Organizations wondering whether they should make strides into the global market should look first at their e-commerce strategy. By focusing on e-business growth, these businesses can safely expand into new international markets. With a reliable and experienced logistics provider, a company can commit to an international strategy without sacrificing components of their brand or overextending their capabilities.
It is also important to realize that even companies with a successful, safe domestic strategy might still be tempted into global expansion, and for good reason: There is an abundance of revenue-generating international business. When done right, global expansion can be tremendously rewarding. According to the Harvard Business Review, almost 60 percent of Google’s revenue comes from overseas, while Apple claims a similar ratio. Harvard Business Review also points out how successful global enterprises share a few key traits, including a preference for web-based platforms and the ability to choose their partners carefully – both supported by these customizable solutions.
Here, we will examine the components of successful e-business when combined with an organization’s desire to win business across the world.
Bring inventory closer to faraway markets
Perhaps the most obvious question for a business expanding abroad is this: How do we get our goods and services from our country to these new markets on the other side of the world?
To follow that up, remember that sometimes shipping products abroad makes the most fiscal and strategic sense, while other times better fulfillment – with faster shipping times and more attention to local preferences – is most logical. But with the right e-commerce solutions, this kind of organization will not be bound to a full-scale relocation. The best logistics providers provide the necessary warehousing and distribution centers – and know the best delivery options – to get your products in a new, foreign customer’s hands.
That way, the onus is not on the business to build a new presence overseas – just to work with a knowledgeable team who can translate your strategy abroad.
Fulfill specific delivery expectations
E-tailers with global aims must be able to deliver their goods in a timely manner – but also to the specifications of various consumer markets. Different demographics have different delivery preferences, even in similar regions. For example, in the Nordics, Danish consumers expect packages to arrive within three days of ordering while their neighbors in Finland are willing to wait up to five days.
It can be a challenge to learn and understand these varying preferences without assistance. Relying on expert logistics teams across the world builds an understanding of what distinct consumer groups expect.
One thing that remains nearly universal is the returns process: Online customers want to be able to return an item with ease through the same channels they used to receive it. Offer customers worldwide a simple returns process while your logistics provider maintains a straightforward way to restock or refurbish an item and gain consumer credibility.
Align currency and language preferences
To truly have a presence overseas takes more than simply shipping products. An organization can still maintain a close relationship with its consumer base, even if the two are physically far apart. Today, such communication is no longer difficult. The right logistics partner can make sure products listed online appear in the right currency depending on the user’s location. Having a customer service team available at any time to answer questions in any language also goes a long way toward establishing rapport, even with clients on the other side of the world.
These regional differences speak to a larger theme, which is that global expansion cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. In other words, it is a large undertaking that cannot neglect the details. The success of an international expansion will depend on the degree to which an e-tailer can cater to specific consumer needs that vary from country to country.
E-businesses need to do their research, as Etiquette International founder Helda Klinkenberg told Entrepreneur. Culture is important and many markets around the world have different rules for business engagement.
That is why it is so crucial to partner with the right logistics company and develop a coherent strategy for growth. Companies just starting out with international business can easily overlook critical approaches, but a strong partnership can dramatically decrease that margin for error.