International eCommerce continues to boom, with every seventh online purchase crossing at least one national border. According to a DHL Express study from February 2017, we can expect international eCommerce to grow by 25 percent per annum to 2020. As a result, worldwide retail is growing twice as fast as domestic retail.
For German retailers and manufacturers, international sales offer a promising opportunity to generate profits and expand upon customer base. To achieve this, a cross-border sale requires the most uncomplicated purchasing experience for the online shopper. For the shop operator, this means they should adapt their Internet presence to country-specific preferences. Likewise, retailers should implement efficient logistics and attractively design offers and prices. These are the indispensable fundamentals, so that a German online shop can also play a major role internationally.
Payment preferences, like languages, are different in every country.
What has prevailed in Germany as the standard payment practice cannot be transferred across to other nations. In no other country in the world does purchase on account enjoy a comparable popularity to that in Germany. The British mainly use credit and debit cards, whilst the Asian region prefers the eWallet. An internationally active online store should offer the locally preferred payment options to achieve its desired sales. Payment options that have proven themselves in the target country instill greater trust in the individual customer. The likelihood is high that the customer will be sceptical about other payment methods – and in case of doubt, will purchase elsewhere.
It is a similar story with language, where it is true that the English language has been a world language since the 19th century, but does not seem appropriate in all circumstances. In the case, for example, of general business terms, complaints or service interactions. The end user would prefer to pursue more complex situations in their own native language. If texts and info sheets are translated into the respective national language, this considerably increases the comfort and sense of security of the customer. This also raises the likelihood that the customer will remain loyal to the shop and will be ordering again soon. In addition, shop owners should pay attention to cultural circumstances when designing the image composition of their Internet presence. Those looking to sell a barbecue grill on the Indian market, for example, should not necessarily display juicy beefsteaks.
Success in international eCommerce is a question of distribution
Every customer wants a fast, reliable delivery. This holds true both domestically and overseas. The goal of an online shop in international eCommerce is to be able to store, process and ship goods at low cost. Which distribution strategy the retailer or manufacturer chooses should depend on the circumstances under which it operates.
If the retailer or manufacturer is just starting out in international eCommerce, the quantities of their goods shipped abroad are usually small. In this case, a central warehouse camp on German soil makes sense. All international orders are first individually processed here and then transferred to a CEP partner (courier, express and parcel service). These will then deliver the goods in the respective target country. In the case of returns, the customer returns the goods to the central warehouse where the order was first processed.
As soon as order volumes in international eCommerce expand, retailers and manufacturers should strive for cooperation with a CEP provider within the respective destination country. In this way transport costs can be saved and individual deliveries overseas can be consolidated. Furthermore, it is important for shop operators to understand whether they deliver to countries where goods must first be cleared. Here also, if the delivery volume is correspondingly sufficient, it is advisable to find a suitable customs processing partner in order to save effort and costs.
Find a price that need not shy away from an international comparison
The goal of an online shop in international eCommerce is to forge an advantage over other foreign and domestic shops within the respective country. The most convincing arguments for this – besides high product availability – is a more attractive price. According to one result of the DHL Express study, customers buy primarily in an international shop if they find a more attractive offer there at better conditions.
Price monitoring and optimisation has already proved to be a complex process in domestic competition. For pricing in international eCommerce, extensive market monitoring is indispensable. The blackbee Business Intelligence software creates the ideal prerequisite for internationally-oriented pricing. blackbee recognises pricing trends in all market segments and sectors – fully independent of national and linguistic boundaries. With a reliable competitor monitoring, online retailers are securely positioned in international eCommerce.
Summary: A borderless shopping experience and the right pricing leads to success at the international level
International eCommerce promises high profits and a new customer base for online retailers. To reach new consumers, you need to make the offering and execution as easy as possible for them. You should also consider the cultural habits and preferences of the target country. This applies primarily to payment methods, language and image design. To implement cost-saving distribution, you should also think about a suitable strategy, which will be determined by the overseas order volume. Ultimately, its is price that sets the tone. Customers abroad are interested in an international online shop if the offer and price appears attractive. The blackbee Business Intelligence software helps you to identify the best worldwide price and to generate a profitable margin.
Are you considering entering international eCommerce, have already began to or already half way through? Test blackbee now and observe your competition beyond all national borders!