Ecommerce is exploding, with $839.8 billion in global sales just last year. As ecommerce continues to be a popular and convenient way for consumers to shop, businesses are taking their efforts to the next level by selling to customers all around the world.
But to launch a global ecommerce site successfully, you must consider more than just the language barrier. You need to understand and accommodate your new customers’ buying trends and preferred payment methods. And most importantly, ensure that your ecommerce platform offers a multi-language, integrated backend toolkit so that managing your global storefronts is hassle-free.
Taking your ecommerce platform international doesn’t have to mean choppy waters. Keep these four points in mind for a successful overseas expansion:
Customers won’t easily find your site unless your SEO is internationally ready. Help your customers and search engines rapidly recognize country-specific content by using localized prefixes for each URL (i.e., redirecting to .au in Australia). Again, a centralized backend toolkit will make this easy by automatically updating banners and other localized content so it appears in the correct language. Geographic-dependent IP detection will also guide customers to the right storefront, displaying content in their currencies and languages.
Customers expect prices displayed in their national currency. Seeing an unknown currency will leave customers frustrated and can almost guarantee an abandoned shopping cart. To avoid this, offer real time currency conversions. It takes the guesswork and uncertainty out of the transaction, and will also foster greater confidence in your company. Making currency conversions a top priority is vital to your international success.
Customers want straightforward shipping. They also hope to find affordable shipping rates, too. Shipping costs are almost always higher internationally, and providing several shipping options for customers is crucial, as every customer is different. Some may prefer to wait longer in order to pay less, while others are willing to spend a little more to receive their items quickly. Make sure your ecommerce platform can integrate several shipping services, such as the USPS, UPS and FedEx, and also include tracking information and insurance.
Additionally, if your company ships from one of several warehouses, using intuitive inventory management tools will assure that merchandise is shipped from the best location.
Customers don’t want surprises, especially when it comes to what they’re paying. Your backend toolkit should automatically calculate duties and taxes based on the customer’s location and cart contents. Include all landed costs upfront to avoid absorbing costs associated with refused merchandise and attendant lost sales. Preventing unexpected costs will keep your company competitive against the domestic competitors.
While international ecommerce is exploding, don’t be afraid to take the time to ensure your ecommerce platform offers all the necessary tools. Customers respond and buy more when ecommerce sites provide native-language browsing and checkout, a seamless currency conversion and several shipping options.
Invest in the necessary tools that will help your company succeed at the beginning in order to avoid preventable mistakes down the road. Then it’s smooth sailing from here on out!
Neal Kaiser is the CEO of Upshot Commerce