Six Top Tips for SMEs to Boost Cross-Border Trade
By Raj Subramaniam
Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Marketing, FedEx
- Stand out from the crowd
Shoppers are influenced by a variety of factors when making cross-border purchases, but the most influential reason cited in the report is that the item is not available in their home country, with 75% of respondents considering this “very influential” or “influential.”
- List your products on a trusted online marketplace
The majority of respondents in every country surveyed ranked major multi-brand online retailers or marketplaces as their first choice out of five business types for cross-border purchases.
- Leverage logistics expertise
Work closely with at least one major logistics company. Such providers can supply global coverage, delivery speed/consistency and competitive cost. What really distinguishes the preferred providers, though, is the service and support in calculating taxes and duties, filling out paperwork, allowing a merchant to bill upfront for duties and simplifying cross-border returns.
- Crunch those numbers!
Study your current international traffic and business. A large number of merchants interviewed started their cross-border business unintentionally, as international customers found them through easily accessible methods such as web search and online ads.
- Target success
Decide whether to go broad or narrow. Are you going to try to serve many markets, or focus on a few? Does your merchandise have broad appeal or is it more attractive to certain countries? If you are focusing on a few markets, consider whether it’s worth investing more in services such as website translations, web advertising and broader payment offerings.
- Final takeaway
Identify the right resources based on your strategy and future needs. Think about services and offerings that will make a difference to the customers you want to reach. Whether your customers find retailers through word of mouth, search engines, or ads, the best results will no doubt come from having a reliable logistics provider with global network expertise.