International Ecommerce Guide: 8 Things You Need to Know Before You Get Started

July 28, 2020 11:16 am 0

If you are selling online, chances are, prospects can find your products anywhere.

International Ecommerce Guide

E-commerce is a growing market, the market is big, and there is practically no limit as to where you can expand. Now, the question is, are you ready to sell internationally?

If your answer is yes, then you have to be aware that expanding your business in a much more global scale requires a lot of time and effort on your part.

Not only does this helps you boost your sales, but it also helps you thrive and survive in the highly competitive e-commerce industry. Don’t forget, that you also need to build a good looking and easy to use online store. Hence, all of your efforts will be worth it!

Here are the things that you need to know if want to sell internationally to help you get started:

1. Set up analytic tools

Did you sign up in Google Analytics already? If not, then this is the perfect time to do so.

Using analytics tools help you track your website traffic. It also helps you know where the majority of your website visitors come from. The analytics also include reports on your traffic source like search results, social media, email newsletters, or more.

Knowing these things will help you decide which market you want to focus on. 

But don’t be eager to do it either. Make sure that you expand only if you see that your new market would make up about 5% of your total sales. 

2. Get to know your new market

Analyzing your target market is one of the most important things that you can do before starting your online business.

Your goal is to determine which countries your products are in demand, and then try selling them specific goods. At the same time, you should also be aware of your competitors in these markets, and the marketing strategies they’re using.

Another important thing is to know your target customers in this market, their preferences, and buying habits. 

Ideally, you should be flexible enough in approaching buyers from different cultures and locations. Knowing what their expectations and motives are can be crucial if you want to expand internationally. 

3. Sort out payment methods

When it comes to international e-commerce, payment methods could be considered as a stumbling block. 

For instance, most buyers prefer credit card payments in Australia and North America, while those in Asian countries prefer COD or cash on delivery. 

Moreover, according to the Baymard Institute research, the reason why one-third of shopping carts are abandoned because of the few payment methods it offers. 

Hence, you need to pick a payment provider that has a solid reputation in security. For instance, PayPal is one of the most secure payment methods. And according to Statista, it is chosen by 39% of customers around the world. 

4. Research international shipping options

After picking your target market and knowing which products are selling the most in a particular location, it is safe to say that you are half-way through the battle.

In order to complete your task, you need to do your research and know the international shipping rates in markets that you are eyeing to expand to. 

Most buyers do not push through with their purchase because of costly shipping fees. Also, keep in mind that heavier goods are a lot more costly to ship internationally. That way, you can provide your customers with an accurate delivery estimate based on their country, as well as the shipping costs. 

However, you can still incentivize your customers by offering them free shipping once they purchase a certain amount. That will help you cover for the shipping costs, and with more items sold. 

The most important thing that you can do is to be transparent with your international customers if you are shipping internationally. 

5. Get familiar with taxes and regulations

Dealing with taxes and other regulations can be quite a painful issue, but you have to do it right if you do not want to be in trouble with the local tax authorities. 

Note that there might be different tax rules with every country that you will be selling to. Hence, it is important to consider how you can include it from the overall cost of your product, without making it too expensive.

Now, if you are also doing wholesale, note that most of the time you do not have to charge your foreign business customers taxes. 

To be on the safe side, though, you might want to get in touch with a tax expert to help you out with this. 

6. Enable multiple languages

Another thing that you should take note of when selling internationally is to enable multiple languages. 

If customers couldn’t understand your product descriptions, they’ll unlikely purchase from you. Instead, they’ll look for another store that will provide them with the necessary information they need.

So, the best way to look professional and trustworthy in their eyes is to interact with them in their native language. 

Good translations are vital, too. These should be accurate and should deliver products and services that make sense with your buyers.

It’s also crucial that you use a professional service to translate things into your e-commerce site. 

7. Support local currencies

Shoppers don’t want to waste their time converting prices in their local currency. So, make it easy for them and show prices in their own currency. 

Supporting several currencies is also another crafty way to get closer to international customers and reduce the number of visitors leaving your site. 

Adding this little tweak can do wonders for your online store, and it’s relatively easy, too. 

8. Get your invoicing straight

Sometimes, it’s not enough that you send customers an order confirmation or receipt. In most countries, it’s already mandatory that you issue an invoice for every online purchase.

Your invoice should contain an official tax document that has a more detailed breakdown that isn’t included on the receipt. 

The Key Takeaway

All of the points we have mentioned in this article will make sure that your online store remains up and running without hassle. 

Selling on an international market will let you achieve new horizons, helping you and your brand receive international attention, and of course, boost your bottom line. 

So, follow the tips we have mentioned above, and you will be on your way to success and new beginnings.

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