The global pandemic has forced various retailers as well as brands to move online. The Internet has become the only safe place where people can shop. Even when the pandemic subsides, users who are accustomed to the convenience of ordering goods online are unlikely to give up this opportunity.
Becoming popular with buyers in your country and making your business thrive is just the beginning of your e-commerce journey. Then you can bet on thinking broader, that is, start selling in other countries.
In addition, you may not do well in your country, but you may do well in other countries. That is why it is a big mistake to refuse to expand internationally.
Last year, e-Commerce sales reached nearly $5 trillion globally. It is expected that this value will increase in three years to more than 7 trillion dollars.
Just think about the fact that there are already over 8 billion people in the world. Everyone needs clothes, household appliances, shoes, furniture, electronics, and other goods. If you are not ready to be content with just what you have at the moment, then you need to start thinking bigger.
We will share with you tips on how you can enter international markets. Careful preparation, and smart planning – and you will be able to take your business to the next level.
Find markets of your interest
It’s not easy to figure out in which direction you need to think. You cannot just open a world map, point your finger at a certain point on the globe, and start developing your business there. You should find profitable markets for you.
You may start to wonder how to find these markets. There is nothing particularly difficult about this since you can use the tools that you probably already use.
Here’s what you can use:
- Google Trends;
- Google Analytics;
- Google Search Console.
Using these tools, you will be able to conduct the most thorough analysis. First, you can check which countries your products are popular in. Second, you can check which countries your website is getting traffic from.
This way you won’t just point your finger at the sky. Instead, you will find options that are beneficial for you in terms of generating maximum income.
By learning which countries are of interest to you, you can see several promising markets at once. However, it will be your mistake to start developing in several directions immediately. 3-5 or more international markets are too many to start with. You may not even realize what kind of expenses you will have to face.
If this is your first step toward international e-Commerce, then you will not be aware of all the pitfalls. With big ambitions, you can put a lot on the line and lose everything overnight.
Thus, the best choice is either one or two markets in which you are confident. Take small steps and your patience will pay off.
Start the adaptation
You can start by making small changes to your website. Offer users the convenience of using their native language. If, for example, you are targeting Germany and China, then your website should be translated into German and Chinese. You can either make your official website support multiple languages or create subdomains for different countries.
In addition, analyze which payment methods will be convenient for users. Different countries have different preferences regarding this. For example, in addition to credit card payments, add PayPal, AliPay, or other methods depending on the markets you plan to target.
What matters is how your website looks. Depending on the specifics of the website, each user has an idea of what functionality websites should offer. Speaking of e-Commerce, you can take advantage of eCommerce WordPress plugins, which you can use to add subscribe forms, start testimonials, and more.
Make m-Commerce your priority
Satisfying your customers is your top priority. That is why you should always be aware of what trends are currently relevant. One of them is now mobile commerce. It will remain relevant for many years.
The number of users of smart gadgets is growing every year. At the moment, there are over six billion people in the world who use smartphones. In recent months, over 75% of users have made purchases using various gadgets such as smartphones or tablets.
Thus, you cannot ignore the fact that mobile adaptation is a priority. If you do not offer your app, as other retailers do, your website must meet all the standards. We are not only talking about the urgent need to optimize but also that you need to think about starting to develop a PWA or create a sleek mobile-first website.
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Increase your reach
You know that today different brands, as well as retailers, are trying to communicate more with their customers. One way to communicate is through the use of social platforms. It’s great if you have pages on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. However, you should consider researching other social networks that shoppers use around the world.
For example, you can consider the following options:
- Weixin and Weibo (China);
- VKontakte (Eastern Europe);
- Kakao Talk (South Korea).
If you do your research, you will find dozens of other social platforms popular in different parts of the world. You can also focus on posting on popular social media in various languages. For example, by selecting Germany and China, you can set up new Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts in German and Chinese.
Enlist the support of local inspirers and trendsetters
If you want to secure the process of entering international markets, you might want to collaborate with a person who has some influence. Imagine that you start offering your services in a new country, but only a few people would want to buy goods from you. The thing is that at the beginning, the level of consumer confidence in you will be low.
An excellent way out of this situation would be a collaboration with local inspirers and trendsetters. With hundreds of thousands and millions of followers on various social platforms, they can draw attention to you with just one post or a video.
We are not talking about celebrities, because working with them may not be affordable for you. However, there are a huge number of famous users in different countries of the world who will be happy to work with you.
Finding a local trendsetter can be tricky. That’s why there are specialized agencies that can help you with everything you might need for that. You can contact LTK, Audiencly, or HYPEFACTORY.
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The localization services process may take some time. In addition, all this requires impressive funding. However, if you want to find an alternative, then you can start by looking at options for selling your products on marketplaces.
You can try to start with the titans, who are widely known around the world. Or, you can choose niche marketplaces, depending on what you are selling. In addition to Amazon, eBay and AliExpress, other online marketplaces are very popular among users around the world. For example, Rakuten, Marcado Libre, Zalando. The number of visits to such online sites exceeds hundreds of millions on average per month.
They offer a flexible sales system, round-the-clock customer support, and access to a huge number of customers around the world. Some of them will allow you to stop worrying about transporting goods, as they will provide you with their own logistics service. In general, you can only be responsible for getting your goods to warehouses and setting prices. Marketplaces can take care of everything else.
If you are ready to start reaching new heights in the field of e-Commerce, then you should consider starting to sell in other countries. You should decide which countries are of interest to you. You can do this using well-known tools. After that, select a few markets and start working on your website by localizing it. Alternatively, you can start small and start selling on international marketplaces.