Looking to turbocharge your eCommerce sales and market dominance by going global? 2019 is certainly the year to do it. The opportunities are there, with China’s eCommerce sales expected to reach $1.9 trillion by the end of this year.
Toss in the fact that eCommerce is expected to eat up 14% of all total retail sales, and you shouldn’t be simply excited about going global – you should be taking action.
Naturally, there are apprehensions and challenges. Like, how do you sell your eCommerce products globally and actually succeed on the world stage? The good news is that we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the top 6 ways for skyrocketing your international sales in 2019 and beyond.
1. Pick the right markets
You will only succeed on the world stage if you sell to the right countries. While it might sound exciting to take your products to Japan, things will fall apart if Japan doesn’t even have a need or desire for your products.
To that end, you need to research international markets to see where you should be pooling your marketing efforts.
A really easy – and free – way to do this is by using Google Trends. For example, if you sell sneakers, you can check Google Trends to gauge how much interest a particular country has in buying new sneakers.
You could try Google Search Console too, which is also free. Simply type in your product, click “Status” followed by “Performance” before segmenting by country. This will tell you the average search volume – and thus how popular – your product is as a search term in particular countries.
You might also want to take a look at your Google Analytics data to see which countries your traffic is currently coming from. If a particular country has shown an interest in your products already, consider selling there.
Another option is to use PayPal’s Passport site, which gives you access to data about global buying trends in different countries. Also, the Lloyds Bank International Trade Portal can help you better understand overseas markets.
2. Your own website vs online marketplace
If you currently sell from an international marketplace, such as Amazon or Etsy, you might be tempted to not expand your brand any further. However, you should consider launching your own website. Certainly, though, only selling on existing marketplaces will make your life a lot easier. The downside is that you won’t appear to be a proper brand to online shoppers.
Launching your own website means that you can create a brand that has global appeal. For example, you could create a logo to make your brand memorable and build trust with new customers. If you don’t have a logo yet, you can use a tool like Hatchful to help you create one.
Put the focus on driving high-quality traffic to your website, too. To this end, apportion a good deal of your marketing budget towards your SEO efforts. By generating more high-quality traffic, you will be able to increase your sales, and then you can use the money to improve other aspects of your store to help you grow.
This includes creating custom built websites that target specific markets. For example, you could invest in a local domain name. Doing so will help you to rank better on Google in different countries.
3. Add the right payment gateways
You’ll struggle to expand internationally if you don’t offer your new customers’ preferred payment gateways. If a customer can’t see their preferred payment option on your checkout page, they will most likely abandon the purchase. It’s a matter of trust and security.
Take the time to learn what payment gateways you should be using and research preferred methods around the world. For example, while PayPal is popular and trusted in Europe, AliPay accounts for 50% of payments in China.
4. Choose the right fulfilment option
It’s important that you choose a fulfilment option that suits both you and your international customers. Because shipping costs are one of the prime reasons for abandoned carts, you don’t want to price customers out of your products simply because it costs too much to ship to different countries.
To this end, it might be a good idea to open up international warehouses in different countries so that you can transport and stock bulk inventory.
Or, you could go with a third party logistics provider. This option would certainly remove extra hassle, such as paperwork.
Alternatively, if you sell on Amazon you could use Fulfilment by Amazon. This is pretty restrictive, though, as there are only certain countries you can sell and ship your products to.
5. Offer local customer service
Customer service is so important to the success of any online store. Indeed, research now shows that good customer service is more important than your products.
The problem is that offering solid local customer service to every country you service will be expensive, and it can drain your resources. It’s a good idea to identify the markets that definitely require native speakers, before hiring native speakers.
For all your other markets, add a comprehensive FAQ page that deals with the most common customer queries. You could also invest in a tool like Drift to respond to customer queries in real-time on your website. Make it easy for people to contact you via email too.
6. Localise your website
As well as localising your customer service, you should look to localize your entire online store. When international customers can access your site in their own language, the chances of conversions improve.
Localising your website is a lot easier than it sounds, and you can use translation vendors such as Rev.
Make sure to localise your checkout page first, and then work on your product catalogue. Round things off by localising your copy on all your other pages.
These are 6 tips for skyrocketing your international sales in 2019. It sounds like a lot of work right now, but once you’re up and running your brand will start to see progress and growth. It’s then a case of checking your data regularly and making any necessary tweaks. Keep an eye on trends so that you don’t fall behind the competition, too.