Are you planning to take your online business global?
The number of online shops that sell internationally is increasing.
With the good performance of exchange rates, the idea is worth pursuing. However, like every other endeavor, it is always a good idea to do your homework!
Here we have a comprehensive guide to building a cross border e-commerce strategy where we have touched upon the obvious questions like:
- When should one plan to scale internationally?
- What are key aspects to consider?
- How can digital marketing help leverage a cross-border e-commerce strategy?
What is Cross-border E-Commerce?
Selling goods and services online to customers from different countries is the basis of cross-border e-commerce.
As far as technology is concerned, if the businessplatform abides by the respective IT and trade norms of a country, reaching a worldwide audience is no big task. There are enough digital marketing mediums that can help you reach your target audience in a particular country.
The global cross-border E-Commerce market is expanding ata compounded annaul growth of 17.4%. The spending habits of consumers have changed over the decadeand more customers do not mind purchasing from another country as long as itreaches them safely and quickly.
For many online stores that have created an impact in their domestic market, scaling to the next pool of prospects in a different country is a great opportunity. However, many are skeptical, and rightfully so, since you need to have the right kind of information and support to head in that direction.
So, let's look into the significant aspects you need to consider before entering into the cross-border e-commerce venture.
- Identify your Market
Your presence and success in your domestic market should give you enough data points to analyze a market that would be the best fit for your products. There are certain aspects that would vary, such as the culture, spending habits, etc.
The best place to start would be to identify competition. A comprehensive study on your competition in that country can give you enoughinformation to make a decision on venturing into cross-border e-commerce.
- Law of the Land:
There are tremendous opportunities to launch a cross-border e-commerce business for a plethora of products and services across the globeWhile all of it is tempting, if there is one thing a business person should be thorough with is the legislation/law of the land. Once you have identified the potential country for your expansion, get an expert from the country of interest to educate you about all the taxes, commissions, insurances, freight charges, etc. right to the cost to be incurred at the lowest level of expenses.
In order to take a logical decision, all of these costs in the respective local currency will have to be compared with the exchange rates and the competitive price for similar products in that market.
- Partnership or Outsourcing:
"When in France, do as the French do”. One of the most crucial aspects of e-commerce is the operations, the logistics. While technology has us covered in what concerns online payments, product displays, and communication, it’s the actual product delivery to the customer that can be tricky.
As part of your early research, you can identify and partner with an efficient logistics company from the desired country. A third-party logistics partnership can simplify most of your operational issues at least till you get familiar with doing business in that country.
Likewise, another crucial aspect of any business is the complaints system or the customer support, which you need to ensure that is done in the local language. The E-commerce giant Amazon has applied this and has proven to be of great success.
- Beta Testing and User Trials:
Like every other market study or beta testing for an application, cross-border e-commerce strategies need to be tested before planning on a full launch. It is a no-brainer that things that worked in one region might not work everywhere else.
So, a step-by-step launch with all the factors checked right from the UI to the logistics can help you make realistic business decisions.
How can Digital Marketing help leverage the Cross-border E-Commerce Strategy?
To put it simply, the idea of cross-border e-commerce would not exist without digital marketing. The internet has made the world smaller, with digital marketing playing a pivotal role in revolutionizing e-Commerce. Hence the supposedly next big paradigm shift in e-commerce, cross-border e-commerce will very much be achieved through digital marketing.
Nevertheless, a strategic decision to scale internationally is never taken on a whim, but instead on business intelligence derived out of real-time data. There is a variety of data that every digital marketer goes through in order to make a campaign successful.
A cross-border e-commerce strategy cannot exist without a well-defined digital marketing strategy.
A preliminary evaluation of the data will help you understand the success rates. SEO, market sentiments, trends, major social media tools etc. are major factors that determine any marketing strategies. Depending on the quality of an in-house digital marketing team or an expert agency outside, you can take the call on outsourcing while expanding internationally.
Now is the Right Time!
In terms of the global economy, statistics indicate that during the COVID-19 pandemic and even before that, online consumers have opted to purchase from platforms that are international, due to the fact that the products were unavailable in their country.
It is said that the cross-border E-commerce market value will go beyond $1.4 Trillion and the largest share in the trade is of physical goods like apparel and accessories. China is one of the great examples for Cross border-Ecommerce, as the WCO (World customs organization) conducted field work and research in China to develop appropriate standards for cross-border e-commerce.
With the growth of smartphones and Internet connectivity in all the developing nations, the demand is only meant to grow exponentially. Logistics and the language barrier could be one of the main reasons for few players to not jump into this gold mine of opportunity. However, in time, things will fall in place, because the next marketplace is the global marketplace.
Help at every step:
If you are interested in evaluating your cross-border e-commerce strategy, our team of digital marketing experts can help you assess key factors and suggest actionable measures to help you make your decision.
Check us out here, and contact us for further support and information.