INNOVATION & GROWTH
Four top tips on going global
Prepare your business for international expansion and take advantage of the global growth in e-commerce.
As cross-border e-commerce continues to surge, check out this four-step guide to taking your business to new markets.
Global e-commerce: in numbers
E-commerce’s share of global retail sales by 2024, up from 18% in 20202
Percentage of online shoppers that bought from another country in 20204
Cross-border e-commerce sales growth in January-June 2020, compared with the same period the prior year3
Global e-commerce sales in 2024, up from $4.9 trillion in 20211
How much online shoppers will spend on international websites and digital services in 20225
Understand where new opportunities exist
Wondering where in the world to take your e-commerce business? Here’s where e-commerce activity is highest and on the rise.
Top 5 countries ranked by retail e-commerce sales in billions6
Making your decision: key things to consider
- Where there is demand for your products or services
- Where there is potential – look at emerging markets where e-commerce is beginning to boom or where there is a high volume of online consumers
- Your main competitors in the markets that interest you – see what gaps you can fill
- The costs associated with entering your preferred markets
- Consumers’ needs/expectations for order fulfilment
Do your research
So, you’ve chosen your market. Next, learn as much as you can to gain a competitive advantage.
Turn to trusted sources
The European Commission’s Market Access Database provides a wealth of information about shipping to new markets, from trade barriers to local services for SMEs.
Visit the region
Attend local events and trade shows to get a better understanding of the market and make new contacts. Picking up tips from the locals will be invaluable in helping set you apart from your competitors.
Understand the customs processes
To cross borders smoothly and fast you need a good understanding of the VAT, tax and customs procedures unique to your chosen market.
Break into your new market
Once you’re ready to start shipping to your chosen market(s), there are some key things to consider.
Scaling up your supply chain
A network that runs like clockwork is essential. You may need to look into boosting your domestic warehousing operations or working with local distribution centres in your chosen markets. Be aware, however, that this could incur costs and affect your delivery times.
Choosing a trusted logistics provider
Provide a delivery experience that meets today’s consumer needs by working with an experienced logistics provider. Our FedEx Delivery Manager® tool can help you give customers peace of mind with localised, timely alerts.
How you’re going to sell your products
Decide whether to sell through your own online store or a thirdparty marketplace. Having an international e-commerce site can increase your credibility with customers in your target market, while a marketplace can allow you to reach multiple new territories at low set-up cost.7
Your marketing strategy
Create hype around your online store with a savvy marketing plan, such as: targeted ads for social media users; engaging content on your website and social channels; and search engine optimisation (SEO) to catch consumers while they’re browsing.8
What consumers around the world want from their delivery experience9
cite delivery cost as the factor they value most in deliveries from online retailers
value fast delivery more since the pandemic and 33% say speed of shipping is the delivery factor they value most
value delivery choice most when shopping online
of shoppers say tracking is ‘very important’ or ‘important’ to them
of shoppers now say sustainability is more important to them than cost and speed
Localise your online store
Localising the customer journey results in an average uplift of 58% in conversion rates.4 Take the time to do so, and make the customer experience as seamless as possible.
Account for preferred payment methods
Always cater for the most popular regional payment methods so customers don’t bounce at the checkout – as well as offering browsing and payment in the local currency, which is preferred by 98% of online shoppers.4
Research labelling and packaging
Your market may require certain labelling or documentation and have particular packaging standards. Familiarise yourself with these before setting up your e-commerce delivery operations.
Accurately translate your content
Always work with reputable translators for all the digital content you create, from your website pages to social content to the delivery notifications you send.
Optimise for search
So that your website has a better chance of attracting visitors in your new markets, make sure you’ve optimised it for search engines. For example, by looking up keyword patterns and volumes, and creating local versions of your web pages.
With e-commerce, it’s never been easier to connect to new customers across the globe. By covering off these tips, you can put your business in a stronger position to take advantage and reach its next goal.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page does not constitute legal, tax, finance, accounting, or trade advice, but is designed to provide general information relating to business and commerce. The FedEx Small Business Hub content, information, and services are not a substitute for obtaining the advice of a competent professional, for example a licensed attorney, law firm, accountant, or financial adviser.
1. Worldwide ecommerce will approach $5 trillion this year | eMarketer
2. E-commerce share of total global retail sales from 2015 to 2024 | Statista
3. Global cross-border ecommerce grows 21% | Digital Commerce 360
4. Cross-border e-commerce growth during the pandemic | Fis Global
5. Cross-border B2C eCommerce Spend to Break the $1 Trillion Barrier in 2022, Catalysed by Alibaba & Other Marketplaces | Kaleido Intelligence
6. Top 10 countries ranked by retail ecommerce sales | eMarketer
7. Routes to market part 2: Digital methods | Open to export
8. The importance of having an international social media strategy | Open to export
9. Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 2021 | Metapack
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