The biggest do’s and don’ts of cross-border commerce

Cross-border commerce is challenging for many companies. You have to change your strategy for every country you want to enter. This will take a lot of time and resources, but by expanding into new countries you will expand your business tremendously.

Entering new markets and new countries is not something you do overnight. You need to have a clear strategy first. There are also some steps you need to take to be successful in the new market you are entering. Here you will find the biggest do’s and don’ts of cross-border commerce.

Do's

  1. Research
    The first step that you need to undertake is, that you need to do research. You can learn a lot about your new location by doing research. First, you need to research your target group. Who are they? What are their interests? Where can you reach them? And how can you communicate with them? To help you with this, it is smart to look at the regional competition. What is their approach? Market research will enable you to get the lay of the land no matter where you aim to sell and will allow you to set realistic expectations on pricing and market share. The great benefit of doing research is that you can easily do this online. 
     
  2. Local payment and shipping options

    You may have payment and shipping partners, but are those partners also right for the new countries you want to enter? Can they provide the best service? Is the new target group familiar with those partners or are they used to other payment and shipping services? 

    So, when you are going to establish a new localized version of your e-commerce website, it’s essential to ensure what currencies your payment merchant accepts and what extra costs may be incurred from this. If you look at the Netherlands for example, the leading payment software solution is iDEAL. However, in China the most popular choice for online payments is Alipay. This something you need to check before setting up your e-commerce platform in a new country. The same applies to shipping methods. 

    Shipping costs are always going to be an influential force in the consumer’s buying process, from your market research you should know whether the shipping options you offer are a match with your competitors. Your shipping company needs to offer the right price and needs to be reliable. 

  3. Localize your marketing and SEO campaigns
    You cannot just duplicate your content and campaigns. The thing you need to do is to produce localized SEO campaigns. Maybe you have a marketing tool that does this automatically for you. If that is the case, then you still need to familiarize yourself with the key search terms and keywords popular in your chosen location. This can be different from the keywords your current campaigns are targeted on. Also, keep in mind that native British English and English spoken in the United States can be different. 

Don'ts

  1. Do not create duplicate content
    As said before you do not need to duplicate your content. First of all, this is bad for your SEO position in search engines. Not only content is important. When you are selling internationally, duplicating your stock, and prices, across multiple locales, won’t always be the best strategy for your business. It is important to see every country as a different business. In every country, different tax rules can apply for example. 
     
  2. Remember that every country is different
    It has been said before, but you really need to remember that every country is different and doesn’t apply the same strategy to every country. This is the worst thing you can do. When you assume that you can run the same UK promotion in China and America is to completely misunderstand its culture and consumer base. You will always need to educate yourself on your new target group to ensure you understand the pressures and demands of its market. The thing to think about is the products that you are selling. If there a demand for those products? What are the legal compliances you need to know? Keep also things in mind such as regional holidays that you can use in campaigns and promotions. 
     
    When you are starting with cross-border commerce you need to think about a lot of things and research is key. Are you looking for more tips? Then read these 6 tips to start with cross-border commerce today.  

Want to know more about cross-border commerce? Sign up for Digital Marketing in 1 Day

On the 21st of November 2019, Youwe will organize an entire track about cross-border commerce during Digital Marketing in 1 Day. The event will take place in Bussum, The Netherlands, and speakers from Uber, Staples, and Talentsoft will take the stage and give you the latest insights on how to successfully take your company beyond your own borders.