If you have an eCommerce business, reaching out to the global market should be one of your main goals. Customers from around the world are interested in buying foreign products. According to a recent survey of consumers in the US, Australia, and the UK, more than half of shoppers are willing to complete an online purchase from a foreign-based eCommerce shop.
While international eCommerce sales can provide endless opportunities, it also comes with a unique set of difficulties. Overcoming these obstacles requires research and savvy marketing.
Review Shipping Options
If you want to expand your e-commerce firm, going global might be a wonderful next step. However, you’ll need to figure out how to ship overseas.
You’ll need a plan that works for you and your company if you want to handle international shipments correctly. You don’t need to be an expert in shipping, but you do need to be aware of your options and choose a strategy that will meet your demands in the long run.
Before you ship any products overseas, you must become familiar with regional and national charges. This includes local taxes, fees, or tariffs.
Additionally, eCommerce goods shipped abroad do not only go one way. You must also create a strategy to manage shipping costs for returns. This can be frustrating for customers, as many shipping costs, such as customs and taxes are not refundable. In order to simplify the return process for your clients, you must identify a local shipper that is willing to implement reverse deliveries.
Otherwise, you will need to contract with a third-party return logistics operator. While this is a growing business with many reputable companies, you may not have much choice in pricing or terms. However, delegating return logistics to the customers can reduce repeat orders and limit your international growth.
Translate Marketing Material
In order to effectively reach consumers, you must advertise your products in their native language. This builds trust and ensures that customers understand what they are paying for. Translating your website and marketing is part of a process known as localization. When visitors from different countries visit your website, they will see the version of your page tailored to their language preferences.
You can localize your advertising and website in several ways. You can use translation software or a company that combines machine and human translations. You can start this process by compiling all of the text from your site into a single, easy-to-read document.
The translation firm can then translate all of the text and return it to you on the same document. This makes it easy to feed the translations onto your website or eCommerce shop.
If you have a smaller budget or are testing the viability of a market, you can install automatic translation plug-ins on your website. However, these translations are often inaccurate as they are not constantly reviewed by human translators.
When you are localizing, language is not the only consideration. Customers in different countries will need form fields that reflect their writing standards. For example, customers will need to be able to input their country without selecting a state or write in zip codes that include letters. If not, they will have no choice but to abandon their cart. This means fewer sales for you.
Accept Multiple Currencies
One of the most complex aspects of international eCommerce is currency conversion. Handling multiple currencies through an online payment system can lead to operational difficulties or technological difficulties.
Additionally, exchange rates fluctuate quite frequently. This volatility can benefit you, but sometimes, it can benefit the customer. Exchange rates could impact your profit margins if you do not address this risk adequately.
Further, banks and third-party processors may add foreign transaction fees. If you fail to make these costs clear at the time of purchase, customers may not see the additional expense until it appears on their credit card account. This may discourage customers from making purchases from businesses abroad and reduce customer satisfaction.
If you want to accept purchases in multiple currencies, use an ecommerce payment processing gateway that can support foreign transactions. These systems may give customers the option of making payments in their own currency or in a reserve currency, such as US dollars, euros, or British pounds.
An international payment gateway can increase your consumer base and makes it easier to accept payments from customers abroad.
Understand Export Laws
Many countries place limitations or regulations on the type of items that can be imported. This affects your eCommerce business, as you are essentially exporting your products to international customers.
There are two main categories for export laws.
Restricted goods are regulated by a national agency. In order to ship restricted items to a country, you will need to have special permission or licensing. You also may have to limit the volume of items you can ship to a single customer, or to all customers in that country.
Some typically restricted items include pharmaceuticals, fresh produce, seeds, and electronics. Some countries may also restrict certain items to protect local industries or due to cultural reasons.
Prohibited items cannot be imported into a country in any quantity. Even if your product is completely legal in your home country, shipping these items to a nation that prohibits them can put you in serious legal trouble. Include regulation compliance as part of your shipping strategy to avoid problems.short url: