How To Make Your eCommerce Business Ready For International Sales

With projected annual revenue of 2,411,638 million USD in 2020, the worldwide eCommerce market is going to explode. According to Statista, that’s a growth of 25,6% in contrast to 2019.

However, many eCommerce business owners miss out on the opportunity to sell their products all over the world. They sell them on different channels like Amazon, Instagram or eBay - but they don’t sell them globally. 

Reasons are often expenses and problems with logistics and cross-border shipping, duties or taxes.

But offering your products all over the world is the absolute easiest way to grow your business fast.

If you want to know how to make your online store ready for international sales to make more money in the long run, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll show you what you can do to make your online store ready to expand into other countries.

Make sure your payment processes work

If you want to sell your products through your eCommerce store internationally, make sure to support every payment method. While Paypal, Visa, Master Card, etc. are standard payment methods in these times, add more methods to your online store like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay or bank transfer.

However, in terms of payment methods, you’re limited by your eCommerce software. Fortunately, most software like Shopify or BigCommerce provide necessary payment methods to expand globally.

When you want to sell your products in other regions, make sure to check currency conversion fees and other fees of your payment providers. In some cases, currency conversion fees can eat up your whole profit.

Finally, here’s an infographic showing the most popular payment methods of eCommerce shoppers in 2019. It is clearly visible that digital wallets are the most popular payment method.

payment methods

Translate your online store into different languages

In other countries, there are other languages. Accordingly, if you want to expand your online store into other countries, your best bet is to translate your entire site into the respective languages.

But you shouldn’t only translate your online store into different languages - means category pages, detail pages and so on. You have to translate your entire blog into multiple languages to increase your organic search visibility.

Translating your blog posts into different languages is an easy way to double your search traffic in no time. Famous Online Marketer Neil Patel claims that he was able to increase his traffic by 47% through translating articles from English into other languages.

Just imagine what a 47% increase in traffic would mean for your online business - it would mean that you would make 47% more money. 

Wouldn't that be awesome?

Open different stores in the regions you want to target

When you want to expand your online business around the world, there are always a few regions that are more important to you than others.

If you use software like Shopify, you’re able to open a new online store in the countries you want to target.

This has two significant benefits:

  • Customers can shop in your online store and pay with their currency, which is much better for you and the customer - there are no currency conversion fees.
  • You can increase your worldwide search visibility on Google.

Whenever you want to make your online store ready for international sales, check whether it is worth opening a new business in the countries you want to target.

Identify new audiences

When you go international, you enter a much larger market with lots of diverse audiences.

You need to do audience research to find out how to reach your audience in different countries. Check if there are changes in behavior and interest that would improve your targeting. 

If you run paid campaigns on Facebook, you need to identify new audiences and set them up within Facebook Ads Manager. Targeted campaigns lead to high click-through rates, which lead to a low cost per click. This will significantly increase the ROI of your Facebook Ads.

But audience research is not only relevant for Facebook Ads. 

You should also do research regarding the translation of your blog posts. Some topics may not be relevant to other countries. In this case, it would be a waste of time to translate an article, because nobody will read it anyway.

If you are expanding, be aware of your target audience and get your marketing running.

Labeling requirements

Depending on which products you sell in which countries, you may need to make changes to your labeling. 

Especially if you sell packaged consumer goods, you must pay close attention to the labelling requirements.

What you need to do is research all the essential labeling requirements of the region where you want to sell your products.

If you only need to make a minor change, you may want to change your entire labeling. If you need to make extensive changes, you can create a new label for that specific region.

Manage landed costs

Landed costs are the total amount of money needed to deliver a product from your company to a customer. They include shipping costs, duties, taxes and other fees.

It is really important that you know the landing cost for each region in which you sell your products.

If landed costs are too high in one region, it is not a good idea to offer your product there.

Imagine that your product costs $20, but your landed costs are $30. In this case, a customer will never buy your product and will look for another company where he can get a free delivery.

Most shipping providers offer tools to calculate your landed costs, so make sure that these costs are not too high. If you have a large order volume, you can also negotiate better shipping rates with your carrier.

Tell customers the correct delivery time

It is clear that the delivery time increases as the distance to the final destination increases. If you want to ship a product from California to Colorado, it takes much less time than if you want to ship it from California to Europe.

Everybody knows this - and for most customers, it's not a big thing. But you need to give your customers accurate information and let them know about the correct delivery times.

If you tell your customers that the delivery time is 2 days, but it's actually 10 days - they will be very dissatisfied.

Returns

Different countries have different regulations for handling returns.  

