How to Create a Successful Cross-border E-commerce Strategy
Importing and exporting products from one country to another is not a new practice, and it is expected to reach a whopping $627 billion in sales by 2022, and total 20% of all e-commerce online shopping activities. However, as more and more retailers enter the international e-commerce space, the importance of developing and implementing a successful cross-border strategy is becoming increasingly more critical.
But what is cross-border e-commerce, anyway?
Cross-border e-commerce is defined as a situation in which a customer located outside of a merchant’s home country purchases a product from said merchant, to be delivered across the border, to their destination address. Usually, cross-border e-commerce is the result of the product being more affordable abroad (or available at all) than it is in the customer’s country of residence. Other times, the brand’s reputation is the cause. But regardless of the reason for the order, its fulfillment must be completed seamlessly and successfully. Do it right and you’ll gain access to new markets, greater visibility and increased revenue. Fail to properly strategize, and risk becoming the laughing stock of the digital retail universe.
Here’s how you can create a successful cross-border e-commerce strategy, in just 4 easy steps:
Step 1 – Learn about your industry’s role in various international markets
The first step towards creating a successful cross-border e-commerce strategy is getting to know the various international markets you intend to penetrate. Do your due diligence and research local demand – which products interest your target audience members, which competitors do they currently purchase from (or avoid purchasing from) and how do these competitors fulfill local and cross-border orders, which shopping and fulfillment channels are used and why, and what regulatory limitations must you comply with, in every location. It’s also a good idea to scope out local culture and communication practices, for future use in marketing, sales and customer service activities.
Step 2 – Localize your content
Gain your cross-border buyers’ trust by translating your website, apps and marketing materials into their mother tongue, and adapting slogans and campaigns to resonate with cultural nuances. It’s important that your content appears as local as possible, in every global market, from the language your site promotes your offering in, to its left-to-right or right-to-left presentation for easy navigation and the currency your product prices are displayed in. If, for some reason, you must leave your content in English, be sure the language is as simple as possible, so your cross-border customers can understand.
Step 3 – Choose trustworthy cross-border e-commerce solutions
For your cross-border e-commerce business to succeed, it is imperative that you partner with trustworthy e-commerce solutions and service providers to ensure smooth and secure operations in every local market. This includes expanding your payment gateways to include cross-border payment solutions compatible with local preferences, collaborating with international logistics companies that specialize in cross-border delivery solutions for e-commerce, and setting up international support centers in multiple countries, to resolve language, time zone and other challenges. These solutions will not only help you ensure more seamless operations, but they will also enhance your customers’ sense of trust in your e-commerce business.
Step 4 – Start small
Finally, no successful cross-border e-commerce strategy is complete without first testing the waters. Introduce a mini-site or limited line of products in new markets, and see how they’re received before taking the plunge into a new, cross-border country. This will not only help you further understand your market and its needs, this time directly related to your offering, but it will also help you limit any financial losses, should your strategy prove to be less than ideal and require optimization. Be sure that your entry strategy AND your technological platforms are scalable, so that successful testing can lead to maximum reach, order fulfillment and customer satisfaction.
Creating a successful cross-border e-commerce strategy is your key towards entering new international markets with remarkable results. Following the above 4 steps and partnering with a cloud-based e-commerce shipping solution like Ladingo can help you open your doors to the world of international B2C e-commerce, so that selling and shipping any-sized item across borders is as simple as delivering an iPhone cover to a customer in your own hometown. Ladingo’s cloud-based software and e-commerce shipping solution automates the fulfillment of international parcel services, for maximum efficiency, minimum complexity and the cheapest furniture delivery services possible. So, if Ladingo isn’t already part of your cross-border e-commerce strategy, ask yourselves, “well why not?”
Want to expand your e-commerce business cross-border? Visit www.ladingo.com for more information.