Expanding your business and starting with cross-border e-commerce needs a different strategy for every country. Also, the most important thing is that you need the right technologies and IT-landscape. Only when you have that sorted out, then you can grow your business faster than you would think. With the following 6 tips, you can start getting ready for cross-border e-commerce today.
The first tip and with that also the most important thing to keep in mind is that every country is different. This means that you never can just duplicate your content and data and use it in different countries. The first thing you need to do when you are planning to enter a new market is to do research. What you have to keep in mind during doing research is that every target group is different. So, find out how your new customers want to see product information, pay, and have products shipped and delivered. Besides the wishes of your future customers, you also need to consider local regulations and tax collection practices. Entering a new market will cost you a bit of time in the beginning, but this will pay off in the end. By doing research you will minimize the risks and maximize the profit.
If you are not sure in which country you should start, then look at your current data first. When you already have a webshop, you can get a lot of data from that. Maybe you are already doing cross-border e-commerce without even really knowing it. Look at all your data and changes are that you already made some international sales. If there is one country besides your home country that has the most sales, then it is probably a good country to start with cross-border e-commerce and a localized website.
If you followed the first two tips then you did your research and used your data. But it is important to look for experts as well. There is only so much you can do yourself. So, now you need to fill in the gaps. Look for partners or experts that know about country-specific marketing, payments, taxes, and data privacy rules. If you have found the right experts then you can validate your plans and add helpful insights.
When your business is growing, you need the right tools and platforms to support that. If you already have an e-commerce platform you need to make sure it is the right one and that it is a possibility to start with cross-border e-commerce. This means that the platform can support local languages as well as localized product information and payment. Another important feature is that the platform needs shipping options without adding major implementation and management costs. Besides that, your platform also should let you easily integrate any third-party solutions you need. An example of a platform that makes you do that is Magento. Magento is a market leader in the area of webshop software. Magento e-commerce is an open-source multishop platform. One in four webshops worldwide is built on a Magento platform. Youwe is a Magento Enterprise Solutions Partner. Find out more about Magento here.
There is nothing wrong with thinking big, but instead of concurring the whole world at once, it is a better idea to take one step at a time. Onboarding one country at a time can help you keep control of your brand. In tip 2 we mentioned starting with the country your data shows where you already doing business. After that country, you can prioritize the markets in which you already have some expertise. As each web store goes online, you can evaluate if localized messages and marketing are working and if you’re successfully converting local buyers. Also, a phased approach means you can get to market sooner, especially if your e-commerce platform is flexible enough to support the rapid creation of localized stores.
Often, companies look past the importance of localizing their product data when they are entering a new and foreign market. As said before every market and every country is different. Content, product feeds, and campaigns are not universal. This can be because of the difference of language, culture or for example the difference in product specifications such as currencies or sizes. All this data needs to be adapted to the new country you are entering. This is a process you do not need to do manually. A Product Information Management system can help you with this: It should be at the heart of any successful, international IT infrastructure. A Product Information Management system helps to automate complex data streams and efficiently organize product information. A PIM helps merchants offer localized versions of their product information for local markets and overseas buyers.
With these 6 tips, you can change your current strategy and it-landscape and make a step in conquering country after country. Cross-border e-commerce will let your business grow and provide you with more profit and a larger brand.