The world – that’s your potential eCommerce market. Creating an international presence means tuning your website, back-end processes and logistics networks to suit customers around the world. Each new territory you expand into will have its own norms and preferences – and its own established set of retailers to compete against.
Why fight through these obstacles? You can increase your profits by expanding your profile and serving new audiences. The means of getting there may be complicated, but its value is undeniable. Aligning with a third-party logistics partner may provide the experience you need to gain a foothold in a new region, along with access to processes that will work for each new audience you encounter.
A Big Present, a Huge Future
The eCommerce space is busy dissecting recent DHL research on the potential of cross-border retail. In short, this is because cross-border expansion points to incredible growth and opportunity. Between now and 2020, cross-border eCommerce is expected to grow at a rate of 25% annually. That’s twice the rate of domestic commerce, immediately answering the question of whether it’s worth pursuing an online strategy. With research concluding that going international typically results in an increase in eCommerce revenue of 10 to 15% percent, the picture becomes very clear.
It’s easy to be somewhat blinded by statistics like these. Companies that start serving customers overseas without making plans to reach them effectively may find that either their messages aren’t resonating or their supply lines are breaking down somewhere between sender and recipient. The survey pointed to logistical, customer service, trust and price issues as the main barricades standing between domestic companies and their overseas aspirations.
Impress Every Time
Winning customers over is the key to retail success, as a repeat buyer is far more valuable than a one-off customer. If you want to win these loyal customers overseas, you have some work to do. Every transaction targeting international markets must be carefully managed since even one bad experience can cause irreversible harm to your reputation
Companies shouldn’t offer second-rate shipping experiences to international customers. Shoppers around the world are looking for the same kinds of conveniences, such as order tracking and reasonable pricing. Companies that aren’t ready to handle local shipping structures different from those in their own country may find they’re falling short in the options department.
Of course, just getting your international customers to the shipping step of an order means keeping them interested long enough to check out. A localized website will help you get this far. This doesn’t just mean delivering a carbon copy of your company’s site in a new language. Your check-out page should be equipped with payment and currency options tailored to the customer. Giving a customer no choice but to navigate an unfamiliar payment experience is a great way to scare that shopper off before even getting to the shipping options screen.
Tariffs, Currency, Tracking – Handled
While winning over your customers is a crucial part of achieving cross-border success, there’s another possible challenge that could shut down your international aspirations entirely: staying in compliance with all relevant laws. Tariffs and other customs functions can take a retailer by surprise.
If you’re throwing up your hands in surrender at this point, there is a simple solution: Working with a qualified third-party logistics partner can give you the customized approaches you need to reach and sell to customers in any territory you can imagine, effectively and without hassle.
Knowing that there’s someone watching out for each of your shipments as they traverse the globe can be a huge relief, and when that same partner has the experience to manage currency conversions and tariffs behind the scenes, you get more time to focus on improving your own operations.
Going global means expanding your reach to new customers and driving new sales – but the journey to get there can be fraught with complexities. Implementing a third-party logistics solution can help bring you through the chaos and straight to the value.