How to sell online globally : 3 steps to selling across borders

June 28, 2016
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How to sell online globally : 3 steps to selling across borders

Sell Online 101 – Part Seven: How can I sell globally?

Looking to cater your products to International customers! Wondering How?

Why not start selling online across borders to reap the benefits of having an extensive web presence?

Global B2C cross-border e-commerce market is predicted to grow up to $1 trillion in 2020, as per a report from global consulting firm Accenture and AliResearch.

Cross-border online shopping is gaining popularity and is growing with immense pace. This is especially true in emerging markets, where consumers find it hard to afford international products in local shops.

How can you start selling online and reach International Customers?

In this article, we have outlined simple, practical ways by which you can sell overseas with ease.

Choose your markets

To start selling internationally, it is important to know where you want to expand your business. Consider the following factors while making this decision:

  • The business size of the region.
  • The cultural and language differences.
  • The economic and political policy of the country.
  • Tariffs on the products you plan to sell.
  • The regulations and requirements while selling.

These are important to consider to first picking where to sell.

For example, one of the greatest barriers to selling your products internationally are the country-specific regulations. Every country has a list of regulations for international trade. These regulations include tariffs, duties, taxes, and banned products.

A great resource for checking shipping compliance is to use UPS’s ‘Import Compliance Tool’.This tool allows you to check specifics between your home country and the targeted country.

Do your research

Once you have chosen where to sell, understand the market. This could include doing your research about:

  • Goods or services that you can sell – Is there sufficient demand for the products you plan to sell?
  • Competitors in the market – Does competition exist in the space you want to sell?
  • Shopper Behavior – How are they likely to respond to your products or brands? This is an important aspect of your research. For instance, selling green hats in China will not be a profitable business – it signifies that a man’s wife is cheating on him. Collect data directly from international marketplaces, Contact potential customers and Government representatives. The research can also include news articles, trade statistics, and data from export specialists.

Devise a Strategy

How do you target the market that you have completely researched? What are the channels on which you plan to sell? What is the easiest, most cost-effective way to enter the target market? Here are a few ways by which you can expand into foreign markets –

  • Sell on your own website, ship orders internationally – If you have your own web store, your international customers can buy directly from there and you can ship their orders to their international locations. While this option sounds straightforward, the ‘landed’ cost – i.e. the total cost you will pay to have your item arrive at your international customer’s door, can be quite high. This cost includes the price to ship as well as the taxes and duties that will be applied. This is very important for you to know! If you quote shipping at $15 and there is a $30 duty, your customer might not be willing to accept the higher price. In that case, you will be charged the freight and the item will be sent back.
  • Sell internationally via a Third-Party Website – There are several options available to ship internationally, via tie-ups. For example, if you wish to ship from a location in the U.S., you can use a third-party service provider like MyAmericanShipper.
  • Sell on International Marketplace – You can sell on international marketplaces, such as eBay, Rakuten, Amazon, Lazada USA, etc. This is by far the easiest and the most pocket-friendly way of expanding internationally. However, ensure that your business complies with the rules of the international marketplaces before you can start selling. For example, Rakuten needs sellers to register their business in Japan before they can sell on their marketplace. Before deciding on a particular strategy, weigh all the available options in terms of shipping services (including insurance), payment options, accounting, business insurance, and dealing with returns.

With these 3 simple steps in place, you can begin selling to international customers with ease!

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See how Vin eRetail Express can help you Turbocharge your Online Business.

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