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Global eCommerce: Maximizing Sales Worldwide

vijay

Vijay Kumar

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

December 5, 2023

9 min read

Over 60 years ago, Canadian theorist Marshall McLuhan introduced a new term, “Global Village.” The term refers to a world that’s slowly becoming a single community of people linked by new forms of technology. With constant discoveries and updates in technology, particularly telecommunications, the world has become increasingly interconnected. Global eCommerce is a prime example of a world interconnected via technology.

Switching your business from a physical store to an online business model is no longer a choice but a necessity if you want to thrive in the competition. Let’s get a deeper understanding of global eCommerce, dive into the current trends, and explore strategies to build your global eCommerce business.

Understanding Global eCommerce

The process of selling goods and services online across geopolitical borders to international consumers in other countries is known as Global eCommerce. Compared to local eCommerce markets that entail retailers selling only within their country, global eCommerce enables sellers to expand their market horizons into non-native markets and reach untouched territories.

The emergence of technology has made it easier for businesses to sell their products globally through online marketplaces. A global expansion of your eCommerce business comes with the following benefits:

●   Enhancing sales and profit margins: The larger the buyers’ market, the greater the profit potential. Launching your services in international markets will help you bring new sources of revenue and secure long-term gains.

●   Low entrance barriers: Unlike popular belief, the number of hurdles to cross while entering global markets for an eCommerce business is extremely low. This makes it very easy to trade your products globally. With the right research regarding laws and regulations, you will be up to speed on the political landscape of your target market.

●   Scaling: The brilliance of a global marketplace is that you do not need to have a large presence in a specific region to sell your products. Anyone and everyone has an equal shared space to promote and sell their products. Having a good marketing strategy will help you conquer the market.

●   A competitive edge: When you expand across borders, you will get the opportunity to target new territories and market your products. By bringing your products across borders, you can also overcome the problem of market saturation and open new paths for revenue generation.

Exploring Global eCommerce Growth and Statistics

Recent years have seen tremendous growth in the eCommerce sector. It has now become a crucial component of the modern global retail industry. Even while eCommerce is expanding rapidly throughout the world, some areas stand out as having the biggest and fastest-growing markets. The Asia-Pacific region is at the forefront of the eCommerce revolution. India, China, and Southeast Asian countries are the leading players in this growth. 

Expert predictions indicate that the growth in global eCommerce sales will continue, albeit at a comparatively stable pace. It is projected that global eCommerce growth will reach 8.9% in 2023, raising global eCommerce sales value to USD 5.8 trillion.

How Indian SMEs are Going Global?

Expanding business into foreign markets and achieving a global presence is inevitable to thrive in this highly competitive and interconnected world. Expanding globally helps businesses grow their brand name, gain a new customer base, and lead to economies of scale. Digitalization and the eCommerce wave have enabled Indian SMEs to go global. These helped the businesses access the vast online marketplace, increase visibility, and enhance brand awareness.  Many Indian business giants have already created their mark in the global market. Some of them are Tata, Titan, Mahindra, Amul, etc.

Building Your International eCommerce Strategy

Fortunately, eCommerce is an excellent method for conventional businesses and retailers to test the waters overseas before actually opening a physical store on foreign grounds. However, it is vital to understand that every nation is different and needs a separate approach before launching your global expansion.

Here are some crucial points that require assessment to decide if your eCommerce business is prepared for global expansion:

●   Operations: Ensure that your current resources are prepared and capable of managing international expansion, even while there’s no need to create all new procedures and hire a whole new staff. Also, having distinct teams and budgets for domestic and international operations might be beneficial.

●   Product demand compared to global supply: Sellers can keep an eye out for the frequency of foreign visitors to their website or eCommerce applications. They should also check for the most in-demand products in their target foreign markets. These can be done through simple SEO tools that track the search activity.

●   Expansion scope: It will be easier to take well-defined and concrete actions towards success once you have a clear understanding of the extent of your expansion and the goals to be attained. Identify your company’s requirements, such as expanding into a new physical location or modifying your website’s design or payment options to accommodate your target audience.

