Are the potential risks and complexities of international selling keeping you from reaping the rewards of global e-commerce?
Thanks to the internet, international lines are continually blurring, making global e-commerce easier and more lucrative than ever.
The key is planning wisely and keeping a watchful eye on cross-channel operations.
Why sell internationally?
A new eMarketer report says global e-commerce is entering a “new normal” of slower growth. However, Asia-Pacific is the one exception. In fact, e-commerce continues to expand in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea, accounting for 70 per cent of the top countries for e-commerce sales growth this year.
Expanding to international selling has many potential benefits, including:
Increased revenue and exposure
When you sell across borders, you open your brand to a whole new pool of buyers beyond your domestic market. Plus, international exposure helps you create brand fans across the world, meaning more opportunities for sales, engagement and partnership.
Selling online internationally means you’re always open and ready to sell to your customers, whether they’re at your brick-and-mortar store or halfway across the world.
Is competition becoming fierce in your home market? Expanding across borders allows you to “dilute” the pool, potentially lessening your competition.
Expanded distribution of excess inventory
As seasons and styles change around the world, international selling opens your surplus inventory to new markets for purchase.
How to sell internationally
There are two primary ways to sell online across borders. With an e-commerce website, you control the exposure, listing and fulfilment. If you don’t have a website (or international capabilities), you can benefit from the fulfilment, advertising and vast reach of global marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, Fruugo, Zalando, Rakuten or AliExpress.
Just remember to:
- Choose new markets carefully. Conduct a thorough analysis of the countries you’re considering, making sure to account for potential roadblocks. Then, start small by only selling into one country at a time or curating a smaller portfolio of products for the region.
- Track products with GTINs. Use global trade item numbers (GTINs), which are used by every seller around the world, making it easier for marketplaces and merchants to manage their listings and products.
- Use creative, accurate, detailed copy. What will shoppers in other countries want to know? Include all necessary product details, and tailor headlines to shopper search habits with translated terms and even local dialect or slang.
- Offer local customer service. Localise customer service so customers can get help when they need it. Hire local personnel, extend your domestic service hours or even add chatbots.
- Reduce team burden with automation. As your business grows internationally, tracking orders becomes overwhelming. Centralising and automating your operations increase productivity, allowing you to sell more and reduce costs.
Razer increases marketplace GMV ten-fold
Expanding to new marketplaces across the globe benefited Singaporean gaming accessories company Razer when it decided to launch on Amazon, Ebay and Catch. Yet, without a solution to manage the requirements of each marketplace, the company began struggling to maintain a strong international presence.
With help from ChannelAdvisor Managed Services for Marketplaces, Razer was not only able to streamline channel management for its existing marketplaces, but expand to 11 others, including Target, Newegg and Walmart. Within a year of this expansion, each marketplace GMV increased by 10 times.
ChannelAdvisor, a CommerceHub company, has 20+ years of experience helping brands and retailers all over the world expand, optimise and grow their e-commerce programs across channels and markets. And with more than 400 global channels, it’s easy to expand into new markets in a seamless, integrated way. Contact ChannelAdvisor today to start your international selling journey.
About the author: Darren Fifield is Apac MD at ChannelAdvisor, a CommerceHub company.