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Selling internationally: 10 things to consider for eCommerce

history January 8, 2022

local_library 13914 minute read

Selling internationally: 10 things to consider for eCommerce

Because of a lack of access to products on the domestic market, an increasing number of consumers are turning to international marketplaces. Another reason for cross-border eCommerce is lower prices and faster shipping. Furthermore, according to eBay research, international customers pay 16% more than local buyers for the same items. Cross-border eCommerce sales reached $3.53 trillion in 2019, with e-revenues expected to increase to $6.54 trillion by 2022. (Statista, 2019).

Selling internationally provides retailers with an excellent opportunity to expand their international reach, gain a plethora of new customers, and increase profitability. Thus, Hickies, a shoelace company founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, New York, was able to begin selling in 50 countries around the world by launching a Kickstarter campaign. If you want to achieve the same results in Shopify international sales, here are ten things you should do before selling cross-border.

Ten things to do to get started 

1. Learn about the new market

To begin, you should conduct research on your target markets and their customers. Your goal is to determine which countries have a high demand for your products and to test selling specific items. You should also be aware of your competitors’ marketing strategies in these markets. Another critical step is to identify potential customers, their purchasing habits, and preferences. When approaching buyers from various locations and cultures, your company should be adaptable. Understanding their motivations and expectations is critical in developing an international expansion strategy.

2. Think about a multi-language store

Language is a significant barrier to cross-border selling. Customers will rarely buy from you if they don’t understand the product descriptions. Instead, they’ll go to another store that has all of the necessary information. As a result, delivering quality translations in customers’ native languages is the best way to appear professional and trustworthy. Excellent translations are essential. To make sense to buyers, they should be accurate and deliver the benefits of products and services. Furthermore, in order to avoid abuse, it is critical to use a professional service to translate FAQ responses.

3. Determine payment methods

In international eCommerce, payment methods are a stumbling block. There are different preferences depending on where you live. Customers in North America and Australia, for example, prefer credit card payments, whereas customers in Asian countries prefer bank transfers or cash on delivery.

Before you can expand your business internationally, you must first determine which international payment methods are preferred by your new customers and optimize the checkout process for them. Only then will you be able to increase sales and decrease cart abandonment. According to the Baymard Institute, more than one-third of online shopping carts are abandoned due to a lack of payment options.

It is also critical to select a payment provider with a solid global security reputation. PayPal, for example, is a safe way to pay and the preferred payment option for 39 percent of clients worldwide (Statista). In 2019, there were 277 million active PayPal accounts.

4. Support local currencies

What else should you consider while selling internationally? These are regional currencies. Most customers are unwilling to waste time translating prices. It is easier for them to shop at another store rather than perform all of these activities every time. If you want to keep international buyers, the greatest thing you can do is show prices in their native currency. It will assist you in increasing client loyalty to your brand and decreasing the number of buyers abandoning your online business.

Allowing your customers to make purchases in their local currencies is the simplest way to improve their shopping experience using Autoketing’s Currency Converter Box. The app automatically converts your prices into the appropriate currency and allows your visitors to select their favorite currency.

5. Research international shipping options

Knowing your potential buyers and products in demand after you’ve picked your target markets is only half the battle. Another option is how you will mail your goods. Make sure to conduct research and investigate international shipping rates to the markets where you intend to expand.

According to the Baymard research, 61 percent of shoppers abandon a transaction due to delivery costs. One of the reasons for this is that some heavier goods can be more expensive to ship internationally. However, you can entice clients by offering free shipping for a particular amount of money. As a result, as more things are sold, you will cover some of the shipping costs.

The most important thing is to be upfront with your international customers about international shipping, provide accurate arrival predictions based on country, and disclose shipping charges in an easily accessible location.

6. Research tax laws and regulations

You must study the following to avoid getting into trouble:

  • Taxes and duties. You should investigate how they will affect your price in target markets, as well as how much you will have to charge. As a result, you will be aware of the amount of Shopify foreign taxes that should be included in the total as additional expenses.
  • Customs and national regulations. All international products must pass through customs, and each package must include a customs form. As a result, you should take care of it. Furthermore, there are several restrictions governing foreign sales all over the world, the significance of which cannot be overstated. According to shipping restrictions, UK vendors, for example, are not permitted to transport things such as hair colors and perfumes by air.
  • Agreements on commerce. Another item to look into is free-trade agreements, which may allow you to lower or remove tariffs on certain products. For example, the United States has agreements with 20 countries that provide significant benefits to retailers.

7. Make a clear international return policy

Because returns are unavoidable, you should have a clear return policy in place to give your overseas clients peace of mind. It’s especially important for customers purchasing from an unfamiliar brand.

Your return policy should be in accordance with local regulations and include information on return fees and restocking. Also, clarify whether you are offering store credit or a full refund.

If you want to keep your returns as low-cost as possible, consider establishing a local returns center.

8. Look into fulfillment centers

It is difficult to compete with local businesses in terms of delivery time and freight prices when selling cross-border. Because of a bad delivery experience, 84 percent of purchasers will never shop with a brand again. At the same time, 98.1 percent of buyers base their brand loyalty on delivery (Convey).

To avoid all of these losses, the best bet is to look into local fulfillment facilities. You’ll be able to pick and send items for next-day delivery with their assistance. As a result, you will be able to satisfy international buyers and improve their buying experience.

9. Locate business partners

Another consideration before selling cross-border is the need to identify a local business partner or intermediary. Someone who understands a specific market and its regulations and has access to a network of potential clients should be in charge of this. Furthermore, the intermediary must be knowledgeable in your industry in order to increase sales.

10. Make use of analytical tools

The final step in expanding a business globally is to use analytic tools. They allow you to watch the traffic to your website, determine which channels perform best for your e-store, and decide which market to target. Furthermore, you may obtain client insights and all the demographic information you require, as well as learn which of your products sell the best and are the most profitable, and so on.

Final thoughts

Selling globally is a huge step that can help you expand your horizons, make your business more well-known around the world, gain more new clients, and enhance your bottom line. To be successful in your new beginnings, follow our checklist.

For more tips on improving your store, check out our other articles here on Autoketing

In case you’re looking for trustable applications to your Shopify Store, check for the reference resource Shopify App Store  

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