
The sudden burst of growth in the international eCommerce market has been the focus of much attention as of late, with major publications such as Fortune.com writing detailed profiles of countries whose markets are on the rise. With the promise of incredible profits at hand, overseas markets have become the racetrack of the eCommerce world, with companies both large and small hoping to break into major international demographics. The Fortune article linked above details how “40% of global retail eCommerce” is commanded by customers located in China alone, and that’s before eCommerce entrepreneurs as a whole have turned their attention to the hundreds of millions of customers ready to buy in those markets.
With so much potential radiating from a single country, it’s incredible to consider how much room there is for growth within the larger sphere of international eCommerce. However, eCommerce across borders does not come without its own challenges. How can a company with an established domestic market break into international eCommerce? This blog will explore some useful steps for preparing your business to make the move to and the money that comes with the international markets.
Research Can Guide Your International ECommerce Strategy
Being an entrepreneur means carefully weighing risks and making educated guesses about where your products can strike gold. In all likelihood, if you’ve managed to build an enterprise-level brand in a domestic market, you understand the importance of market research for establishing your brand’s presence. This importance only increases as you look to make the move to serving overseas markets. Every country and even every region or city within a country has their own unique culture that influences the behaviors, interests, and choices of customers in that area. Successfully reaching those customers means coming to understand that unique shopper culture, and understanding comes from careful research.
Thanks to the modern internet, doing market research is easier than ever before. Emails and marketing materials online can be tracked for interaction and gauged for success almost instantaneously, which means that creativity and adaptability are of utmost importance. Bringing on a consultant who is specialized with your target city or country is always a good start, after which you should prepare your company for a time of listening and learning. Breaking into brand-new, very different markets is an investment, but with the sheer number of customers international eCommerce opens businesses up to, it’s an investment with a potentially massive payoff.
While trends and preferences vary greatly between markets, one thing never changes: people everywhere love new, exciting products and are ready to jump on quality items that are available to them. Keeping that in mind can help you keep your entrepreneurial spirit strong; people want your product, but they can’t buy it if they don’t know about it. Reaching new customers is about communication, and communication is about learning to understand one another. That understanding goes far beyond things like language and writing. If you’ve had success in your market, it’s likely because you understand something about your buyers that other people do not. You know them, and you can speak to them in a way that has nothing to do with language and everything to do with who they are. The same applies to international markets.
Prepare to Learn New Fulfilment Tactics and Regulatory Rules
Behind finding and connecting to an overseas market, the next biggest challenge comes down to getting your product out from your manufacturer or supplier and in to the excited customers waiting for their item. Fulfilling orders internationally means encountering new hurdles and embracing effective tactics for overcoming those hurdles. It is simply a fact of international business that some of those hurdles will be regulatory. Whether in the form of taxes, fees, customs and mail policy, or parcel carrier handoff rules, regulatory hurdles can be complicated. The good news is that, in the end, both the country of origin and the customer’s country both want to encourage international eCommerce, even if policy can prove to be difficult to navigate for eCommerce companies. Be prepared to reach out to, communicate with, and research key agencies in advance of beginning your shipments overseas. Government organizations largely have done this business before and will be prepared to educate your company and its representatives on the necessary steps to manage order fulfillment.
ECommerce platform all-star BigCommerce recently published an amazing exploration of three of the most popular fulfillment tactics utilized by international eCommerce companies. These tactics include drop-shipping, third-party fulfillment, and self-fulfillment, and they each come with benefits and drawbacks. For example, while self-fulfillment allows you complete control of the fulfillment process, it requires controlling your own warehouses, hiring your own staff, and negotiating your own shipping. Drop-shipping on the other hand, allows for a partnership with a local seller who can distribute products for you, therefore sidestepping the need for warehouses and additional staff.
Get Excited for a World of Possibility — Literally!
One of the best ways to ensure success is to keep company morale high. Breaking into an international market is hard work, but the payoff is rewarding in more ways than one. Not only is there the sheer financial benefit of getting access to potentially millions of new customers, but there is the personal, team, and even company growth that comes from learning new skills and mastering a new market. With these benefits in mind, its okay to be excited; in fact, that excitement may help energize your team to perform their best as you take on a new and promising challenge.
If you want to prepare your company for international growth, let us help you make the most of it. Here at www.1digitalagency.com, we’re 100% committed to eCommerce. As a result, we’re uniquely equipped to help your company thrive both domestically and internationally. We want nothing more than to see eCommerce companies rise up and get access to all of the potential customers who haven’t yet been reached! Contact us today to learn even more!
- December 6, 2017
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