5 Essential Tips for Successful Ecommerce Expansion
The E-commerce sector is expanding rapidly – not just giving businesses access to a broader local audience but allowing them to move overseas. But, contrary to popular belief, successful E-commerce expansion isn’t just about your ability to market and entice an international audience.
Here are five essential tips to ensure that you achieve successful, effective, and sustainable E-commerce expansion, as you take on the international market.
1. Complete a Feasibility Study
Completing a feasibility study essentially means looking at and considering whether your products will actually sell internationally – and through which avenues you intend to market and distribute your products.
Our feasibility study report, for example, looks at current product competitors, the viability and potential success of your branding, and the current market demand to name just three key touchpoints. This step is necessary to entering any new marketplace successfully on your first attempt and being one step ahead of your competition!
There are many factors to consider when making sure your products are compliant, ensuring that you are operating within the regulations of each country or region that you work in and sell to.
Firstly, it is important that the product itself is compliant and within product regulations. Selling into the EU & UK can be a complicated process and the information required under EU regulations is very different from that of other countries around the world. It is vital to ensure that all of your products are compliant in order to avoid removal or suspension on the respective marketplaces.
You will need to ensure that your product label meets the standards set by your target market – for example ensuring that the ingredients are listed correctly and that any claims made on your label are consistent with EU regulations. As part of our compliance checks, we invite sellers to submit their labels for review – with our team assessing both the label and its ingredients list and claims, sharing our advised changes directly with you.
Please note that to have a fully compliant label you must have a responsible person, whose role is to guarantee label compliance before the European and UK authorities. The Responsible Person Service is regulatory requirement as part of UK and EU product and labelling compliance responsibilities. Depending which EU/UK regulation the product is identified as will determine which set of rules, supporting documents and requirements are needed. Global E-commerce Experts have the ability to act as your responsible person, whereby we will hold a sample of each of your products and place our dedicated address on your labels, acting as your economic operator.
The second factor to consider is VAT registration. Expanding to the EU and becoming VAT registered is accompanied by several legal requirements. Staying compliant with tax regulations in every market that you serve in Europe is a big but essential task. Just like the Internal Revenue Service in the U.S., tax authorities in Europe do not look kindly upon businesses that don’t follow the rules. Your company may end up liable for severe penalties if you fail to accurately record and submit the necessary VAT information. You must ensure that you have the correct VAT registration for the country you intend to fulfill your orders from. Having a VAT registration allows you to sell internationally without complications. Our team can support your business with everything from regular VAT checks to VAT returns management and consultations.
Finally, translations play a vital role in both the compliance of your product and the success of their listings. Only one-third of the world speaks English, and all customers expect you to address them in their native language. According to a recent survey, 80% percent of customers would rather buy products if the product description were in their own language. As a result, it is essential to translate all aspects of your listings into the native language of the countries you are selling in. Localizing your products makes your listings sound more authentic to your customers, which in turn should lead to increased sales.
When considering the translations of your label and listings, there are certain factors to consider if you want to become the best in your category on a marketplace. A prominent example is a title that showcases country specific keywords to increase a product’s SEO. It is important to recognize that the method you choose to translate your product details could be a direct cause of your product’s failure to launch successfully. We see many E-commerce business owners trying to cut corners and use Google Translate to convert their dialogue. While this method may be free of charge, it is not the way to handle this process if you want your products to sell. Spending a little bit more on translations prior to launch could lead to a greater return in the long run.
Global E-commerce Experts offer two services that will enhance your products success and launch on marketplaces as soon as possible. Both the standard and full translation services will provide accurate human (native tongue) translations for the countries you wish to sell in. Our full translation and market research service offers in-depth translation research to find out what keywords have the best SEO-ranking on each of your chosen marketplaces and furthermore produce accurate and authentic translations, optimized with Amazon’s character limits in mind.
3. Identify the Best Entry Route
You’ve got your product, and you’ve worked through all the compliance checks and regulations – but how are you going to make sure that every order is received by the buyer in the correct location and within the specified delivery frame?
Knowing the best shipping entry routes is crucial to your E-commerce success on an international market, as it is what ensures that your goods are received and that they transition safely and efficiently. Do your research and identify the best entry route for your products.
4. Invest in the Right Tools
The EU is a different market to the USA, with different customer demands and marketing opportunities. Localized marketing is an important part of international expansion, as it allows you to optimize your listing and campaigns based on what the new target audience is looking and searching for.
From social media to online marketplaces and vendors, research and invest in the tools that will put your products front and centre in the right places – in front of the right audience.
Finally, regarding storage and warehousing: This may seem like a small detail but having a secure 3PL solution for storage and logistics is crucial to ensuring that your products are stored and kept in their optimum condition. If we could share one tip, it would be to collect quotes and details from a selection of facilities and never go for the cheapest. For more information on this, check out our 3PL support page.
The Importance of E-commerce Expansion
Studies suggest that by 2023, E-commerce will account for more than 22% of retail sales worldwide – up from 8% from in 2019. What this demonstrates is not only the need to embrace online and digital sales, but also the global power of E-commerce – with 59% of the world now having access to the internet and an estimated 2.14 billion people making online purchases in 2021.
For sellers, E-commerce expansion is the best way to capitalize on the global demand for convenience – with the continued development of marketing channels, automation systems, and warehousing all supporting international expansion for sellers across all industries.
Here at Global E-commerce Experts, we offer an end-to-end solution for those sellers looking to expand internationally, with a comprehensive package which ticks all the boxes from VAT regulations to business decisions, warehousing, purchasing, marketing more. Delivering local market knowledge and an introduction to some of the biggest and most influential marketplaces in Europe, the team at GEE are primed to help your business thrive.
If you’re looking to expand your E-commerce business internationally, we’re here to help. Visit our website and get in touch with the team today.
Image credits in order of appearance: ©flashmovie – stock.adobe.com