Ecommerce offers infinite opportunities for international selling and many etailers large and small have availed themselves of these. So far it has all been about how many markets can you reach and how much you can sell. As a short term goal this may be an acceptable marketing strategy. Etailers need to source quality markets to achieve sustainable growth and profitability, in the long and even medium term.
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To reach quality international markets your business needs to stand out from other businesses. Tailor your website to the local market by using copywriters who understand the local markets and speak the language so that details are not lost in translation. Websites, e-shops and policies must reflect local customs and preferences.
Employing in-house staff to service each of your international marketplaces will be expensive and may not be cost effective, especially if you are a smaller retailer.
Investment on websites that reflect the local needs is only part of the equation. Getting your goods delivered and providing interactive customer before and after sales services is vital to gain and keep a profitable foothold in international markets.
Using a fulfillment company maybe the best way to access these markets without significant outlay on ‘expert staff’. You will have access to legal teams, custom experts, IT software and support. A fulfillment company’s knowledge and links with local delivery companies is invaluable; all this at a known cost, which will expand with your international business.
Diversification is as essential for an ecommerce business as its for a traditional company. Relying on one or two key marketplaces, even if they are the market leaders still leaves your business open to aggressive market forces. Large companies can fold too. A mixed selling portfolio is sound marketing strategy. It will also allow you to tailor your products to different markets, small quality markets can be as profitable as large quantity driven marketplaces. A mix of both will foster profitability.
So local knowledge in everything from web content to order fulfillment is essential for quality international market leads and diversification will give your company the secure foundations it needs to expand safely and profitability.
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