A Guide to International E-Commerce

Cross-border eCommerce is growing fast and is predicted to continue its growth in the coming years. Customers are willing to forsake the fast delivery times for brands that they think are special or especially unique items. If you are looking to focus your marketing overseas to take advantage of that growth, it is well worth an attempt before your competitors catch wind of the same idea. 

There’s also sound economic reasoning behind it – if you want to ensure that your e-commerce store offers the highest return possible, it is vital that you are catering to the global market. To do so, however, preparation is key. There are several preparations that you need to make if you want to maximize your chances of success.

Research Local Demands 

If you’ve been running your e-commerce store for a while, you should have a good amount of internal data that you can examine. When you do so, take a look at the countries where your customers have either bought your products or visited your site. These locations will be a good point of focus for your marketing efforts, as somehow you already have a presence there. You should seek to develop these markets by preparing a thorough investigation and, if possible, getting in touch with those customers (a coupon works wonders as an incentive to participate in surveys). You should examine the markets as much as time allows, looking at spending habits and any segmentation data you can find. It might be a good idea to look at the countries with the most growth potential in purchases from the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Prepare Your E-Commerce Site

You must prepare your e-commerce site for international traffic; otherwise, you will risk wasting time and resources that you have spent on your international marketing. There is no point directing traffic to the site to find that they leave because they cannot understand written content or make a payment. There are two ways that you need to prepare your site for international traffic:

1st – Translation. 

If you are trying to build up some brand awareness and customer loyalty, it is not enough to rely on search engine translation. You should use a Smartling translation management system, which uses local speakers and artificial intelligence to contextualize your translated content so that you can maintain your brand vision and identity in a different language. There is nothing that would make you seem less trustworthy than a poor translation attempt. 

2nd – Payment 

You should research the preferred payment methods for each country to support the most common options. You also need to make sure you are using a secure and reliable payment provider. For example, many international stores chose to use PayPal because it consistently ranks among the top payment methods. When you accept several different payment options, your margins can decline, especially when you are catering to cards that only a few customers use. PayPal is a good international option because you can take payments from over 200 markets in 25 currencies.  

Attract International Traffic 

Once you have prepared for your new customers, you need to start to attract them. To do this, you are likely to use many classic digital marketing techniques you are already familiar with, such as: 

It is important that in addition to those methods mentioned above, you utilize more localized marketing strategies. E.g., influencer marketing and paid advertisements- these methods will help you reach an international customer base while also making sure you are targeting your target market.