Specify Your Area of Marketing by Picking Your Niche
You won’t be able to immediately branch your business out internationally. Instead, start from a few available and viable branches. For this, you should define your targets by considering important regions first and then expanding over time.
According to experts, the potentially good regions to start from are the UK, the US, and Canada. These nations have the largest ecommerce markets and have a predominately English-speaking population, making it easier for you to communicate and advertise your products.
Choose the Right Platform to Sell Your Product
Edward Wiley, OFX’s Asia Pacific alliance manager and expert in the ecommerce business, suggests that one should look for the point of difference they have in the product to have a better selection of the selling platform.
Here's what that means: you can advertise or present the product through your own website or look for ecommerce marketplaces. If you have a different product description and unique features that can make your product stand out from the rest, you should go for marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.
If that is not the case, and your product is like other available products in the market, then the website you make for its selling will be the point of difference for you. In which case, you should invest in making an attractive and convincing website for your product.
Combat Increasing International Shipping Costs
In an ecommerce business, you usually don’t have a store available everywhere, or you may merely operate online to deliver the products. In these cases, it’s important to consider shipping charges, especially when you are dealing internationally. According to Wiley, you can combat such a situation in two ways.
Firstly, you could use sea freight instead of air shipping, but this shipping method takes a longer time. The second suggestion is to broaden your sales reach and its demand, which you can do by covering a different country’s markets. When your product demand increases and becomes double, you can ask the supplier for a discount on the products.
Go for a Business Loan
As you expand your ecommerce business internationally, you will require more capital to invest in covering international markets. Fulfilling new customer demands will make you need more products and hence more capital investment. When this happens, you should consider a business loan to give you sufficient money for investment.
Many platforms offer business loans, or you can apply for government business loans. Before you take out a loan, make sure you do your due diligence to determine whether that loan program is right for you and your business.
Avoid Poor Exchange Rates
As you expand to an international market, you should have a strong idea of exchange rates for different currencies and their impact on the amount you will receive.
If you have a local US account on Amazon or eBay, you will receive payments on those platforms as US dollars (USD). If you do not have a US account, the money from that payment will be converted to your local currency, meaning that you will likely end up paying the “exchange rate.”
Furthermore, if you have to pay your suppliers in USD, you might find your local currency again converted to USD. These conversion charges can get high — sometimes up to 8%. To combat this issue, you should open a multi-currency local account by your bank to dodge the exchange rate charges.
About the Author
Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.