What Every New UK Business Owner Should Know About Breaking Into International ECommerce

10 July 2019 | Freight Forwarding

The World Trade Organisation estimates a 3% global trade growth by the year 2020. Any company would salivate at the thought of expanding into a global market with such lucrative prospects, as I’m sure you would!

Taking your brand to the global market is appealing, based on these growth projections. But those who have gone before you will confirm that the journey can be treacherous, with ecommerce now a robust emerging trend.

As a business owner, you can expand your profits by embracing international ecommerce. Here are a few things you should know about selling overseas.

1. Regulations

International ecommerce exists in a rather precarious context. This is because of the nature of the virtual market challenge within the process of global business expansion. Over time, countries have set up legal standards to regulate ecommerce.

You need to be aware of these laws because they will affect your penetration into foreign markets. The United Kingdom has unique consumer protection and taxation of ecommerce laws. Understanding such regulations is an important step towards future success.

You need to understand the rapid changes in the regulatory regime governing the ecommerce landscape. Regulations exist to protect both you and your customers from unanticipated risks. You need to be compliant with these regulations to reduce the risk of fines.

Engaging the services of a legal consultant may be useful, and their advice will ensure that you understand your obligations as a business owner. Legal counsel will also open up your understanding of cross-border commerce dynamics.

2. Shipping

The final step in an ecommerce transaction is the delivery of goods to the customer. Often, you have to rely on third parties to ensure the safe and timely shipping of your goods. You need to ensure that your avenues of choice in the shipping process are reliable.

Shipping overseas can be hectic. Finding the best shipping companies may not mean incurring significant extra costs. You can find dependable shipping companies that offer reliable and cost effective shipping services.

Shipping determines the time and state of product delivery. You should seek to find a shipping company with a success record. The company should provide safe and timely deliveries.

3. Packaging

Imagine shopping online only to receive a product labelled in a foreign language. You would be a disappointed customer, right?

Well, packaging can be a major concern for you. As you venture into international ecommerce, you must seek to know your target customer.

Instructions for use are a major consideration. Products in the UK may include 24 languages in the instruction manual. Packaging options should depend on the market’s individual characteristics.

Your approach to packaging should also be in line with various laws in the host country. Most of the European countries are keen on standardising the packaging of products. This is against the backdrop of the global fight against climate change.

Designing your packaging options may need an understanding of the specific laws in the country. This is in relation to aspects such as the use of plastic to package products.

4. Localise Website for International Commerce

If you are considering international ecommerce, localising your website is a must. The content on your site should adapt to the new target market. Understand their search engines to know how to go about optimisation.

The content, which is inclusive of the measurements and the currency, should be familiar to the consumer. There are many good translation firms that can help with the localisation. You should be consistent across all your digital platforms.

Technology is a significant consideration in the growth of international operations. Ensure that your technical team understands the potential customers. This knowledge ensures that any information through your site is customised to suit the local consumers.

5. Know the Local Competitors

Market research should involve several aspects including the competition. Persuading customers to embrace your brand is difficult. Most people will opt for familiar brands.

Understanding the strategies your competitors use is paramount, but do not be consumed by this, use the information as a benchmark.

If you own a small or medium-sized company, you will have to work extra hard to convince the consumers that your brand is trustworthy. Most big brands can expand with ease because they are popular. Incorporate strategies that are unique and more innovative than your competitors.

6. Hire Locally

One of the critical success factors for any business is employee knowledge. Hiring local employees will equip you with more insight into the market.

For your ecommerce business, you might need fewer employees because you are operating online. Having locals operate logistics such as delivery is crucial. The marketers should also be local to reach a wider audience.

The main challenge with employing locals may be the lack of expertise. Yet with the right employee training, you can achieve your business goals. In addition, you will face less opposition because you are providing employment in the country.

What Are Some of the Concerns in International Business?

One of the challenges facing global business expansion is cultural and language differences. Succeeding in your chosen market will require you to understand the culture to avoid clashes. Know what is acceptable so that you can streamline your business.

For language barriers, a translator can be ideal, and local employees can help you to navigate through this social issue. Thorough market research will help you identify the culture and its effects on consumer trends.

International Ecommerce Is Becoming a Popular Strategy

If you are a new business owner, understanding international ecommerce laws is important. Carry out thorough market research. This strategy is important in understanding factors that can hinder or benefit your business.

With the right approach, you will enjoy increased sales and a wider customer base, with minimal market entry barriers. There are many online resources designed to inform global businesses. Ensure that all your operations are consistent with the new business.

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