The cutting-edge online businesses are experimenting every day with new technologies and marketing strategies to grow in the national as well as international market. With mobile and progressive web applications (PWA), the world is becoming a storefront for the customers.
Every online business is looking forward to reinventing itself and entering cross-borders over their current market. Ecommerce software surely helps them in their business goals and makes it easier for customers to shop online.
There is a tremendous potential for online business in different countries including developed and developing ones. It is projected that consumers will spend $64 billion in 2020 and over $200 billion in 2026. The online industry is not too far from peaking as a result of internet and mobile penetration. In the fast-growing international businesses, online retailers have the greatest opportunity to expand their businesses and directly benefit from the cross border ecommerce system.
A quick fact: Global online retailers are growing over 1.3 times more quickly than retailers operating in a single country.
While it is very tempting for online business owners to expand internationally, the fact is that no country can be treated as the same, each one is unique. Every market deserves the best suitable planning and considerations.
Here are 4 important considerations before expanding internationally:
1. Business operations
Going international does not always mean that you need a whole new set of resources but it definitely takes a commitment from the existing resources – finance, people, technology. The human resources should be segregated into the national and international domain to clarify their work responsibilities. From the financial point of view, it is required to carve out an international budget from the domestic marketing budget. And regarding technology, scale up your ecommerce software to manage multi-store business operations efficiently.
2. Supply and Demand management
There should always be a match between supply and demand of your offerings in the market. The cutting-edge technology in the modern-day ecommerce system can help you understand the consumer searches, average order values, past order history, preferences etc. These are some of the strong indicators to evaluate the suitability of products in the target country.
3. Gain competitive advantage
When you are expanding in new markets, it is important to gain a competitive advantage otherwise, it is highly difficult to gain the market share. In every country, there must be some established players and the customers need a strong reason to switch their current brand. Having your shipping and payment integrations in place along with effective features of an online platform can help you enter emerging markets smoothly and seize the online opportunities.
4. Scope of expansion
Growing international is way too easier for online businesses than physical stores. Well, international growth does not only mean adapting web design, payment and shipping for global customers but it requires methodical planning and strategies. So, it is important to decide early on the scope of global expansion for your business.
Clearly, the future of online business is bright and well-shaped by the must-have features of online platforms. Here are the 3 must-have features of an ecommerce software for international online businesses:
1. Localized sites for different international markets
Localization is very important for targeting international markets. Some of the factors of localization include regional payment options, applicable taxation, payment provisions based on regional preferences and practices, multilingual capabilities etc. The subdomains can also be managed for different countries. And cherry on the cake is that all these domains can be managed under one platform with an integrated ecommerce software. For example, the domain for international online business in Mexico will be the .mx and as soon as any customer visits that site, the website translates the language accordingly. This feature is a must-have in the list to expand your business globally.
All the features of localization help in digital marketing of the business and if the website appears on the top in search results of browser, the customer will always prefer the websites from their home country.
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Moreover, you can leverage tailored marketing and promotions on a regional basis under this feature of ecommerce platform. Since holidays are mostly country-specific, the promotions also need to be targeted specifically to the country. For example, Green Monday is a German version of Black Friday that is celebrated in the United States. Sint-Maarten on 11th November is a very big day for shopping in Belgium.
When you are growing in other countries, localization is the key to success. If you want to compete in the international market, you need to localize. With the integration of social media in your ecommerce system, you can spread the word while establishing a strong connection with customers in the international market.
2. Preferred shipping and payment methods
While localizing, you will realize that different payment methods are preferred in different countries. And you could really lose on sales if you do not allow people to purchase with their preferred payment and shipping method. It is surely a part of easy and smooth checkout for the visitors and definitely a must-have feature of an online platform.
For example, shoppers in the US prefer credit card payments while most of the people in China prefer digital payments. Every country has different preferences and expanding your payment systems can lead to higher sales. An ecommerce software is a savior when it comes to multiple payment and shipping options. So, you just need to research well about the region specific preferences in the market you are expanding.
International shipping is a very important element that affects your bottom line, customer satisfaction and loyalty. An integrated platform is mandatory to provide hassle-free and automated logistics so as to reach new markets and boost your business growth.
Don’t let small problems stop you from reaching your international expansion plans. The moral of the story is that providing multiple payment and shipping options is not an option but a mandatory step to achieve online success. These offerings in the ecommerce system allows you to run an efficient international business.
3. Enhanced Automation and Productivity
Time is one of the most valuable resources for a business owner and you need to ensure that your time is utilized in an optimized manner. As you scale internationally, the online business processes get even more demanding.
So, how can you make time to bring more customers and sales while keeping the rest of the business operations on track?
Automation is the key.
Automation tends to save a lot of time and automatically drives productivity in the organization. Well, in ecommerce system, it means to put all kind of manual tasks on auto-pilot and create automated workflows that trigger notifications, emails or other actions like creating support tickets etc. However, automation does not mean firing your employees, rather it frees up your and team’s time for creativity, customer interaction, and thinking about a bigger picture of the business.
The automation feature in your ecommerce software can truly be a game changer and help you increase profits. Opt the platform that provides business operations, marketing, accounting, and automation at the same time.
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There are an end number of opportunities when it comes to international e commerce business expansion. and it is really not necessary for you to get every trending e commerce feature in your platform. You can simply opt for the must-have features in your ecommerce software and focus primarily on providing valuable customer experience regardless of their location.
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