“And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Fortunately, unlike Alexander the Great, eCommerce sellers now have access to a vast global market where they can sell and buy goods virtually anywhere across the globe, and they can do it all from the comfort of an air-conditioned room, without the need to traverse mountains and deserts. For eCommerce sellers who were content, for one reason or another, selling in one marketplace, this is the opportunity to expand their business empire overseas. And it’s much simpler than one might think.
Global eCommerce is not new: In fact, it has been around for thousands of years (only then it was known simply as ‘trading.’ In ancient times, articles such as silk may have cost an average price in China, but if you brought that material back to Europe…you knew you could charge a king’s ransom for it. Perfumes were imported to England from Italy. If the merchants didn’t think they could make a hefty profit, do you think they would go through all the trouble of obtaining and selling it in another country? Then again, Marco Polo didn’t have the benefit of shipping to Europe with FBA, or other eCommerce sellers tools. After all, if you knew beforehand that selling in country X would be more profitable than selling in country Y, it would be extremely useful, right?
Experts predict that within six years, the will be nearly 2 billion worldwide consumers who will spend an annual sum of $30 billion. It might seem at first like a herculean task, trying to get a foot in the door of the global marketplace! However, thanks to the Internet, innovative technologies and platforms like Algopix, sellers can expand into new marketplaces for selling internationally, even those that were, up till now, unavailable, for whatever reason.
The keys to expand your eCommerce business globally
Not all markets are the same: and until today, it took a great, painstaking study to determine in what territories would be best for e-commerce sellers to buy and sell products. Also, one of the disadvantages of trying to expand globally is the fact that there are always areas and/or marketplaces that for one reason or another are “off-limits.” As you will see, that, too can be circumvented, and local sellers can become global marketplaces sellers
Set a local-friendly payment method
Research the preferred payment method of the local population. This is one of the stickiest points in the eCommerce process, where many a shopping cart is abandoned. Making the payment process smooth can go a long way to win over customers.
Just because you sit a thousand miles away, doesn’t mean you’re not bound by a country’s regulations. Not knowing the local regulations, especially when it comes to taxes, can get you entangled in unnecessary quandaries. This is one more major reason you should…
Build local contacts
Especially those familiar with local regulations and customs. It makes things easier when you have local contacts who know the market and the audience you’re trying to reach.
Do your homework
Nobody likes to do homework. It was true in school, college, and also in businesses, but with your business, it is crucial that you do – or you risk sinking your business. If you plan on shipping products with Amazon FBA, make sure you know everything about how to ship with Amazon FBA and Amazon FBA shipping requirements in general.
Understand the potential markets
The world of global commerce is littered with the wreckages of e-commerce businesses that had no clear plan or understanding where they were heading. However, one of the major disadvantages of “going global” with your eCommerce business is the major competition in products and price.
Is there interest from other markets for your products or inventory?
If consumers, or other sellers, contact you about availability in their country. If you’re an Amazon seller, you can start from there, as they have many localized online stores. If you have a large stock of products, you can sell them to merchants from other parts of the globe.
Proper analysis and research are essential to a healthy eCommerce business. Not knowing how to price your products, without consideration of shipping costs, returns, etc., could easily sink your business.
Dare to compare
Who are your competitors in that market? Who are the potential customers? What are the most popular products – and where? Other factors to consider: demographics, interests and buying patterns: how will these affect your eCommerce business?
…That what worked for you in one marketplace will work for you in another, global ecommerce marketplaces.
…That everyone does business in the same language: even if you don’t speak Spanish fluently, you should familiarize yourself with the local culture, what drives the potential customers to buy and of course some key lingo.
…That because no one has yet sold a particular product in a certain area, that it’s “ripe for the picking.” Poke around to see if there is a legitimate reason why certain products are not sold. True, you want to be the proverbial “early bird that gets the worm,” but you also don’t want to be the hunter that gets caught in a bear trap.
Market research & analysis with Algopix
eCommerce sellers can save themselves a lot of time and effort using sophisticated product analysis tools like Algopix. Algopix is a comprehensive product market research platform that provides essential data to analyze market demand, possible margins and shipping costs for current and future inventory. Sellers can analyze their own products and inventories, as well as the viability of selling or buying products in 16 marketplaces worldwide. You can also make contact with other sellers and offer to either sell your current stock or buy from them products that you would have a difficult time obtaining otherwise. By providing rapid actionable product insights, Algopix helps sellers save time on manual research, increase sales volume and reduce risks of buying low-demand or low margin inventory.