When it comes to selling online competition is fierce. Unless you offer an extremely unique product or service competition from other companies will be high. Multinational’s have a large share of the market but merchants can level the playing field by maximising their niche market and by offering superior, personalized customer service.
Selling internationally will clearly have a positive impact on your business growth; it is a must for start up’s nowadays. Even brick and mortar stores are compelled to have a website that sells their merchandise.
Here are four key elements to successfully compete on the global ecommerce environment:
Customers have to be able to contact you within their market space. If you are not planning to open a retail outlet, then you need to provide them with a business address and a phone number in their local market. Be as close as possible to your customers (at least virtually).
Plan for key shopping dates in other countries, for example Black Friday in the US. According to the New York Times Singles’ Day in China on November 11th creates more e-commerce revenues than any shopping day in the world.
Global equal to 24 by 7 support. Different time zones, will impact your opening hours. If you don’t have the resources to have someone in your office to answer the sales enquiries after office hours, simply outsource. An after hour’s call centre service can provide first call resolution and escalate urgent matters to your customer support team.
Whether you are an American company looking to boost sales in Europe or vice versa you can sleep easy knowing that your business is still active and selling throughout the night.
Do your homework; understand your customers and the market space. You may need to redesign your sales approach in order to succeed in other markets. By using Feasibility Studies and Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis a merchant can gain a new perspective on their customers. For example answering questions such as:
- What are the key factors that influence our customers in each geographic location?
- Capture customer feedback through net promoter score.
- When is our peak period?
- Is our website informative/easy to use/easily found?
When these questions are answered all that’s left to do is implement the changes so you can increase sales & profits.
Promotion and Marketing:
Brand loyalty can take time to build; however, promotional activities will create brand awareness and attract your new customers. Clearly for any ecommerce merchant social media is the way to go. The hard part is coming up with an original campaign. Before this you must make sure that your website is smartphone compatible. According to BI Intelligence “60% or so of social media time is spent not on desktop computers but on smartphones and tablets.”
You can’t really get any more global than Social Media and by using it wisely a merchant can obtain new custom overnight.
Download our free whitepaper to learn more about selling internationally.