If you want to go internationally you've to update your policies for each region to see how the refund process works.

In addition, there are different consumer behaviours that lead to different return rates in each country. 

Here’s a graphic showing different return rates of different European countries:

returns

Use this knowledge to design your policies so that they work with your business.

Customer service

When you start selling internationally, you should deal with customer service for different time zones. 

A customer in Germany is six hours ahead of the East Coast. So he only has the opportunity to call late in the evening after work, if you only offer customer service in the US. 

If you want to sell your products internationally, you should provide customer service for different time zones.

You can use virtual assistants to solve this problem.

Conclusion

eCommerce is a great business opportunity. If you have a business and do not yet sell through an online store, you should start doing it. If you already have an online store, try to go international. Anyway, if you want to go international, then consider the things mentioned in this article

About the Author

Moritz Bauer is a digital marketing specialist. He writes about Fulfillment by Amazon on his own blog smartminded. When he’s not in front of his laptop, he’s out to have some nice food with his friends.

10 Vital Tips in Building an Omnichannel Strategy for Your Ecommerce Store

Omnichannel shopping plays a crucial role in both online and in-store experiences. In fact, 71% of in-store shoppers are now using their smartphones and other gadgets to look for products before buying something.

Thus, the omnichannel experience that you should offer should be top-notch.

It would be ideal if your customers can shop in your online store. They can connect with your company in several ways, know more about your products, and spread the word to others about your company. 

An omnichannel strategy is changing how you sell to your customers. That's because more and more people are engaging and purchasing from many channels than ever before. 

If you plan to sell more on various, here are nine tips that can help you develop a robust omnichannel strategy for your eCommerce store:

Customer Prioritization

When you create your own eCommerce site, it is imperative to always keep your customers in mind. Otherwise, it will be challenging for you to coax them to buy your products. And this can hurt your business' bottom line.

Being the very core of your business, you should spend some time getting to know your customers. Know what their needs, pain points, and preferences are. 

You should also research their preferred line of communications and how often you should reach out to them. That's because bombarding your customers with too many promotional messages can be disruptive.

Thus, it is vital to focus on customer support. Make it available across all your channels to enhance the customer experience. 

This also means getting to know your customers better no matter what kind of channel they use. They also will not worry about picking the wrong channel.

They can pick where they feel most comfortable using and get the right support if they need it. 

Mobile Optimization

For the most part, mobile devices are what drives an omnichannel strategy.

But keep in mind that omnichannel marketing also extends to both online and offline channels. Thus, you need to keep your eCommerce store and a website ready for different devices, especially mobile.

According to an eCommerce mobile trend report, 79% of smartphone users bought something using their smartphones over the last six months. 

When you optimize your mobile site, you will not be missing out on any prospective leads and sales. Why? Because it is easy for your customers to view, sign-up, or buy from your site. 

Customer Data Analysis and Personalization

Personalization is one of the crucial factors you should consider when building your omnichannel marketing strategy.

This is what allows your eCommerce business to deliver a consistent and continuous message. That's why you must look for a great landing page builder and build conversion-driven landing pages that help you capture leads. 

One of your primary goals is to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels. Thus, it would help if you can fulfill your customers' needs.

You can do this by offering them exceptional content to keep them appreciated and valued by their favorite brand. 

Customer Purchase Behavior Mapping

In the omnichannel space, customer journeys and behaviors are relatively more complex. With several influencing factors, you can make purchases at any time of the day, whether in physical stores or online stores. 

This allows businesses to create sound marketing strategies as long as they consider various customer paths and influencers in different channels. 

Learning about the customer decision-making process is vital in creating an omnichannel strategy.

For instance, you need to know where the purchases are being made. Or you might want to know your best-selling products and the day when you generate the most sales. 

Getting insights from these essential questions allows you to map out a straightforward customer journey. This also allows you to understand their needs, preferences, and give the most relevant experience at the right time. 

Shoppable Posts

Shoppable posts are now popular on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. 

What this does is that users can check out your products straight on their feed. And then you can redirect them to your eCommerce site.

Thus, when you craft your social media posts, consider showcasing your products. And ensure that it will be easier for your followers to check out and buy it.

Strategic Multi-channel Marketing

Building an omnichannel strategy does not mean that you should jump to every single channel available out there.

You should be able to meet where your customer's demands are; that way, you will be investing in the channels that your customers use. 

According to a survey, Instagram is the go-to platform by 73% of Gen Z adults. Meanwhile, Facebook remains the top platform of choice for millennials, Gen Z adults, and boomers. 

