Seven strategic steps to expand your eCommerce business on a global scale.
The global eCommerce sales amounted to more than $3.5 trillion in 2019. The sales are expected to rise to $4.47 trillion by 2021. It is further estimated that the number of global digital buyers has increased to 2.05 billion in 2020 and is further expected to rise to 2.14 billion in 2021. The perks of eCommerce business and online stores are no longer confined to local sales.
In this article, we take a look at the seven strategic steps that will help you scale your eCommerce business to a global scale. Also, the benefits of growing your eCommerce business globally by accessing an international audience.
Why Scale Your eCommerce Business Globally?
The foremost benefit of expanding online business at an international level is access to a much wider and diverse audience. For instance, if your eCommerce store is localized in the United States, you have access to nearly 227 million buyers. However, that only represents nearly 11% of the total buyers. Similarly, localizing your store from Australia, Thailand, or Hong Kong further restricts opportunities from other countries.
By expanding your eCommerce business to a global scale, you reduce the factor of risks owing to fluctuations in the economy by participating in multiple markets. Furthermore, it also allows you to access multiple cycles of sales through an international calendar. Scaling overseas further drives credibility to your business as you scale a brand globally.
Seven Strategies to International eCommerce Business
While expanding an eCommerce store on a global scale requires strategic planning, here are some of the steps that can help you get started and point in the right direction.
1. Market Research
The need for your product or service may differ depending upon the region. It is necessary to perform due diligence of different markets to strategically plan and thereby mitigate risks. Strong comprehensive market research will take the following factors into consideration.
Demand - Perform thorough research if the demand for your product/service exists in the specific market. Also, take a glance at the demographics and size of your target audience.
Marketing - Depending upon the audience preferences, you may need to deploy different marketing tactics to help you successfully bring awareness to your product.
Competition - One of the important factors to be taken into consideration is evaluating the competitors that are already serving the region.
After collecting market research and analyzing opportunities, you can start planning your strategy that carefully leads the expansion.
It is necessary to approach expansion into international markets with a strategic plan and proceed gradually. You can start testing by collecting data and expanding your online business in a few regions. While strategizing your expansion, it is also necessary to consider aspects including taxes, regulation, infrastructure, financing, shipping, packaging, etc.
3. Website and Mobile Optimization
Ensure that your website is in proper order and also optimized for meeting the needs of increased traffic flow. Moreover, traffic originating through smartphones has drastically increased in the last few years. Smartphones account for 65% of traffic for eCommerce websites. Therefore it is necessary to optimize your online stores that cater to rising and changing requirements on an international platform.
4. Go Local
One of the underrated strategies whilst expanding your eCommerce store is giving an experience that resonates with locals. For a well-rounded customer experience, it is helpful to incorporate local parameters into your website, payment, and your store in general.
One of the key aspects is to offer your website content in multiple languages. Although the personalized changes may look small, research indicates that 72% of users dwell on websites that are translated into their local language.
Another key consideration is offering payments subjected to their local fiat currencies. Payment solutions can be integrated directly into your website that will facilitate local payments for your customers and you receive payment in your preferred fiat currency. XanPay offers a simple solution for online stores to integrate its API and allow instant*, cross-border payments which facilitate preferential currencies for all the stakeholders. Analysis suggests that such personal touches are likely to increase your business profits by 15%.
5. International Payments
A key aspect to be taken into consideration before scaling is having a robust and resilient payments system in place that caters to a global audience. By facilitating cross-border transfers that are fast and cheap will engage your customers in an optimized experience.
It is also advisable to deploy your payment page or checkout page integrated with best practices. This will assist in converting your users into actual customers. Furthermore, you can also offer a wide range of payment instruments to engage your customers in a seamless shopping experience. XanPay offers 25 payment solutions across 15 countries.
6. International Shipping and Returns
Build a strategy of international shipping if your business is into the supply of physical products. Having user-friendly international shipping and returns policy will help you build trust among consumers and gain brand loyalty.
Studies have continually shown that customers love free shipping. A recent report suggests that 75% of consumers expect free delivery on their orders. Similarly, having a user-friendly policy for international returns is equally important. This will help you generate new leads and also allow your customers a hassle-free experience.
7. Use Integrator
When you are scaling on a global scale, there are many factors of data that come into place. Using an integrator will help you analyze your data and further manage your inventory. Moreover, automating using system integration will allow for a more effective and faster process. System integration cuts out intermediaries and you can rely upon data systems.
Expanding your business to an international level will give you much more leverage and opportunities to grow your brand. However, it is necessary that you plan and expand at a gradual pace with strategic steps. Identifying the best case scenarios will help maximize your profits and mitigate risks with your eCommerce store.