Thanks to advances in logistics and online communications, international trading has become easier than ever before.
The e-commerce market has become so popular that it’s easily possible to create a successful business based solely on international sales, regardless of your budget. However, there are certainly right and wrong ways to go about it. Here is a brief guide to what you need to get started.
Get an International Merchant Account
An international merchant account is a key investment for any business which is serious about exporting. This account will allow customers to pay for goods using their debit or credit card, making payments quicker and easier for both consumer and retailer. Such a high proportion of e-commerce websites accept card payments now that is arguably crucial for any newcomer to do the same.
It’s even more crucial when taking payments from abroad. International merchant accounts allow customers to pay in their own currency, which can help save retailers plenty of cash in automatic interchange fees.
Many international merchant accounts some with useful tools to protect against fraud. These tools automatically check the validity of customers’ billing addresses and credit card details to give retailers peace of mind.
The packaging and shipping of your goods is one of the most important elements of the customer experience you provide. The difference between good shipping and poor shipping is much more apparent when you transporting goods overseas. In this day and age, customers do not expect to wait more than a few days to receive a product they bought online, even if it was purchased from a foreign website.
With this in mind, it is imperative to team up with a reliable shipping company. It might cost a little more to offer services such as recorded delivery, but many customers are keen to utilise options like these and the majority understand that they will have to pay a bit more for the privilege.
Also, don’t skimp on the packaging materials. No matter how tempting this may be, there’s little more frustrating than goods arriving at your doorstep unprotected or, even worse, damaged. Often your choice of shipping provider and packaging materials will play a big role towards whether customers use your company again.
Promote your business abroad
Your business will need a unique selling point to compete with major challengers in other countries. It will also need to have a solid marketing plan to make people aware of it. Offline marketing is often key to expanding abroad, so it might be worth investing in flyers, brochures or billboards.
Ensuring your website has different language versions is important – and there are certain SEO techniques that can help your website rank better in foreign versions of Google too. Outsourcing your SEO to an industry expert is often an intelligent step for expanding businesses to make.
Plenty of online businesses have already made great successes out of exporting to Europe, the U.S.A and the Asia-Pacific region. Isn’t it time that your business made the leap as well?
First Atlantic Commerce is a leading provider of secure internet payment solutions with services ranging from multi-currency transactions to online consumer authentication.