Things retailers need to consider before going international

Things retailers need to consider before going international

The evolution of the Internet has revolutionized the way people are buying and selling products.

Today, it does not matter in which country you are selling your products, however, by offering valuable product line and an excellent purchase experience can help you attract the audience from all across the world. But the fact, not all succeed in the international market.

An article by A.T. Kearney highlighted a combined report that showcases the leading e-Commerce markets and how smaller ones are improving their rankings.

Over years, the e-Commerce business has seen an impressive growth around the world and if you are willing to successfully expand your reach in the international market, continue reading this blog.

Considering the same method of dealing with international customers that you offer your local ones, will eat up your time and capital both.

So, what can be those most important factors to consider when selling internationally and how you can deal?

First, considering the front-end

I-Content and information

Each country has its own unique culture and tradition, hence offering same content for all will not make the best optimization.

If your customers don’t find relevant information, will make them think that your company doesn’t find them as relevant audience and may never return back to your you online store.

What you can do?

– Research competitor’s site who deal in the market you wish to expand

Referring to local e-Commerce brands in your targeted markets can help you gain insights on products offered by them.

This way, you can ensure offering content and product information that are in demand, which in turn, will increase engagement level and sales opportunity for your store.

-Integrate a translator tool

Selling international can be a successful business plan only if you allow access to your products and services in the language they are aware of.

English being the most common language spoken across the globe can surely be used across your website, however, offering a translator tool that supports the regional language of the targeted market can save you from losing multiple sales opportunities.

– Offer CTA’s (call to action button) that allows translation

Call-to-action buttons help as sales boosters, and you would like to convert the same results that you do for your national ones, therefore, it is important you make it easy to understand.

Adding more of content to your CTA’s, can ensure the support the translation tool and allow access to content in the language your international customer uses.

II- Product offerings

The demand for your product in the international market will largely depend on the culture, economy, political and marketing risks.

Therefore, selecting where to expand requires a thorough time and research to ensure all your products will be able to attract potential customers.

What you can do?

– Consider social media retail discussion platforms

Social media has evolved the way of online shopping by not allowing people to make informed decisions, but also, buy their favourite products on-the-go.

Facebook, LinkedIn, are helping sellers to join the discussion as per the targeted markets while Instagram is making it easy to be in line with the latest style and trends that can help you offer best of the best product line when selling international.

– Online consumer marketplaces

You can sell in the international market without having your own website. Today, there a number of e-Commerce marketplaces that includes Amazon, eBay who are helping small sellers to expand globally with an ease.

Listing few products in any one of such leading platforms can help you understand the demand for your products across the global and confidently expand in the markets that have the best demand for your products.

III- Payment method and currencies

Selling international and not allowing customers to transact in their own currency will result in a waste of time and effort that you’ll spend to divert traffic for your new market.

Today, with so many payment options available it is important you offer the ones that based on your target markets.

What you can do?

– Allow currency conversion rate tool

I’m sure international online shoppers would only prefer to shop from brands that allow them to pay for their products in their own currencies. Learning on your checkout page that you don’t allow international customers to transact in their local currency can increase bounce rates.

Integrating a conversion rate tool to your website or with third- party currency rate websites can help you divert multiple international sales opportunities for your e-Commerce business.

– Offer payment extensions

Giving a freedom of paying in multiple methods is an important factor to increase trust and liberty of shopping from a brand, especially when selling internationally.

You can integrate payment methods directly, as well as, tie up with the company that supports such service. WorldPay, 2Checkout are the most popular payment extension providers.

With the above you can ensure a customer-friendly purchase experience, next:

Over to the Back-end

IV- Customs forms

For every sales order that you receive from the international market, you’ll have to fill out customs forms with appropriate details to ensure you are meeting the guidelines set for each of your targeted markets.

It is important, all you shipments being sent to and from the country must clear customs first, or else chances of your e-Commerce business being blacklisted, increases.

What you can do?

– Automate custom forms filling process

Filling customs is very important for every international sales order that you ship, however, completing the formalities for each product can be time-taking and error prone.

Adopting a shipping management software can help you bring all your international sales orders details at one place from where you can eliminate the hassle of dealing with the daily repetitive task in one click.

V- Safety

You may find the international market to bring multiple sales opportunities and revenue for your e-Commerce business. However, shipping internationally involves high risks and can be heavy on your pocket.

What you can do?

– Partner with local warehouses and suppliers

An ideal option for selling international is to tie up with local stores that are dealing with the same product line as you do. This way, you get a chance to avoid long-distance shipping order transit and dispatch products on the go.

An inventory management software can help you easily deal with multiple warehouses and suppliers, as you’ll have an access to all their details in real-time from one centralized system.

– Dropship sales order

Another option is you can dropship your international sales orders using a third-party shipping service that allows you do so. Make sure you find dropshippers who are only focused on dealing with retail industry.

Dropship management software will be an added advantage that will help you communicate your international sales order details to any of your dropshippers in real-time.

VI- Communication

With an immediate customer support, you get a second chance to retain customers who are looking for information to make purchase-decisions on-the-go. Unable to offer so, especially selling products overseas can lose you many opportunities.

What you can do?

– Offer a self-assistance support

An unattended phone call or message from your international customers can lead to a bad customer service for your e-Commerce brand.

Offering an informative self-assisted support page (FAQ page) can help your international customers easily gain access information on-the-go reducing bounce rates for your international selling business.

– Tie up with local chat service provider

Many international markets will have non-English speaker too, and not be able to assist their concern can spread a bad word about your brand in the market.

The best way, you can shake hands with local chat service provider who can ensure your international customers are assisted well.

In Closing

Global e-commerce order and shipping solution is making it easy for retailers to perform their major selling activities from one place.

Eliminating the risks of managing multiple accounts, easily manage your international and local sales orders in few simple clicks.


Originally published at on April 13, 2016.

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