Knowing your buyer's persona allows you to know which channels work best for your omnichannel campaign.

But it does not mean that you should not try other emerging platforms, either. Make sure that you always check your results so that you will know whether it is worth continuing. 

Great Marketing Stack

To launch a successful omnichannel campaign, it would help to have an excellent marketing stack. This allows you to be efficient in tracking your campaign and to see if you are reaching your goals.

A marketing stack also lets you run your campaign without hassle.

Having a healthy mix of online and offline marketing tools allows you to have a more rounded marketing campaign. 

Here are some things that you should consider investing in:

  • A powerful and customizable landing page, website, and eCommerce store that you can integrate with other popular tools. 
  • An email marketing software that allows you to design, build, and track personalized campaigns for your eCommerce leads and customers. 
  • An analytics software and social media scheduling for easy management of your campaigns and tracking.
  • Posters on the ground displays and other helpful in-store experiences for offline marketing strategies. 

Multiple Marketplaces Presence

The main goal of omnichannel eCommerce is to be present anywhere and everywhere your customers exist. This includes being in a giant third-party marketplace like Amazon.

After all, a lot of people use this platform when starting their customer journey. Thus, putting your product in an online marketplace like Amazon helps you drive sales for your business and boost brand awareness. 

Boosting your brand awareness alone helps you drive in more traffic and leads to your site bringing in the customer journey in a full circle. 

For you to jumpstart your customer journey with Amazon, you need to go through their online set-up process. This allows you to integrate both your current shipping and ordering process. 

Creating a great customer experience is all about connecting with your customers in various touchpoints. Also, keep in mind that users do not usually buy during their first visit, and most of these early visits typically occur on Amazon. 

So, make sure to exert an effort to get your product and brand in front of your target audience. That way, you can bring your customer journey in a full circle. 

Keep Your Customer Data Secure

Omnichannel marketing is providing a streamlined customer experience across all channels. Hence, one of your main priorities is to keep your customer data secure. 

When customers provide you with their data, they expect you to keep it secured. Sensitive customer data includes delivery address, payment details, and contact details. 

Most of your customers will appreciate it if you can tailor all your promotions and content based on their needs and interests. 

In that sense, you should keep a database and CRMs secure. It would help if you also kept updating the tools and other software on your website.

It would help if you also were using the best security tools to ward of any malicious attacks on your site.

Multivariate Testing

Just like with anything, your omnichannel marketing strategy should get better as you use it over time. This is where A/B testing could come in handy.

What it does is that you can test various versions of an online store. For example, you can A/B test your checkout page, wherein one has a blue button, and the other is orange.

Through A/B testing, you will know which version of your checkout page can drive the most conversions. This will allow you to boost your conversion rate.

You always need to test various parts of your eCommerce website, so you will know which elements drive the most sales. When you regularly track and measure your data, you will find the perfect formula that fits you. 

Additionally, you need to re-audit and update the entire customer experience. Doing so, lets you get the most out of your omnichannel marketing strategy.

You can use a collaboration tool that lets you track your activity's progress. 

Final Thoughts

Creating an omnichannel strategy does not have to be time-consuming, expensive, or complicated. Taking advantage of the tips listed above can boost your leads and sales and drive customer loyalty.

Thus, you can achieve a customer-first experience for your business.

We encourage you to build an omnichannel strategy using the tips in this post and let us know how it has helped your business to succeed.

How To Build An Ecommerce Site With WordPress

You want to build an eCommerce website, and you want to know how you can build it with WordPress. You have come to the right place. In this straightforward, minimal guide, I will show you how to create your online store using WordPress in the simplest way possible.

I understand that you probably have an idea of why WordPress is a great choice for creating an eCommerce website. Maybe you don’t. Yet, we are not concerned with either of these scenarios. The goal of this article is simple: to guide you through creating an eCommerce website with WordPress. Once you are able to do that, you will see for yourself how easy it is, and you will understand the pros and cons of it by your own experience.

As it is truly said: the best way to learn is through doing. Let’s get straight to the point.

What You Need

There are 2 things you must have in order to create an eCommerce website with WordPress. 

1. Domain Name and Web Hosting:

A domain name is your website’s address; for example, amazon.com is a domain name of Amazon’s online store. The domain name you choose speaks for the identity of your online store. So make sure that it aligns with your company. You can register for a domain name through domain registration services online. Google Domains is one such service. You will usually need to pay annual charges for your domain.

Web hosting is absolutely essential, as this is where your WordPress installation will stay and your eCommerce website as well.

