Your online Ecommerce store has the ability to sell the product in every possible corner of the world where the internet has been able to put his mark. But many are still backing from going international because of the complexity of cross border logistics fulfillment.
Yes, going international is not an easy task but it has great potential for the growth, your Ecommerce store can have. As per one study, more than 45% of global shoppers have shopped from international stores. That’s why it is more important than ever to get into the international market and take the piece of the pie for yourself.
This article describes what are the steps involved in making your Ecommerce business ready for the international market. Below are the 7 ways to make international sales from your existing Ecommerce store.
1. Break the Language Barrier
The first sign of going international is breaking the language barrier. Translating your content in the prefered local language will enable consumers to understand your business. Learning a foreign language might not seem a viable option. But you can always hire a proofreader that can make sure the context of the content is suitable and can easily be understood by the local consumers.
Make sure that your Ecommerce platform theme is able to cope with multi-language content for both product and non-product content. This will help build the trust of locals in your brand. As a business owner, you should understand that merely translating content 1:1 is not going to work. Capture the cultural essence necessary of that region to lead local audiences and consumers to purchase from your store.
Translating just the written content may be a simple task, but you should also consider localizing the visual content like images and videos. One more thing to consider is that the color scheme of the website should resonate with the region you are targeting.
Test A/B strategies to find out what works best for a particular region. Some things can go well in the British region but not in American or Asian regions. You may also consider making a site with a local domain name that might have subtle differences from your original site. But make sure that overall site content and sentiments appeal to the population of that region.
2. Understand the Taxation Rules and Custom Duties
When you have decided to go international, the most important thing you should know about is that if you are not breaking any law by selling your store products. Check up and thoroughly understand the rules of each country or region you are targeting.
Understand the taxation laws and duties that are liable to be paid. Get answers to questions like, is it necessary to register for the tax in each country you want to ship the products to?, and the threshold amount for VAT registration in each region?
In many situations, you need to establish the rules whether the taxes and duties are to be paid by the customers or the business owner or whether they come under the tax-free threshold for the region you want to do the business.
Sometimes not knowing these things could damage the sales of your store. Customers will abandon your store if you quote a separate amount for shipping and duty fees. Maybe this can be a logical thing for you to do, but from the customer's point of view, no one will want to pay the extra charges. So, it is a very crucial and important part when it comes to taking your business internationally.
3. Think About International Shipments
This can be a pain in the head if not planned and executed with proper attention. This is an obvious thing to consider when expanding your online business internationally. The first thing to do when setting up international shipping is making shipping policies in a clear and concise manner that customers can understand. Let your customers know that the shipping costs are higher for international shipments.
Not having this can result in angry customers with negative feedback, which will harm your brand’s identity right from the start. Placing these effective shipping policies upfront can mitigate these kinds of problems and will help you in making profits.
4. Take Great Care of User Experience and Return Policies
The real thing for the business to make it to the international level is by providing better user experience and effective implementation of the return policies. The first step for providing a better user experience to your customers is by having active customer service. This service can be inhouse one or can be outsourced to a local agency.
But ensure that the customer service representative can effectively communicate with the locals in their own language. This requires the native speakers who know your brand well and are available to handle international queries. Alternatively, there is an option to handle such queries digitally by social media, emails, SMS, WhatsApp, or other channels available.
Also, the return policies should be easy to find. They should consist of all the necessary details for International returns as most of the people find this helpful before making a purchase decision. Effective implementation of the return policies add-in the user experience of customers and helps them return to your store for more.
5. Leverage and Take Advantage of Marketing Channels
In this modern era of the internet, there are lots of marketing channels available that helps you to target specifically those people who are really interested in the products you are selling. When you are trying to enter into a new international market, social media is the best place to build a good rapport for your brand.
Channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc. have billions of users every day and are useful to generate a handful of sales. Through these channels, you can showcase your product to interested audiences.
In addition to that, you can also use the ads features offered by these channels, particularly from Facebook and Instagram, that can generate the max ROI. Google, with its Adwords network, also allows you to run ads on search queries related to the products you are selling. These are all the marketing channels you can leverage to increase your sales and revenue in the international market..
6. Integrate Locally Preferred Payment Gateways
Integrating payment gateway like Visa, MasterCard, Paypal might not suffice when going international. These standard payment methods may not be preferable for some regions such as Germany, where people mostly use ELV bank transfers, Japanese shoppers like to pay on delivery, French people use Carte Bancaire. In the US, UK, and other regions, people may prefer to pay through real-time bank transfers, direct debits, eWallets, mobile payments, etc.
Having multiple payment gateways can benefit you in many ways, such as it increases the trust of customers into your brand, helps better the user experience. Another advantage is that multiple payment gateways keep your store running even when one payment gateway stops or crashes.
7. Enhance Search Visibility on International Market
Doing all of the above steps will be worth almost nothing because of the no search visibility of your brand in the international market. All your product pages and category pages are optimized for the local search, so Google will only show your pages when searched locally where you operate. Because the Google algorithm tries to display search results based on the proximity of the geographical location of the search query origin.
To mitigate this, you can use the geo-targeted landing page that helps you to rank better in the relevant International search queries. With the help of these landing pages, you can design pages with content for each country and region differently. These landing pages will drive the customers to your relevant page on your site, thus increasing your search visibility on international markets.
It is not easy to go international in a matter of days, but with proper planning and execution, you also can make it big. There will be lots of challenges in the way but rightly done so, it will open up doors of exponential growth for your Ecommerce business.
Now, it has become necessary for all the brands to stay ahead of the competition. And it’s time that you also follow the trend of going internationally. Do the thorough research that comprehends and supports all the decisions you will make in the future.