Establishing Your Global eCommerce Platform and Integrations

Once you have established your expansion strategy or GTM (Go-to-Market) strategy for international markets, you can start to worry about customizing your eCommerce platform to meet the requirements of foreign markets. Attention to detail is key to impressing your target audiences. Here are a few things that you can think of while establishing your global eCommerce platform:

●   Setting up costs: The perception of price by a customer is just as significant as the product’s actual price. So, employing a strategy to trick your buyers into thinking that pricing is lower than the average, even while offering the same rates as the competitors will help you maximize sales. Ensuring that you display prices in the local currency of a specific nation can help you gain more sales.

●   Payment options: Digital transfers, UPI, online wallets, and debit and credit cards are the most commonly used methods to make payments while using eCommerce websites.  It is estimated that the number of global digital wallet users will grow by 53% or over 60% by 2026. Instead of defaulting to traditional payment methods, you can cater to your buyers better by providing additional payment options.

●   Customer service: Regardless of where your customers are, customer satisfaction is key. You must provide your customers with services that intensely please them. Especially in cases where return management and exchange facilities are offered, you must be mindful to address these issues with great attention to detail.

●   Logistics and shipping facilities: Most issues that eCommerce businesses face come under the shipping and logistics domain. Retailers may more easily and effectively handle these logistics problems using multi-carrier software platforms and new technologies. It’s crucial to ensure clients have various delivery choices and clear pricing, particularly when selling internationally. Retailers that provide premium delivery options such as expedited shipping experience a growth trajectory that is 60% faster than average. Therefore, even while providing just a basic home delivery option could be simpler, it might be wise to consider growing your options.

With the market trends being rather erratic, the growth of the eCommerce industry has been quite rapid. More and more businesses are switching to the eCommerce model. Here are some of the most prominent trends reported in global eCommerce:

●   Agility and resilience of global supply chain: The COVID-19 pandemic had caused an unprecedented disruption in businesses. This compelled the businesses to reconsider their supply chain resilience by building strategies and reevaluating their conventional reliance on low-cost suppliers and little inventory. Retailers should improve their ability to adapt swiftly to change and reduce risk in the future by stabilizing their supply networks.

●   Online cross-border shopping: The great thing about international eCommerce is that you don’t always need to be well-known worldwide to attract attention from foreign consumers. This is because many internet users are looking for goods and services outside their nations. This implies that all you need to do to build a customer following is a robust online marketing campaign or social media plan.  A physical storefront in another nation isn’t always necessary.

●   Use of local language: While translating your entire website to your audience’s native tongue should be the intent, some elements of the buying process are more crucial than others. Localizing your website’s language will improve customer service and potentially raise your website’s search engine ranking. This brings more customers to your items and increases sales prospects.

●   Asia-Pacific (APAC) and China market expansion: With its massive purchasing power and status as one of the world’s largest economies, China presents a substantial income opportunity for eCommerce businesses seeking to go worldwide. In 2023, it was predicted that retail eCommerce sales in the APAC region would surpass global sales. The major factors contributing to the surge in retail eCommerce sales are technological improvements, urbanization, and a major shift in consumer behavior. Here are a couple of strategies that you can adopt to enter these markets:

❖  Partnering up with well-known and established local vendors

❖  Use a Chinese or region-specific marketing team to create your marketing strategies

❖  Building a strong and extensive online presence on platforms that are available to Chinese users

Conclusion

International expansion will be a choice and a need as technologies develop and our world becomes more interconnected. Fortunately, major and small retailers benefit from platforms like BigCommerce to grow their operations rapidly in the international market. Naturally, global eCommerce may seem intimidating to a tiny, local business. However, with the aid of this guide, you’ll get additional knowledge on how to expand your company’s operations internationally.

What are the issues with global eCommerce?

Global eCommerce faces several challenges. These are payment preferences, tax laws, security breaches, government regulations, cultural diversity, different business models, and more.

What is the role of eCommerce in the global market?

From making product discovery easier to pricing more competitive, the roles of eCommerce are plenty. These include market expansion, reduced transaction costs, the ability to reach a larger audience worldwide, and making it easier to export goods to more customers

How does eCommerce impact global business?

The shift towards eCommerce has brought about many benefits to the global market. It has reduced barriers to entry for SMEs and local businesses, increased cross-border trades, reduced transaction costs,  lowered the cost of doing business, and more.

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