It is important to note that you need a reliable and fast web hosting provider for eCommerce sites. Slow sites repel customers, and unreliable hosting will bring disastrous downtime that will ruin your online business.

Maintenance is another crucial aspect you should consider. Website maintenance is often not easy, and the frequent need for maintenance will leave you busy in technical stuff, which is not your area of expertise.

For these two reasons, I highly recommend managed Wordpress hosting. This type of hosting specializes in hosting eCommerce sites of WordPress and is very reliable. You will witness faster speed than any other kind of hosting. Managed Wordpress hosts offer maintenance services and guaranteed uptime for your website. These benefits do not exist with shared hosting.

Once you have a domain name and web hosting, then we can move to the next required thing.

2. WordPress Installation

To create a website with WordPress, you need to install WordPress first.

How do you do that?

If you have a managed AbanteCart host, then WordPress installation is a breeze. A click is all you need to install WordPress, and you are ready to go.

Due to the popularity of WordPress, many web hosts offer ‘one-click WordPress installation.’ This is the easiest way to have WordPress.

In case your web host does not provide WordPress installation, you can manually download the latest copy of WordPress from the official WordPress website. You need to upload this file to your web hosting account. Follow the instructions of your hosting provider to get this right.

Now that you have WordPress, you are ready for the final ingredient.

Final Words

This is it. There isn’t any coding involved anywhere. Everything is completely customizable, and you are all set in no time. You can always find plugins to add extra functionalities to your store.

Of course, it takes some time to add products, images, to see if everything is working, to attract customers, and start generating revenue. It does take work, and it’s worth it. The good news is that you can start all of these on your own and see that you can create an amazing eCommerce site with WordPress. All it takes is a little courage to learn by doing. I hope this tutorial helped you to get started. Cheers!

Author Bio

Dipraj Zagade is an author and prolific content writer. He loves to write about technology, marketing, and copywriting. He is a kind individual who loves to appreciate the beauty in life. You can connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Online Tools and Services to Boost Your Solopreneur Business

As a solopreneur, you’re likely used to working independently and juggling all aspects of your business without help from others — particularly if you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, bookkeeper, or social media manager. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize a few tools and helps if you’re struggling to keep up with your workload or need assistance growing your solopreneur business.

To explore some of the different online tools and services that can help to boost solopreneur businesses, read on!

Freelance Professionals

Regardless of the solopreneur business you’re running, several types of freelancers can help to take your business to the next level and handle the projects and tasks you may not have the time or skills to tackle on your own — including your marketing and cybersecurity needs. As AbanteCart says on its website, several of these freelancers include cyber security consultants, link building specialists, social media managers, and lead generation specialists.

Cyber security consultants can help to protect you and your business from data breaches and other security threats — while link builders, social media managers, and lead generation specialists can help to boost your online presence and grow your audience. Other tasks to consider outsourcing could include things like bookkeeping, social media management, customer service and transcription.

If you’re ready to outsource some or all of your marketing, writing, cybersecurity, or website development needs, you can find the help you need using the following types of websites:

  • Freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr
  • Portfolio websites such as GitHub and Behance
  • Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Meetup

Online Tools and Systems

Even if you choose to hire one or more freelancers to assist you with your business needs, online tools and systems can help you to tackle everything from invoicing and payments to designing graphics for your website, blog, and social media pages. With affordable financial software systems like Wave, for instance, you can create invoices and track your business income and expenses — while graphic design programs like Canva can be used to create flyers, brochures, social media graphics, and more.

Of course, your options don’t end there. Various project management systems, email marketing tools, and online scheduling systems are also available to solopreneurs — including Todoist, Asana, MailChimp, and Calendly. Essentially, whatever your computer task happens to be, there is almost certainly a software solution that can help automate it.

Business Formation Services

If you’re just starting out as a solopreneur, inexpensive online services are available to assist you in selecting a business structure, filing the necessary paperwork with your state of residence, and launching your new solopreneur business as quickly and seamlessly as possible. While you could certainly get your business up and running on your own, these online services can help to take some of the hassle out of the process.

How you structure your business will determine your tax obligations, personal liability, and more — so it’s important to consider your options carefully and seek assistance if you need it. As a solopreneur, your best options will typically include structuring your business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or an S Corporation (S Corp).

The Bottom Line

Whether you’ve been working on your own for years or you’re just getting your startup up established, help is available to you at any stage of your business lifecycle. From hiring freelance professionals to assist you in marketing your business and protecting it from security threats, being a solopreneur doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. Thanks to helpful online tools and services, there’s simply no need to wear more hats than you can handle.