8 Tips for Expanding Your Ecommerce Business into International Markets

As a business owner, you may eventually consider taking your ecommerce business globally, especially if you notice increased demand. At the moment, you are playing the local game – and for your revenue to increase, you need to go international. The more people you can get to, the higher your profit can be.

Going global is achievable, provided you know exactly what you are doing. Thanks to today’s technology, all it takes is the right guidance. As the ecommerce industry is expected to make up almost a quarter of total global retail sales by 2027, your company should be looking to grab a piece of the pie.

In this article, we’ll share a couple of tips that can help you reach that type of success.

Global ecommerce

1. Do Your Research

The first thing you should do when expanding into a new market is research. You can’t just sell in random places – you have to make sure the audience needs that product in the first place. This step can help you determine whether releasing your product in a different country makes sense or not.

For instance, the lowest temperature reported in Singapore was 21 degrees Celsius, so selling thick winter clothes there makes little sense. Your ideal audience is in countries such as Norway, which often gets negative temperatures in winter. Go for areas that have smaller, growing niches that give you less competition.

Tools like Google Trends can help you analyze shopping trends and research keywords, identifying potential market opportunities. It can also help you understand your competition better while providing insights about the audience’s interests.

2. Set Up Multiple Payment Methods

Most shoppers will not complete a purchase if they don’t see their favorite payment method available. About 76% of the shoppers prefer using card payments, whereas others are inclined toward digital wallets. If you add the preferred method there, you are twice as likely to get people to buy from you.

For instance, Revolut is increasingly popular, with over 40 million customers. This makes payments such as Visa and MasterCard even more important to add. Gateways like PayPal have also become popular due to their versatility for shoppers. It’s best to do some research on the countries you are expanding into and find the payment methods that are most widespread there.

3. Use an Internationally Accepted Platform

Perhaps one of the best ways to enter a global market is to use an internationally accepted platform. Your website can only reach so far, so to break through, you might want to look into platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba, or eBay.

You should ensure the app is easy to access in the country you plan to expand into. For instance, while eBay is a good platform for custom products, Amazon has a much broader reach.

4. Consider Your Logistics and Shipping

Next, establish your shipping and logistics options. Delivery companies like USPS and FedEx can provide international shipping, and the same goes for DHL if your target is Europe. However, for global deliveries, it’s often better to partner up with a digital freight forwarder.

Digital freight forwarding can speed up the shipping process while making the entire process smoother. Freight forwarders take care of the international shipping process from A to Z, essentially replacing many middlemen with just one. They provide extra benefits by reducing physical paperwork and keeping everything in an easy-to-use online dashboard, often offering data and insights such as performance reports and shipment information, improving the visibility of the delivery process.

Since most freight forwarders have an extensive carrier network, you can easily find the most optimal delivery options at favorable rates, even if you’re a small or medium sized business (SMB).

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photo credit: Pexels

5. Make Your Website Internationally Friendly

Many businesses expand to countries where the primary spoken language is English. This is a good plan because it makes communication easier. That said, you can have a much better presence if you localize your website and translate the content. This can help you reach multiple countries.

You can create a new domain for your business or allow users to select their language. A good tip would be to create content that speaks to that country specifically. Moreover, it would help to have some employees from that specific country handle the domain.

6. Create a Broader SEO Strategy

Nowadays, the online world revolves around SEO. The better optimized your content is, the more you will be able to expand your reach. Therefore, if your previous focus was on local SEO, you might want to shift to international SEO as well.

That said, this does not mean you should ditch the local keywords. Instead, create a nice blend between them and the local time. Other than that, make sure that your content has an SEO-friendly structure.

7.  Gather a Diverse Marketing Team

Cultural differences are perhaps the main barrier that keeps shoppers from ordering your products. Each demographic has different needs and preferences, so by using your local team, you might not be able to address them.

A good idea would be to hire a diverse marketing team that can help adapt the content to various cultural differences. You don’t have to get full teams for that; just a few people for a start to offer some insight. This could put your product in a better light.

8. Network Effectively

The right connections can bring the world into your hands, which makes networking essential for expansion. A good idea would be to join ecommerce and small business associations, where you can meet new individuals you can collaborate with.

You can partner with overseas companies that work in the same industries as you and collaborate to expand your reach and gain access to storage and/or supply options. The more partners you have from different industries, the greater your chances of expansion will be.

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The Bottom Line

Expanding into international markets can offer more opportunities for profit, enabling you to sell to a broader audience. It can take some time to see the results, but with the right strategy, you should start noticing a higher ROI within a few years.