If you’re selling stuff online the potential of customer finding your products also in other stores, is high.
E-commerce is still growing, the market is huge and there are practically no limits as to where your business can expand.
The only question is: Are you ready to go global?
Because selling to customers in a different country comes with some extra responsibilities.
There are things you have to consider when selling internationally that don’t apply to more local customers.
Expanding your business across borders requires a lot more time and effort than selling locally, but it is definitely worth it! Not only will your sales boost but it is a chance for your brand to explore and get new fans.
But before jumping into an international sale, you have to think about learn about the information your international customers need to know, international shipping prices, and how currency conversions work etc.
1. Your new market and target group
First thing’ first, do your homework and determine who your international customer are.
Consider the following:
- Where there is demand for what you’re selling and why?
- Who is your target group? What are there shopping habits and how to attract them?
- Who’s your competition in that market?
- Are there any seasonal purchasing patterns?
- What are the currency exchange rates?
- Will you have to adjust your pricing?
You might also consider hiring someone who knows the local waters well. That would help you tailor your online strategy to engage local shoppers.
2. Sort out payment methods, Currency and Exchange Rate
It might be surprising you but in some parts of the world credit card payments or PayPal aren’t as popular payment methods as for instance bank transfer or cash on delivery. To successfully establish internationally, you will need to accept payment in the method that your target market prefers. Again, it’s important to do your research as there are hundreds of payment methods in e-commerce and preferences vary depending on the country.
For instance, almost all e-commerce payments in Germany are by MasterCard and PayPal, while India and other Asian countries have a strong preference for cash on delivery.
Shoppers don’t want to waste time converting prices on your products pages so make it easier for them and display in their own currency. If you can’t offer customers the option to pay in their local currency, make sure to show the conversion rate so they can see what they’re paying.
3. Get to know tax rules and regulations
Taxes are always a bit of a painful issue, Selling internationally isn’t as straightforward as simply selecting a new market to expand into.
You also need to aware of that country’s regulations and how they apply to your products. There may be different tax rules for every country you’re selling to so do a proper research as to when and how much taxes you should charge and to whom.
Find out if taxes will impact the any products you plan to sell internationally and let your customers know about any additional fees up and why clearly.
4. Research International Shipping options
Selling your products internationally is on thing, how you deliver items to them is another big task.
Your international customers might have to pay customs fees when they receive their orders. This depends entirely on the destination country and it’s beyond our control. It’s always a good idea to let your customer know that they may have to pay customs fees to avoid any bad surprises later.
Address formatting: It’s very important to know that the address on each order is correct and clearly formatted according to the destination. Otherwise the order might not reach the customers.
With an online store, your customers can come from all around the globe. You just have to have the strategy to make sure sales get its peak. How many of you already target international customers already? Let us know your opinion in comments below!