Why cross-border e-commerce is the future of e-commerce
The term cross-border e-commerce is trending in the e-commerce space. The fact that you are reading this article can mean one of two things:
- your e-commerce business is doing well in domestic sales and you want to expand overseas
- you are hitting a ceiling in business growth and wonder if internationalization is the answer
First of all: what is cross-border e-commerce?
According to Ecommerce Wiki, cross-border e-commerce can refer to online trade between:
- a business (retailer or brand) and a consumer (B2C),
- two businesses, often brands or wholesalers (B2B)
- two private persons (C2C).
The fact is: cross-border e-commerce is on the rise. In China alone, it is worth $60 billion according to Bloomberg. As incomes in countries have risen, so has the demand for imported goods. Research done by eShopWorld suggests that e-commerce sales are expected to increase to $2.86 trillion by 2023.
With this much potential across the world, it is no wonder businesses are looking to expand globally.
In this article, we share five simple tips that you can add to your internationalization strategy and grow your business.
Provide multilingual customer support
First impressions always count. Build a team of customer support agents that speak the languages of the countries you sell to. By having a ready team of agents that are available 24/7, your customers can engage better with your brand in their native languages.
Customers take note of all their interactions with your brand. They will appreciate that your business has gone the extra mile to offer support in their language — improving the e-commerce customer experience as a result.
Imagine the satisfaction a Spanish-speaking customer gets when your agent chats in Spanish as well!
Offer store pickups to customers
Take your customer experience past the digital realm. When customers are able to pick up their orders from your store, it creates opportunities for customers to check out other products in your store. This gives customers a chance to check your physical products and this will encourage further sales.
Don’t stop there. Make sure the customer experience in the physical store is top-notch. Look after your customers every step of the way and you will have loyal customers for a long time.
Transcreation: personalized messaging for each market
Brands tend to make the mistake of translating their original content word-for-word for new markets. The end result is either a transliteration of their text or translations that may not make sense in other cultures. When it comes to preparing content for other markets, you must transcreate your content.
Transcreation is the way to ensure your e-commerce brand is in line with the different cultures in the world. This applies to both text and visuals. Cultural consideration is necessary, and if you miss this part, international customers may not purchase from you. Local slangs, trendy topics — these can be added to your arsenal of transcreation tools.
According to K International, transcreation can also improve multilingual SEO, helping you rank better in the markets you’re targeting.
Shoutout contact: Hai Yen, Smartling, email@example.com
Tailor your pricing to target markets
Depending on your pricing strategy, you may want to consider tailoring your prices to the markets you are selling to (with margins in mind).
Offer prices in local currency
Customers are used to calculating and spending in their own local currencies. Save your customers the headache of having to consider the currency exchange. This ensures a frictionless shopping experience that could have been marred by having to count the difference in currencies.
Match your prices with the local market (close to anyway)
Now, this can be a bit tricky. You want to sell your products at prices that locals are used to, but at the same time, you have to take into consideration whether this would affect your margins and brand.
Where possible, consider tweaking prices to match the local markets so that it eliminates the need to reconsider when buying your products. This could help make the purchase process a lot simpler and easier for customers — improving your sales.
Get started with cross-border e-commerce expansion
With these five simple tactics for cross-border e-commerce business growth under your belt, it is time to put them to the test. Include what is relevant to your business to your internationalization strategy and test them out. See which tactics work best for you and go global!
Thinking about growing your business across the boarder? Check out our globalization checklist and find out what steps you need to take.