History highlights how trade has shaped the world. Across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, it has been commerce that fueled exploration, introduced new products to different lands, and (on a less savory note) played a crucial part in spreading disease and wiping out major populations. It is thanks to international trade that the world has become more accessible despite significant distances.
eCommerce is the continuation of this trend. The worldwide web connects us faster than ever, allows for electronic monetary exchanges with a couple of clicks, and has created the opportunity for many more companies to reach an international customer base. In fact, according to a recent Forrester Report, “US online retailers can use cross-border shipping to reach global customers […] it is not uncommon today for businesses of all sizes to use international shipping to reach new customers.”
For companies looking to test the waters of new markets, international shipping is invaluable. With a variety of models, businesses have the flexibility to explore new possibilities while mitigating risk.
Here are three tips and tricks to keep in mind to make the most of an international commercial endeavor.
Consumers like convenience and localization. Some minimal, basic localization in the global marketplace can make a big difference. For example, giving international customers the option to pay in local currency is a small way to make the consumer more at ease with an international purchase. Some retailers go so far as to have their landing page translated to the appropriate language or even launch local marketing campaigns. Like a tourist, showing a small amount of effort and consideration for the locals will go a long way.
Because most retailers don’t translate their websites for non-English speaking countries, the language will help narrow the field. Targeting markets that speak the same language removes many boundaries (i.e. UK, Canada, and Australia). However, there are always exceptions, and with competitive international shipping options, exploring those possibilities is less risky than ever.
All about the goods
The global marketplace opens up choices. More products are available for purchase, and this variety of product selection is the primary driver of cross-border purchases. Price may be the driving factor for some consumers, but the trend remains that when offering a compelling product, it will sell in a cross-border environment.
Large or small, international shipping continues to create opportunities for market expansion and business growth.