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How to Scale Cross-Border Ecommerce! A checklist you need:


August 24, 2021
6 MIN READ
Vinculum
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Vinculum
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With the growth in e-commerce and the popularity of social media, consumers worldwide expect brands to provide content and shopping opportunities that are relevant to them, wherever they might reside. As you consider going global, will you need a partner to manage your infrastructure? The good news is that there are several key tools available that will help you execute a strategic plan for expanding your reach to new markets.

Regardless of whether you are an established brand or a startup, multi-country sales can be both daunting and exciting. Despite the complex nature of doing business across borders, it is possible for you to be successful. In fact, your size or breadth of products, and/or services may provide an advantage in some international markets.

Whether you’re a small startup or an established brand, selling internationally can expand your brand reach and enhance your profit margin. The first time I sold to a customer in Denmark, it felt pretty exciting.

1. Optimize your website for Global Audience

A cross-border eCommerce site can make a huge site in terms of traffic and sales. But scaling it requires a certain amount of planning.

  • Country Extensions- Selecting the right country extension for your cross-border eCommerce operation can be one of the most critical decisions you make. If done correctly, it will increase the effectiveness of your marketing. You can dramatically improve your cross-border eCommerce results by being aware of the right country extensions to choose from.
  • Geolocation- If you plan to sell products or services across borders with multiple locations, it is crucial to have a unique operating system. Operating systems, or operating systems as they are commonly called, are the software that your computer uses to interpret the commands from your operating system
  • Content Translator – For selling products to a global audience, you may need to translate product details into the native language of the audience. Knowing the steps involved in each step by translating each product requires knowledge that can be gathered from other sites. This is why we build a Translator Checklist for you.

2. Cross-Check Country-based Product Restrictions

To scale cross-border eCommerce effectively, you need to first understand the different ways countries handle cross-border eCommerce. Then you can choose the best solution for your situation based on your requirements.

I.e. Most products can be safe to sell in one country while they are restricted in other countries. If you are selling such products, you should always go through and understand the country-to-country selling restrictions of particular products.

Here are some verticals which have particular restrictions by a country. They often have restrictions even by the states within a country:

  • Apparel and Footwear
  • Beauty and Cosmetics
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Health Goods
  • Safety Protection

3. Ensure technological scalability:

Cross-border eCommerce business demands a lot of management & monitoring activities. Solutions with varieties of tech features are designed to streamline and automate processes for merchants, brands, and sellers, such as inventory management, tax compliance, and shipping options, and more. You will also want to consider how easily the platform integrates with the shipping carriers you plan to use. All of these are critical not only to the scalability of your cross-border operation but also to your business’ actual profitability as well.

4. Allowing Flexible Pricing Structure

No matter which country you choose to expand your business internationally, you can not avoid the tax regulations of the country. Taxation for cross-border operations can be complicated and tedious. Thus, it’s crucial to take tax requirements and their potential effects on your business seriously as soon as you plan your cross-border expansion strategy. A few things to consider are:

  • Auto Currency Switcher
  • Tax and Duties by country
  • Landed Cost Calculation

5. Shipping and Logistics

Duty fees and customs clearance personnel

Multiple shipment modes

Order fulfillment with 3PL’s

Documents ready (Licenses, permit, waybill, etc)

6. Enabling Local Payment Options

With the ever-changing eCommerce landscape, customers’ purchasing habits are constantly changing and so do their payment preferences. Once you plan for expansion, you will have to enable flexibility in payment options for your customers. Some of the most used payment options to implement are:

  • Traditional Debit & Credit Cards including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc.
  • Cash on Delivery is a must for any cross-border transactions when you want users from other countries to trust you.
  • Virtual Wallet Payment such as Paytm, Wechat, GooglePay, PayPal, Payoneer, Union Pay, etc.
  • Cryptocurrencies can also be a part of your payment options as an add on

7. Creating The Best Possible Experience for Customer Support Service:

While customer service support is crucial to your business’s ability to scale into the international market, it’s not something that can be easily managed or trained up by yourself. Not having a solid support team is one of the first hurdles you’ll encounter when scaling globally. When you decide to expand your business internationally, it’s crucial that you plan for the additional costs, as well as the added workload placed on your team.

Outsourcing customer service work is a growing business trend worldwide. Optimizing global customer support operations may not be easy for Small and Medium-sized (SMEs/SMBs) retailers, but it can be done. There are three basic steps that small, medium, and large retailers can take to involve outsourced customer service in the strategies they use to expand their businesses into new foreign markets.

Ensure the below checklist while strategizing your customer support operations.

  • Customer care support
  • Forward and Reverse Logistics Support
  • Customer Loyalty Programs

The Bottom Line:

If you own an eCommerce business importing goods from foreign countries, it makes good sense to have a plan to expand your online sales business into other countries. However, if you’re yet to decide which country or region you should expand your business to, here’s something interesting that will help you decide the same.

While we know that the U.S. is a huge market for retail eCommerce, the future of online retail sales in the US is still uncertain. You can’t ignore cross-border eCommerce in APAC regions. While China and Southeast Asia are leading developed markets in terms of eCommerce sales, Australia and New Zealand make a formidable case for cross-border eCommerce investment. According to Forrester Research, retail sales in Asia-Pacific countries will exceed $2.5 trillion in 2023. On the other hand, U.S. online e-commerce sales reached around $600 billion in 2019 and are predicted to not exceed $7.5 billion by 2023.

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