Growth and expansion are goals for most businesses and making the move into international markets can open up a range of opportunities. However, it can also come with many challenges. Read on for more on how to grow your eCommerce business internationally.
eCommerce businesses have the advantage of being able to offer goods and services across a broad market, worldwide, without being tied to a physical store or location. But there are still plenty of factors to consider when branching out into the global market.
If you’re wanting to grow your eCommerce business internationally and reach a wider international audience, you’ll want to think about the following aspects:
Market Research and Cultural Understanding
Online retail in the UK is more popular than in any other country and equates to 30% of the entire retail market. But what works in the UK might not have the same impact in international markets.
It’s vital to carry out detailed market research to successfully identify international markets where your eCommerce business is likely to do well. Consider your product along with cultural and societal values, consumer behaviour and the environment. You should also think about ways in which you can market your product or service overseas to reach your intended audience.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
There are often fairly complex legal requirements to export goods out of the UK, along with tax, duty fees and additional documentation. Depending on your product, you might also need to apply for a licence to be able to export your goods.
To ensure you adhere to both the UK and overseas regulations, you should have robust compliance strategies in place. Remember that these rules might differ depending on the individual country.
Digital tax reporting can help ensure you remain compliant through automation with high volumes of cross-border transactions, which makes it easier to scan and record VAT invoices.
Payment Processing and Currency Considerations
It’s important to offer secure and convenient payment options for those buying from overseas and you should ensure you have the means of processing payments in different currencies.
A payment platform could be the easiest way of receiving and converting payments, but other common methods include credit cards, debit cards, transfers and digital wallets. Don’t forget to take into account transaction fees and make sure costs are kept transparent for the customer.
To reach a wider audience, you should consider using a variety of payment methods that make it easy for most customers to purchase from your eCommerce store. Whichever payment methods you choose, it’s imperative that customers feel their details are kept secure when using your site.
Finally, additional factors you’ll need to think about are shipping methods, website translation if you’re expanding into non-English speaking countries, and a suitable returns policy.