One of any merchant’s goals is to expand his business and grow his customer base. This is why international, or cross border, eCommerce has reached huge numbers worldwide. The bordering commerce definition is simple - it is the process of shopping outside your country borders.
Cross border commerce can vary: for instance, between two sellers, a seller and a customer, or between two buyers using a marketplace resource. They are typically abbreviated as B2B, B2C and C2C respectively.
The possible profit amounts are stunning. Studies say that online buyers will yield $2 billion worth of transactions. Popular routes for cross border eCommerce are China, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, France, Mexico, and others.
Cross border commerce, like any other selling opportunity, leads to a number of benefits, but along with this, difficulties that could harm your business may develop. Let’s review them all in turn.
Top benefits of cross border eCommerce
With the ability to sell abroad you will expand your business, making it global and getting customers from different countries.
Once you start selling abroad your revenue will grow with the number of your customers. If controlled properly, your revenue will exceed your expenses and pay off quickly.
Raise your brand popularity
Your local, as well as your international, customers will pick you among the rest if they know that your brand sells well internationally.
The ability to sell anything
This doesn’t refer to any forbidden goods, of course. You’ll be able to sell your products to countries where they are demanded even if they are not popular in your area. Still, in this case you need to calculate all possible risks in advance.
Cross border eCommerce risks
Now it’s time to talk about some complications you might face while selling abroad. Not only should you learn about them, but you must also know how to avoid these problems in order to save your money.
Probably the most common risk of cross border commerce. Customers can refuse to pay, claim that the items are lost or damaged, and so on. To avoid these cases you need to establish a secure and reliable payment and shipping system that is convenient for both you and your customers. All products must be well tracked, and it’s better to ship them after the payment has been fulfilled.
Delivering your products abroad can be a hard task: the items can be damaged or lost, or shipping can take too long and be costly. That is why facilitating your logistics is a must for cross border eCommerce. Pick the right delivery agency and set optimal routes for shipment so you don’t lose your clients and spend too much money. The delivery costs must be included into products’ prices if you wish to gain profit instead of operating at deficit.
Before entering an international market, be sure to thoroughly study the country’s tax laws and regulations. You may find that your products are barred from entry or the tax is too high.
Cross border eCommerce - how to start selling abroad
If you have made up your mind to start selling abroad you need to complete a whole list of preparations. First of all, pick the resource where you’ll display your goods. You can offer your items on global websites like eBay or Amazon, or create your webstore on an eCommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify. The latter is probably the most effective. Shopify, for instance, offers you flexible and reasonable pricing and numerous apps that can streamline your cross border activities without the troubles caused by local taxes and language barriers. With these tools, eCommerce is a profitable business, not one that is rife with fruitless challenges.
If you’re having trouble and don’t know where to start, hire a cross border consulting specialist or read information about the county you wish to sell in on the internet. When expanding to a cross border business, you must always begin by asking three questions: where to sell, what to sell, and how to sell it. We have collected the top tips for a merchant wanting to start a cross commerce campaign.
The country’s characteristics
Customers abroad are more likely to choose your store if it’s familiar to them. By this we mean prices that are displayed in local currency or easily converted to it. For instance, a price of $20 or $19.99 is a bit easier to calculate into a local value than $19.35. Apart from that, you must make sure your brand items are not forbidden in the country. For instance, some medicines, plant seeds, or even toys are forbidden from entering China and other countries.
Taxes and duties
It’s up to you to decide whether to show consumers the price including taxes and duties or not. If not, the price will seem more attractive but customers might get angry seeing the total sum. Fixed fees that are initially displayed to customers make the price higher but they present you as a trustworthy seller.
This sphere has a lot of peculiar features. Some countries support Visa or MasterCard, and others, like China, have their own payment system. In China, practically all payments are completed via WeChat or AliPay, so you’ll need an account there. You must also decide whether to charge customers before or after the delivery. Some countries are more used to paying in advance but others might abandon your store if they find out they can’t pay when the product arrives.
Cross border selling costs can be higher than trading in your own country. Thus, financial risks are too high to ignore them. Merchants usually face similar challenges when they enter a foreign marketplace.
Implement a number of features and solutions to make your store more competitive and successful for foreign customers. It is usually easier to reach competitiveness using an eCommerce platform and its app store. You’ll definitely need solutions for the following aspects: inventory, shipment, analytics, integration, cart abandonment, other email notifications, discounts, order processing and tracking, etc.
It’s a good idea to hire an expert from the country you wish to sell in so he can inform you about their lifestyle, preferences, and shopping experience. You should also study which competitors you might have and how to stay ahead of them.
Cross border eCommerce is one of the most promising yet challenging business possibilities today. To sell your products internationally and make your brand recognized abroad you must undergo some difficult challenges and learn everything about the country you want to establish sales in. As soon as you complete all preparations and configure your web store, you will have a lot of chances to increase profits, so all the work will definitely be worth it.