There's no clearer illustration of eCommerce's potential than taking a website global and accepting orders from new territories. However, going into this process without a solid plan can make it more of a burden than an opportunity. When brands launch in new regions, they should have localized sites ready to go, giving potential customers in those places a personalized experience that speaks to their needs and preferences. The following elements are important parts of this process:
Sites not optimized for overseas markets may have limited appeal.
When it comes to accepting payment types, sometimes entering new markets means journeying into uncharted waters. Researching foreign markets and ensuring consumers there will be able to pay with their preferred options can be an important and potentially transformative step for eCommerce companies.
Business Zone gave a rundown of just how far outside of their comfort zones companies facing new audiences may have to go, explaining that cash-on-delivery payment, an outlier at best in U.S. eCommerce, is hugely popular in both Japan and Mexico. Furthermore, payment by installment is frequently offered by merchants in the Netherlands. Companies without an eCommerce platform that supports many transaction types and payment methods may find they're unintentionally discouraging foreign shoppers from clicking "buy."
Just as it's a mistake to assume that payment methods that suit one market will work correctly in all others, it's negligent for companies not to inspect their delivery options when they add new territories to their eCommerce purview. MarketingProfs recently specified that logistics and fulfillment should be clarified for each additional market. This means both delivery and returns, as ambiguity about whether goods are returnable from a particular region may increase hesitance to purchase.
Just as expectations vary widely around the world about what types of payments will be accepted, each country has is own "normal" for shipping and returns. MarketingProfs noted that free delivery has become the de facto standard in some territories, but not everywhere. Furthermore, some regions may have regulations that require more shipping transparency.
Be ready with service
An eCommerce website without a functioning customer service portal is incomplete. This means that when companies expand to new regions, they need to ensure their service ecosystems go along with them. Practical Ecommerce explained that eCommerce site owners should ensure there are service portals in every language widely spoken in their prospective territory.
Selling around the world demands focus.
Furthermore, personnel should be knowledgeable about the peculiarities of ordering in applicable regions and available at convenient times. A failure to attend to customer questions and needs could lead to dissatisfied buyers and few repeat visits. Buyers will like the feeling that there are helpful personnel available in case their international transactions hit snags.
Taking on an opportunity
The world of eCommerce is a huge and diverse place, full of chances to enter new and exciting markets. That said, moving into these territories halfway could yield disappointing results. Companies that maximize their appeal through eCommerce platforms that adapt to new regions and offer relevant, helpful features will find a very different landscape than competitors that simply hope overseas shoppers will find their default websites acceptable. Becoming a global presence demands and rewards focused attention.