If you have an established e-commerce business chances are that you will have had a few sales to overseas customers. These ‘accidental’ sales can open your eyes to a new lucrative international audience – but turning your business into a global e-commerce success will take serious planning and preparation. For this reason, we are going to share ten things you should consider when expanding internationally.
Table Of Contents (Quick Links)
- 1 1. Research your market
- 2 2. Don’t use Google Translate
- 3 3. Don’t underestimate the effect of culture
- 4 4. Research the preferred payment gateways
- 5 5. Beware of fraudsters
- 6 6. Set up separate URLs for each territory
- 7 7. Give international-friendly specifications
- 8 8. Ensure you are charging the right amount
- 9 9. Prioritise customer service
- 10 10. Research local taxes
1. Research your market
Market research is essential for understanding how your competition and customers differ to your local market. The objective is to make your e-commerce platform saleable for this different target market.
2. Don’t use Google Translate
Visitors should be presented with their mother tongue when visiting your site – as this makes them four times more likely to make a purchase. Do not use Google Translate though as this can be inaccurate. Instead, use a translation company. Although this may cost money, the resulting sales should cover it.
3. Don’t underestimate the effect of culture
You must be aware of the different cultural aspects of different countries, and this should form a key element of your market research. China is a good example of a place where cultural nuances must be appreciated.
4. Research the preferred payment gateways
Choosing the right payment method can boost your sales by up to 25% according to WorldPay. You should research local credit cards and the standard for e-commerce sales in the target country. Research the popular payment methods but ensure they are the right choice for your brand and products.
5. Beware of fraudsters
Fraudsters are everywhere, but they can operate differently in international markets. Research how to protect your site in the chosen location, as it takes just one bad experience for things to go awry for your sales platform.
6. Set up separate URLs for each territory
If you are going to be targeting different international markets one of the best ways to gain trust is by using a dedicated country-specific URL. This will also prove crucial for your e-commerce site’s local visibility and search engine ranking.
7. Give international-friendly specifications
One other important detail you must remember is that different parts of the world use different specifications. We may all know inches in measurements and pounds in currency, but European customers are likely to be more familiar with centimetres and Euros.
8. Ensure you are charging the right amount
You should not enter a new market without researching relevant competitors’ prices and modifying yours accordingly. This does not mean that you should cut your prices, but ensure they are right for your market.
9. Prioritise customer service
Customer service must remain a priority wherever you are selling your goods. Make sure you have a team in place to handle enquiries and complaints and do not allow poor customer service to let your business down.
10. Research local taxes
Failing to research local taxes can put your business in danger of not meeting country-specific regulations. It can also present your customers with unexpected and unwanted costs – research is once again vital.