No matter how good a business you have and how well your product is selling, there comes a point when the anchor is dropped and progress falls flat. Any experienced entrepreneur would understand that the world of business is a fragile one, where things are often just a small, incorrect step away from going south.
In the lifecycle of any online business, progress and growth can sometimes become very hard to come by. No matter how hard you try, how much you spend on marketing and sales, customers stop responding the way they once used to.
On the flipside, there can also be times when the business is doing really well, with products selling fast and growth being achieved year-on-year. Do you sit back and enjoy your success, or capitalize on the opportunity and aggressively push towards even greater growth and scale?
For any eCommerce business looking to scale, increase its customer base and take their business to the next level, cross-border selling is the way to go.
What is cross-border eCommerce?
Whether you are selling a product or service, either directly to customers or from one business to another, it is likely that you will have customers across the world. Cross-border eCommerce is when you sell your products or services to customers who belong to a geographical location beyond your local or domestic market, most likely in another country.
Around the world, cross-border eCommerce is at an all-time boom. This can be attributed to the world becoming a global village in today’s times. As a result, we are more connected than we were ever before, which has been supplemented with improvements in access to the internet, logistic infrastructure and transportation. Therefore, customers are now able to shop from anywhere in the world, and receive their order within a matter of a few days.
Why sell across borders?
To put cross-border selling into European perspective, over 73% online shoppers from all across the continent buy from countries other than their own. In addition, a 2022 study by Statista reported that cross-border ecommerce is projected to account for 22% of all eCommerce shipments around the world. That amounts to a whopping $3.5 trillion!
The benefits of cross-border selling
Take a moment to think about the likes of Amazon and Ali Express. These two eCommerce titans are the undisputed leaders of the world of eCommerce, and most of their success can be credited to their international footprint.
Dropshipping, convenient fulfillment across the globe and growth of online shopping has helped Amazon attract close to 100,000 international sellers from around the world to sell on its platform. Similarly, Ali Baba handles imports and exports of all kinds of products from over 240 countries.
Here’s why cross-border selling is such a potent tool:
- Increased brand reach and visibility: The first and most obvious benefit is the exposure of your business or brand to an international, expanded audience, giving you access to a previously untapped market. It offers an increased visibility, brand recognition and the opportunity to put your products or services on the map.
- Increased sales and revenues: A direct by-product of international selling. Expanding to new markets means creating greater demand for your products or services. As a result, businesses benefit from an increased pool of customers, trade in a different currency and reap its rewards.
- Consistent demand, all year round: One factor, often overlooked or undermined, is the fact that cross-border selling might get you consistent demand, all year round. While your product might be experiencing a dip in sales in one corner of the world, it might be the perfect time to buy it in another. The result - consistent revenue and steady growth.
Looking to ace the cross-border game?
The prospect of increased sales, international recognition and global expansion might seem very mouth watering from afar. It is worth noting that cross-border selling is no walk in the park. There are numerous aspects to take into account and challenges to overcome before you can begin to reap the true benefits of cross-border selling.
In this regard, some useful tips by OGOship might come in handy.
Take these 6 things into consideration
1. Do your research:
Jumping into a new market with blindfolds on is never the right way to go about it. Before you decide on going all guns blazing into a market you know little about, make sure you do your due diligence - and do it well. In this regard, you might want to look at the country’s GDP, the growth of its eCommerce market in the past five years, and what its customers like to buy. Chances are your product or service might not even be a good fit for the market.
2. Study Competitors:
Another useful prerequisite to international expansion is to study your competition in the market. A competitive analysis will allow you to understand how competitors advertise products, the range of products being sold and its pricing. Have a long and hard look at their social media, identify trends and how you can capitalize on them. A thorough SWOT analysis is therefore advised.
3. When in Rome, do as the Romans do:
Remember the PESTEL analysis? Here’s your chance to utilize it. Every country in the world has its own rules and regulations, and the same impacts business activity also. International expansion brings with it a plethora of administrative, operational, infrastructural and legal challenges that require extensive research and planning to navigate around. Develop a thorough understanding of the location’s religious, environmental, political, social and technological conditions and decide accordingly.
4. Give the customers what they want
A business is nothing if not adaptable. A key factor to consider if you are looking to truly succeed at international eCommerce is to make shopping as convenient for customers as possible. For instance, you can make your website region and language friendly.
This would mean that should customers visit your website from an international location that you ship to, the website adapts to their language and shows stock that is available for shipment to their location only. In addition, you can make your website currency flexible, making it easy for customers to determine prices of products, instead of having to open up a calculator every time they wish to make a purchase.
5. Sell efficiently and intelligently
With every small step, businesses aim to move closer towards achieving their business bottom line. The end goal of expanding internationally is to increase sales, revenues and ultimately, profits. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sellers have to be smart and efficient with how they sell to turn a profit. This means optimizing order fulfillment, stock distribution, delivery times and costs, ensuring that each customer is given a pleasant shopping experience, every time.
6. Leverage 3PL fulfillment
3PL fulfillment, or third-party logistics, is a useful resource that thousands of successful brands all over the world are reaping benefits from. While you may manage your domestic order fulfillment, fulfilling orders internationally is a totally different ball game.
3PL fulfillment partners not only give you easy access to international markets, they also allow you to fulfill international order in a timely and cost effective manner. Multi-warehousing allows retailers to store inventory across numerous fulfillment centers, enabling retailers to become smart in their order fulfillment operation across the board.
Outsource cross-border eCommerce fulfillment to OGOship
While the considerations above are extremely useful and effective, they are not all simple to execute on your own. Having professionals by your side who know how to get the business done will save a lot of effort, resources and time.
OGOship has helped countless clients sell across borders, providing to them a simple and hassle free pathway towards becoming an internationally acclaimed brand or business. We can do the same for you.
OGOship allows its clients to flexibly distribute their inventory across its extensive network of eCommerce fulfillment centers around the world. This makes your products easily accessible for customers, wherever they may be. As a result, you get to reduce transit times, bring your delivery costs down and become more efficient cross-border sellers.
Are you thinking about expanding abroad? You might want to give OGOship a call or book a meeting with our eCommerce expert before you take that leap of faith.