International expansions allow your businesses to attract new people to whom you can sell your products and services. However, before you consider expanding your business internationally, you need to understand the challenges that might come with this change and make a plan in advance to have a smooth transition.
Technology has brought many advantages to businesses, including e-commerce, which is currently booming. The Internet makes it easy for e-commerce companies to expand, as regardless of their home base, customers can purchase a product with just a few clicks. This is why e-commerce businesses are one of the easiest companies to expand internationally. Overall, there is not much that needs to be done, more than localized payment, translation and several shipping options to offer to your international customers. However, you will need a solid global marketing strategy to have good results in the new market.
Here are some easy tips to help your e-commerce business expand internationally.
Consider an eSim
What is eSIM? An eSIM is a digital SIM card that is the best alternative if you need to travel constantly and keep in touch with partners and employees while you are away. And if you are planning to expand your e-commerce business internationally, you should consider an eSIM card. The eSIM is one of the latest developments in communications that companies use, as it delivers advanced security, end-to-end digitalization and flexible and seamless connectivity.
An eSIM card brings many advantages, both for individuals but also for organizations. For example, an eSIM card is easier to activate than a normal card, uses less physical phone space, and saves money. This is because when you have an eSIM, you will not need to change your phone number while traveling abroad or carry multiple devices on your trips.
Create a plan
To have a global service or product, you must adjust it to the local market of the place where you want to expand. This is a key factor to have good results with e-commerce on a global scale. You probably know that people behave differently depending on where they live and have other needs and wants, so you must adjust your offers to meet customers' demands.
You can take the case of McDonald's. Although it is not an e-commerce brand, this example will give you a better idea. McDonald's is a brand present everywhere in the world, but to stay relevant to each country, the business needed to make some changes in its products. For instance, in India, where a large proportion of the population is vegetarian, the company added a vast array of vegetarian options, like the vegan McAloo Tikki and the Big Spicy Paneer. These options aren't offered everywhere, as in the United States, for example, there are fewer vegetarian alternatives.
But to have the best globalization plan, you must research the market where you intend to expand your business. You will need to check out the competition and find out exactly what the customers want in that location. It is a big mistake to consider that what is working for you locally will also offer the best result globally. This is why you must investigate local needs, cultural differences and other important factors to help you succeed internationally.
Have a social media presence
The good news about modern marketing is that you can use social media to have a strong presence and be relevant to your customers. E-commerce businesses are easy to expand across the globe, as you don't need to open a physical store overseas and hire other employees there. Instead, you can run your operations as you usually do. However, you must use social media to your advantage and craft campaigns targeting international users. This can be done with Facebook and Instagram ads targeting global demographics or with social media influencers with many followers.
You should have a visible presence on all the platforms users use daily, like TikTok, Instagram or Facebook. Instagram and TikTok are great tools for e-commerce because they are image-based apps and are a great way to show your products to your audience.
Offer various payment options
If you want to expand internationally, you should also offer various payment options, as many prefer different methods. For example, customers in the United States like credit cards, but other countries favor contactless cards or digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay or PayPal. Or, some of the countries also want to have other options. For instance, Chinese consumers like to use a service named AliPay, while many countries from North and South America and Europe also prefer Stripe.
It is good to have more alternatives, as the more options you integrate, the easier it will be for a customer to purchase. Today, there are various payment methods on the market, which is why you should know what your customers want so that you will make the right choice for your company.
Keep in mind 24/7 customer care
An important problem businesses face when expanding internationally is the time zone. And because there are different time zones around the globe, it can be challenging for your international clients to reach your business in a relatively short time. It is quite a nightmare when you think about the fact that there can be an enormous difference between your business and customers. For example, the difference between the United States and China is 13 hours. So, when Chinese people are awake, Americans are probably sleeping.
So, how can you offer support to your customers if there is such a big difference between the two of you? In the majority of cases, e-commerce businesses provide support to their customers with the help of a chatbot. Other organizations prefer to hire employees in shifts to offer customer care to clients.
Expanding your e-commerce company internationally doesn't need to be a complicated process, but you need to keep in mind some things beforehand. So, how do you plan to expand your ecommerce business?