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In an increasingly globalised world, people are connected through hundreds and thousands of digital avenues. One untapped avenue, however, is international ecommerce. Transactions that cross borders, boundaries and businesses can create immense future ecommerce opportunities. But, how do you capitalise on this?

In this post, we look at the struggles businesses face and the best ways to expand your ecommerce company to match the changing international shift.

Expanding ecommerce
The digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down. Looking to the future, ecommerce companies can only expect the demand to increase. With new technologies and higher production outputs – not to mention an increase in investment – ecommerce is certainly here to stay.

Increasingly available internet access has opened a whole new world for all kinds of merchants. From used books to agricultural machinery and everything in between, there’s an avenue for every type of business. With this is mind, it’s no wonder people are dipping their digital toes into international waters.

An international shift
Change is in the air in the world of ecommerce. Brands are realising the potential of international consumers, who are dissatisfied with their domestic markets. Research into global online shopping habits found that 66% of people shop online with 40% purchasing items from another country.

The reasons behind this include price, availability and selection. Clearly, there’s a demand for fresh, new and competitive industries across the globe. But where’s next on the map for international ecommerce businesses?

Where to next?
According to research by Mckinsey, the global middle class will increase by 1.4 billion in 2020 and 85% of those people will be in the Asia Pacific region.

This shift away from the West is an important step for international ecommerce businesses. With some of the fastest growing ecommerce markets, places like China, India and South Korea are coming out on top for popular manufacturing.

The opportunity for business to expand their global reach is unprecedented and should not be ignored. However, a surprising number of businesses have yet to take the leap.

Why businesses struggle internationally
So, why the hesitancy? While international ecommerce presents an untapped region of revenue, it also holds several challenges for businesses. Here are some of the reasons businesses have been missing out on the global market…

• Unaware of the market preferences
One big issue many ecommerce businesses face when going global is a lack of local knowledge. What do the customers want? What are their preferences?

Trends and preferences are harder to understand when there is a lack of communication and inability to relate with customers on a global level.

• International restraints
Difficulties also arise because every country has certain legislation and regulations when it comes to ecommerce. Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t aware of these restraints or don’t know how to handle them.

• Problems with transactions
Customers want to see recognisable payment options – if not, it can lead to a lack of trust and limited customer loyalty. Also, if prices aren’t in the national currency, it affects last minute decision making and produces a higher level of shopping cart abandonment.

• IT issues
IT resources, or a lack thereof, are also an important issue in international ecommerce. Limited or inefficient servers, infrastructures and local hosting can have a knock-on effect on your businesses.

This also plays a wider part in the success of content delivery networks. If this is ineffective, it will impact how reliable your services are and whether you’ll get repeat business.

How to capitalise on the global market
But is there a solution? To capitalise on international ecommerce opportunities it takes strong planning, logistical organisation and consumer knowledge. Here are some ways to lay the foundations for international online business and overcome some of the biggest hurdles…

Did you know that 75% of online shoppers give up purchases if the site isn’t presented in their language? This is a big mistake plenty of websites make.

Put your best foot forward and optimise your site to include multiple languages. It will make customers more comfortable from the get go.

Equally as important is the pricing on your ecommerce website. If possible, present your shopping cart in the native currency, with all costs upfront – no hidden shipping or taxes.

Also, ensure you offer relevant digital payment options, as 59% of people won’t purchase anything if they can’t use their preferred payment type.

It’s crucial to work with trusted merchant partners, particularly ones with local knowledge. This will help you overcome any unexpected pitfalls as they can give you advice on how to capitalise for future growth.

To build a solid foundation internationally, ensure you have the right infrastructure. This includes local hosting, content delivery networks and international warehouses. A strong network around you will help things run quickly and smoothly. With reasonable delivery times, for instance, you’re more likely to get repeat international orders.

Want to engage international customers? With local websites, local languages and local customer service you can promote your business and effectively engage with your consumers. It will show that you value your international customer base and take their business seriously.

Data is important. And so is keeping it secure. Put the right systems in place and check you are complying with any relevant native regulations. This includes data security to protect your customers, such as the recent GDPR introduction across Europe.

Talk to an ecommerce expert
Need help going global? Worried about the next steps in the process? Don’t worry, Bing Digital can help you every step of the way.

Our Magento-certified experts can help you tap into the international ecommerce market with scalable, adaptable and powerful web design. We create user-friendly and intelligent ecommerce sites that are tailor-made for your business.  Whether its boosting sales or attracting crowds, we can optimise your site for local or international customers.

Get in touch today to talk to an ecommerce expert and find out more.

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