As shopping online from foreign retailers has become a huge hit, many eCommerce companies have started to think of ways to expand their business globally. Even though a decision to expand an eCommerce business is never easy; for many, expanding an eCommerce business internationally certainly demonstrates the main goal for continued growth. Going international with your business is a huge undertaking that requires an immense amount of research, planning, and preparation. However, numbers also show that it is worth it. A study from McKinsey predicts that 1.8 billion people will enter the consuming class by 2025, annually spending $30 trillion. With broader internet availability, buyers will have better access to businesses all over the world — businesses just like yours.
Yet, before you open your doors to the world, you will need a plan. In this post, we will give you some tips for expanding your eCommerce business internationally.
If you decide to expand internationally, you will have to think about how you are going to promote your eCommerce business and grow in other countries. Localization is the key to success since the products and strategies that work before may not necessarily work in other countries. Providing a localized experience goes far beyond the store translation into the local language. Usability plays a big part in a localized experience that resonates with customers. For instance, product visuals that feature local models or local monuments may confirm authenticity. Most importantly, you need to localize your campaigns. Some countries start their end-of-season sales earlier than others. Some countries do not celebrate Thanksgiving, or some celebrate other feasts.
Payment options must be tackled locally in most cases. There is a chance that you could risk losing out on sales if you do not let your foreign users purchase with their preferred payment options. For instance, research from Paypers shows that 60% of payments are by direct debit in the Netherlands, and 46% of payments are done by online bank transfer in Germany, whereas 66% of US shoppers prefer credit cards, and 86% of Chinese shoppers prefer Alipay. Therefore; the type, variety, and ease of payments offered in your eCommerce store will be extremely crucial to acquiring customers. You should keep in mind that every country is different. If you expand your payment options, it will lead to more sales.
Invest in mobile commerce
Wherever your customers are shopping from, one thing is clear: smartphones are a primary catalyst for your eCommerce growth. In 2017, eMarketer predicted that mobile commerce would comprise at least one-third of total eCommerce sales by 2021. Furthermore, J.P. Morgan’s report demonstrated that almost three out of every four eCommerce transactions were carried out on a mobile device last year. Meaning that mobile commerce has grown even faster than predicted. Providing a seamless mobile shopping experience shall certainly be considered essential. However, it is not just having a mobile-optimized website or a PWA. If you like to match the rising consumer shopping preferences, it is about providing a native mobile app and personalizing the experience. At the end of the day, it will not be about whether your products are better or they have lower prices; it will be about the experience your customers had and how it was different, hopefully, better than the experience they had with your competitors.
Even though expanding your eCommerce business can be challenging. It is truly a decision that is worth making. It will not only expose your company to new countries, cultures, and most importantly, countries; but also, it will expand your horizons in many ways. Of course, before you make this big decision, you need to be sure that you do lots and lots of research to find the most suitable markets for your eCommerce business. Furthermore, you need to invest in localization, getting to know your potential customers, and providing the experience that will delight them.