Everything You Need To Know About Cross-Border E-Commerce
March 12, 2021
by David Miles

For e-commerce businesses around the globe, the world is your oyster: If you find your product or services work well in one country, chances are, you can boost your profits and continue business growth by expanding your services to other countries or continents.

That’s where understanding the benefits and problems that can occur with cross-border E-Commerce comes in.

What is cross-border e-commerce?

As the name suggests, this type of e-commerce refers to the process in which a business offers products or services to customers overseas. While it seems simple, there are many things to consider when it comes to cross-border e-commerce, including how to manage returns, how to market your services to suit that country and the international competitors you need to watch out for.

Technology and free trade areas across the world are making cross-border e-commerce easier than ever. But while so many businesses look to expand their client base, there are plenty of issues to overcome.

International E-Commerce issues:

While there are significant benefits to open your business’s doors to the international market, it comes with several problems and difficulties when setting up.

Language barriers

Understandably, 75% of consumers like to buy products from a website written in their language. So even if a customer can translate your website to their language, it doesn’t mean they’ll be willing to hand over their hard-earned cash.

Like Amazon, one solution is to offer different countries their own designated landing page, so that products are more relevant to them, and the information is written in their language.

But it’s more than just using an online translation tool. In order to transform an English product description, and retain the original message, you’ll need to work with trained professionals. Otherwise, your product could be sending out the wrong message to your new potential customers.

Customer support

When you start working internationally, you’ll be managing sales and customers from across a whole selection of time zones. That means you’ll need to be able to provide responsive customer service 24/7.

You’ll also need to be able to keep FAQs updated, as well as being able to provide user manuals for your products in other languages.

International Returns

By allowing customers from other countries to order from your site, you’re also opening yourself up for more returns. Return shipping is already such a huge overhead for many businesses, that international shipping will only increase this budget.

The best way is to offer return replacements such asReturnGO’s store credit system, so that you don’t have to manage international shipments and restocking.

Payment Preferences

As well as offering credit, debit or Paypal options, there is a whole world of other payment gateways used in other countries. If you really want to make international E-Commerce easy for you and your customers, you’ll need to consider offering a wider selection of payment options to suit your new locations.

International E-Commerce Policies and Logistics

Of course, when you start your international E-Commerce business, you’ll quickly need to understand other trade policies and logistic charges.

Without extensive research, you could quickly be paying far too much for international shipping – a cost you’ll be tempted to give to the customer. But you will likely lose a lot of business if you can’t provide international customers a discounted shipping rate.

Similarly, different countries will have different trade policies. There may be differences in cancellation policies, returns, or even cookies that you need to be aware of.

Benefits of Cross Border E-Commerce

Even with all this to think about, cross-border E-Commerce can offer your business a huge number of benefits.

Huge business growth potential

Whether you’re a small business or a large brand in your native country, international e-commerce offers plenty of growth potential.

Improve supply chain

With more and more demand for fast-paced e-commerce services, supply chains are having to modernize and update their processes. This means they’re having to speed up a product life cycle to meet demand.
As a result, manufacturers are boosting the minimum order quantities, as soon as they know their customers are offering international e-commerce. Therefore, warehouses will also be impacted as they will be required to handle larger deliveries and stock inventory. All of this leads you to be able to provide your customers with a much better experience.

The world of international e-commerce is a complex but incredibly exciting prospect for business owners – both in the physical and online space. But, it’s worth noting that the change and transformation cannot happen overnight, and will require plenty of planning before opening your doors to the world.

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