Almost 60 years ago, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan invented the phrase “global village” in his book The Gutenberg Galaxy, referring to the concept that the globe is becoming a single community of people united by new media technology.
While expanding your company to international markets might provide huge returns, you can’t just throw up a website and expect it to be successful everywhere. The ordering procedure, but maybe unexpectedly not the digital commodity itself, must be localized to facilitate sales on a worldwide scale.
Customers’ propensity to buy may be increased by 70% just by accommodating their preferred language, currency, and mode of payment. The style of your shopping cart, the amount of steps necessary to place an order, and the required information to fill out may all affect your conversion rates. While expanding into international markets might boost profits, there is a greater likelihood that you will encounter cultural differences that will need to be addressed.
Although McLuhan was primarily thinking about radio and television, the global village notion is just as relevant, if not more so, in the modern day. The proliferation of international online shopping is a prime example of how the globe is becoming ever more linked due to developments in communication and the Internet, most notably the proliferation of smartphones and social media.
What is Global Ecommerce?
International internet trade involves the sale of goods and services across national boundaries and to clients in other countries. Global eCommerce permits businesses to sell to clients outside of their home market, as opposed to local ecommerce’s restriction to the nation of the business’s origin.
There are now more options than ever for companies to expand internationally, thanks to the proliferation of e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, and digital solutions.
Developing a Global E-Commerce Foundation and System Integrations
With your international plan, you can begin tailoring your e-commerce platform to your new customer base. Make sure you’re taking the time to tailor your online business to each international market’s specific needs.
We’ll go through four key things to think about before going global with your company.
As reported by Harvard Business Review, the price itself is not as relevant as the customer’s reaction to it. If a business maintains price parity with its rivals, it may utilize specific pricing strategies to convince consumers that its products and services are more reasonably priced than those of its competitors.
Products with a price that ends in zero (such as $10.00) sell better in high-context nations like China, India, Brazil, and Argentina, whereas prices that finish in nine (such as $9.99) perform better in low-context markets like the United States, Australia, and Norway.
Currency conversion is another potential hassle, despite appearances to the contrary. Many international stores avoid the inconsistency caused by currency exchange rate fluctuations using a fixed rate. You should display pricing in the local currency to avoid cart abandonment and lower conversion rates generated by showing prices in US dollars.
Statista predicts that by 2020, 30% of all online purchases in the United States will be made using a credit card or a digital/mobile wallet.
When considering payment methods on a worldwide scale, however, the rankings shift somewhat. In 2020, digital and mobile wallets (like Apple Pay and PayPal) accounted for 45% of global eCommerce transactions, far outpacing credit cards, which had a 23% share.
Because of this, it’s not realistic to assume that clients in other countries will always pay using a credit card.
To provide just two examples, in Mexico, cash accounts for 86% of all transactions, while in Southeast Asia, barely 15% of the population holds a credit or debit card, and over a third of the population does not even have a bank account.
A customer’s preferred payment method is a minor detail, yet it might be the difference between a successful transaction and a lost opportunity. Therefore, perform some market research to make sure you’re meeting the needs of your ideal customer, rather than assuming they’ll use credit cards.
Helping out customers
Don’t forget about your international clientele just because they’re located in another country. Providing excellent service to customers in global markets is just as crucial as it is at home.
It’s simple to think that companies elsewhere follow the same practices as those in the United States. This is especially true about things like return and exchange policies. Many Japanese and French consumers believe that all sales are final, and many Japanese and French shops offer a no-questions-asked return policy. As a result, it’s essential to keep in mind the preferences of the local market while growing internationally and devise a strategy for dealing with the various countries’ return policies.
How you interact with your customers is also crucial. As seen in the graph below from Statista, the most common methods of contact vary significantly from nation to country but include phone/voice, email, and live chat.
Since shipping companies like UPS, FedEx, and others set their prices, a store may have little choice but to absorb the expenses associated with shipping orders. Certain companies don’t ship abroad, and some nations have restrictions, like France’s tiny streets, that make it challenging to use delivery vehicles.
Many recipients would rather have their packages delivered directly to their homes than have to make the trip to a distribution facility. In Canada, items delivered to remote regions may take longer to arrive and cost more since carriers make fewer stops there. This is especially true for the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut. Inconsistency in delivery choices is a significant source of frustration for online stores.
The world is becoming a slighter and more linked place, making international growth not only a possibility but a must. Fortunately, commerce solutions USA is already helping retailers of all sizes to go global and grow rapidly.
Of course, if you’re still running a tiny, local firm, the words “global commerce” may seem intimidating. With this guide, however, you’ll have a better idea of how to expand your operations to other countries.
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