“Big Things Start Small”, Jeff Bezos
Probably, we all have heard the exciting pioneer story of Amazon starting in a garage and becoming a global eCommerce giant, haven’t we? As inspiring as it is, today, we can witness the penetration of international eCommerce everywhere!
Global eCommerce refers to the online selling of products and goods to buyers in foreign countries. It is a synonym of international eCommerce, although they may have slightly different connotations concerning the number of countries you are selling to.
In recent years, global eCommerce has been growing exponentially and even more so, empowered by the COVID-19 factor. Statista, for example, assesses international eCommerce market size to have reached as much as USD 4.2 billion, as, by 2024, this number is expected to surpass USD 6.39 billion!
Why consider going international?
Above all, going global will provide you with the unique chance to explore some new business options, respond to unexpected customer demands, and fine-tune your overall eCommerce business offering. It is a process in which you may encounter both benefits and challenges but let us first look at the benefits.
Key benefits from launching a global eCommerce business
Entering the international eCommerce market will certainly let you enjoy the following:
- increase your sales – you will be able to attract new customers;
- test a new market – you will get to know a new market niche;
- enhance your brand visibility – you will be enabled to communicate your brand to new customers;
- know your customers better– you will gather information from new audiences;
- explore new market demands – you will be able to address new market trends.
You may see the effect of some of these benefits as early as the research phase of your global eCommerce project. Yet, let’s look at what some other businesses have achieved by launching global eCommerce.
Some inspirational cases to consider
BioTrade is a local Bulgarian clinical cosmetics producer. By introducing a multimarket strategy to 5 new European markets, it managed to significantly enhance its brand power and online sales with the help of a new global eCommerce website.
By building its international presence, the company gained international recognition, a reputed brand name, and an enlarged customer base. You may further explore the project here.
Nap Lab, one of the biggest Swedish online stores for sleep commodities, managed to gain a distinguished regional presence in the Nordics by migrating its old Shopify’s website to WooCommerce. It further enhanced its new global website by full customization, optimization, and UX. Finally, the company improved its operation effectiveness by streamlining multiple integrations. Read more about their project here.
Remember, despite the other challenges you will encounter, your international eCommerce website is vital for your international success!
5 Steps to Global Expansion
Here is a straightforward answer: set your goals and design a strategy!
The steps of your international journey
When deciding to expand abroad, you should first define your goals. This way, you may come up with a tailored market entry strategy that can let you prioritize your needs. These may include (without being limited to) doing market analysis, reorganizing operations, finding appropriate partners, etc. Once you have a clear idea of what you would like to achieve, you may sketch the main steps of your strategy.
Some of the key steps you will need to follow on your way to global eCommerce usually include:
- Choose new markets by market research – you should be aware that the market you are already operating in will never be identical to the new market that triggered your interest. Thus, you should try to explore your new segments, their size, and shares, your new competitors, etc.
- Learn the new cultural specifics and localize your strategy – you should do your best to study the new culture you are entering.
- Ensure compliance with the local laws and practices
- Set up your right international eCommerce solution – your website platform should be adapted and enhanced to match the increased number of customers you are expecting.
- Find your new global eCommerce business partners – you may need a new technology partner (to help you out with your global eCommerce website), operations partner (to help you out with your international supply chain), local office partner (to set up the new office for you), etc.
Although your specific steps may vary according to your goals, the simple list above is almost sure to be applicable to your case as well.
5 tips you should know about your international eCommerce website
If you wonder if the time for your new global eCommerce website has come, we always recommend that you first discuss it with a trusted partner. This way, you can gain first-hand insights into what suits you best.
Here are a few tips to follow if you decide to address your new website needs along the way:
- localize your website contents – this goes beyond the simple translation and does involve addressing the established eCommerce practices in the new country. You may need to adapt measurements, currency, mode of communication, and payment, to name a few;
- optimize your pricing – you should never rely on currency conversion only;
- calculate your “landed costs” – these include all additional costs that may be levied on your products such as taxes, permits, tariffs, shipping costs, etc.;
- arrange for proper payments – do your research on the way your new customers would prefer paying – you may have to include “PayPal”, for example, or remove credit card options;
- assure appropriate customer service – do pay attention to the established cultural practices and norms of communication.
If you need some further guidelines, you may browse the International E-Commerce: A Comprehensive Guide.
Launching a global eCommerce business is a certain way to increase your sales, strengthen your brand and give an overall impetus to your business. To make things happen smoothly, just do your homework and find your trusted partners! Good luck and stay tuned!