Ready for worldwide domination? You should be. International ecommerce is the new gold rush, with Amazon sellers in a prime position to take advantage of technological evolutions and changes in customer shopping behaviour.
Yet while international consumer markets are growing rapidly, just 1% of the 30 million American companies actually sell internationally. Couple that with the fact that China alone was responsible for 67.1% of all ecommerce sales in 2017.
As last reported at the end of 2015, the American multinational ecommerce company Amazon announced 304 million active customer accounts. This suggests that the door is wide open for you to scale and claim victory.
And just in-case you thought world domination would be scary and tricky, we’re here to show that it’s much easier than you might have anticipated. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take in order to scale your ecommerce business globally.
1. Sign Up To Amazon Global Selling
For Amazon sellers, going global can be really simple. There’s no guarantee that simply signing up to the Amazon Global Selling will bring you lots of success, but it’s a crucial first step.
Sign up, explore what’s on offer and start selling to marketplaces all around the world.
Amazon will also fulfil your orders for you via Easy Ship or FBA if you’d prefer. Alternatively, you can go your own way by setting up international shipping options. To this end, you’ll need to choose a fulfilment partner who has a warehouse either in your target country or near it.
However, many Amazon sellers will prefer to take advantage of FBA, as it’s just more convenient. Not just this, but the FBA Export program allows you to test waters in different regions to see if your products are even popular. Moreover, FBA Export also takes care of any returns.
2. Investigate Other Global Marketplaces
Amazon is home to millions of customers and there are numerous countries you can sell to.
That said, FBA limits the number of countries you can sell to, as well as the type of products you can sell. As such, you might want to broaden your horizons by experimenting with other global marketplaces too, such as AliExpress. Like Amazon, other online marketplaces will help you learn more about international markets and International selling, and they allow you to dip your toe in the water before surging full-steam ahead.
3. Do Your Research
Before you start selling your products in specific countries, you, first of all, need to make sure there’s even a demand for them.
There are a few ways you can test international markets. Google Trends is a totally free tool that allows you to gauge interest from specific countries regarding your products. You can pop a search term in – this should be your product – and check out the search volume in a specific country. For example, you might find that wireless headphones are super popular in Indonesia but not so popular in Japan. Who knows?
You can also check your Google Analytics or your Amazon Stores Insights to find out where your traffic has been coming from. If you’ve had an influx of traffic from, say, Australia, but you haven’t yet properly launched over there, now might be the time to do so.
Meanwhile, a tool like Customer Research International will prove invaluable if you want to carry out international focus group research to gauge the level of consumer interest from different countries.
Not just this, but you’ll need to use your research to work out strategies for each country. There are big market differences between each country, which is why it’s important that you put together a strong localized launch plan. Keep a close eye on demographics, markets and metrics to help you put together a strategy that targets each country individually.
4. Add the Right Payment Methods
While debit and credit cards remain the most popular payment methods with online shoppers in the U.S., Chinese shoppers prefer to pay via AliPay, UnionPay and WeChat Pay. This means you need to diversify your payment methods and add your new customers’ preferences. Expand your payment methods and you will expand your sales.
It’s also important that you pay attention to the likes of Samsung Pay, Android Pay and Apple Pay, which have all been generating a lot of interest around mobile payments at the point of sale. To this end, make sure to add a POS card reader to your website, too.
It’s all about giving your customers what they want, and when it comes to payment methods, customers are super wary. If they can’t see their preferred method, they’re highly likely to abandon their carts. After all, who’s going to trust a payment gateway they haven’t heard before and a store they’ve never dealt with before?
5. Optimise Your Website For Mobile
If you have a website, it’s absolutely crucial that you optimize your ecommerce store for mobile devices, as international mobile users will make up a fair chunk of your customers and sales. As well as using a responsive framework like Bootstrap that automatically adjusts your website according to the device it’s being displayed on, you need to take care of the whole user experience.
This means making your fonts and buttons larger, making sure the checkout process is easy to follow, and improving your site speed.
Consider creating a mobile app, too, as it can help to create more loyal customers and nudge them along your sales funnel. In-app mobile purchases are convenient to the end user, and they are now the biggest source of mobile app revenue.
These are the five essential steps you need to take when scaling your ecommerce business globally. Make sure you carry out lots of research into your global audience and their tastes, as well as what they expect to see in terms of payment gateways. Optimise your website for mobile and use Amazon’s FBA to take care of your shipping. Before long, you’ll be a global superstar.