7 Tips for Expanding Your Business Into International E-commerce

Posted by Benjamin Meskin on Jul 10, 2018 1:02:00 PM
Benjamin Meskin

CBlogInternationalYou’re missing out on a huge number of potential customers if you aren’t marketing your products to sell internationally. 

It may seem like an overwhelming task to enter new markets abroad, especially if you are unsure about competition, how to ship internationally, and how to meet regulations. All these are valid concerns, but no challenge is too great with the right planning.


Ways to Perfect Your International E-commerce Strategy

But just how do you plan such an endeavor? We broke it into 7 easy tips for you. 


1. Carefully Plan Your Market Entry

To start, you need to plan how to enter new markets to sell internationally. This involves two main considerations: accepting international payments and making sure you adhere to regulations.

The first is less difficult than it may seem on the surface. You have a variety of options to receive payments securely from any country in the world. To find the most appropriate for your needs, research how customers in the country you want to enter prefer to pay. Most often, they’ll want to pay using their local currency. If this is impossible for your business, you will at least need to provide customers with an exchange rate to make it clear how much products cost.

Understanding regulations takes a bit more time. You’ll need to research several areas, including duties, taxes, and current free-trade agreements. Find out what applies to your products, including whether any tariffs apply, to price your offerings appropriately. Finally, bear in mind that anything you ship internationally will need a customs form — some global shipping services can manage this for you.


2. Identify the Reality of Outperforming Competition in Local Markets

Next, you need to determine whether it is possible to compete with businesses in the local market. If your products are of higher quality than what’s available or you have no direct competition, you should have no problems in this regard.

computer in the background, map of the world in the foreground showing movement among countries, international e-commerce

An alternative is to offer your products below the price of the competition. To determine if this is feasible, add together the costs of duties, taxes, and customs along with international shipping insurance, exchange fees, and the additional expenses you will incur due to the greater complexity of the orders. Weigh the costs by using shipping calculators and negotiating with carriers.


3. Sell on a Platform that Is Already an International Marketplace

A fast way to enter the international market is to sell products through an online platform like eBay, Rakuten, or Alibaba. This may involve creating a store in the version of the platform in the country you want to enter or you may just need to make your listings available for purchase from abroad. Bear in mind, whatever you choose, you will need to comply with the rules of the countries where you want to sell internationally.


4. Partner with an Overseas Company

If you want to expand your business into just one country or a particular region of a country, forming a partnership could be a good option. You’ll be able to ship products in bulk and your partner will be able to hold the merchandise in stock, ready to fulfill orders. This is an excellent option if you are already producing products in the country.


5. Localize Your Website

Show your customers that you have a presence in their country by creating a localized version of your website, either by creating a separate domain or by allowing users to select their location. At a minimum, you should hire a translator to convert the copy into the local language, change the currency, and include contact information for the country. It is even better if you go a step further and create at least a few pieces of content that will speak to the distinct audience. This will improve your brand image and search engine rankings.

e-commerce website on desktop, tablet, and smartphone


6. Consider Starting with English-Speaking Countries

If you are unsure as to where to start expanding, look to English-speaking countries. For one thing, communication with your buyers and partners will be easier. For another, Canada, the UK, and Australia alone make up a huge portion of the global market and all have excellent Internet coverage and postal infrastructure.


7. Leverage International Shipping Insurance from a Third-Party Carrier

A final thing to do is look into using third party international shipping insurance for greater flexibility. When you choose Cabrella for your shipping insurance, you’ll pay far less than with the most common carriers and you’ll simplify the process. For instance, you can integrate parcel shipping insurance to save time, utilize automation software to receive risk analysis, and track and manage shipments any time. You can also ship almost anything to almost anywhere.


Bonus Tip: Use International E-commerce Shipping Software

There are great opportunities for businesses that decide to expand into international e-commerce. The most significant challenges relate to the capability to ship internationally, reaching you customers where they are, and adapting your marketing practices to an expanded audience.

When you're looking to expand your business globally, e-commerce shipping insurance software means you can focus on growing your business rather than on the minute details of shipping and handling. So leave shipping insurance to the experts, and contact us today to learn more about our customizable coverage for any e-commerce business. 

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