7 Things To Keep In Mind Before Starting Your International Business From India
In 1996, when eCommerce first started in India, nobody could guess that it would grow exponentially. Today, after almost 25 years, eCommerce has become one of the key contributors to all retail sales. Indian sellers are also selling their products abroad, and the entire world is a vast global marketplace.
According to Statista, In 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide purchased goods online. That means the market is growing at a fast pace, and this is a great time to join the bandwagon and target an untapped market that is equally eager to purchase your products. Let’s look at some of the considerations you must keep in mind before starting your international eCommerce business!
A Thorough Market Research
Before starting any business, be it domestic or international, you must conduct a complete analysis of your target market and the demands of your customer. When starting a global business or expanding globally, it becomes even more important to research the market you want to sell in as it is completely foreign territory.
Carefully study the products selling in the market, your competitors, customer preferences, etc. Conduct a SWOT analysis to know where your company stands and understand how your competition works. For your product to work, you will need to blend in the local concepts of the country into your business strategy. That is why research plays a critical role.
A Globally Sound Website
When you begin your global eCommerce venture, your website is your only tangible touchpoint for the customer. Hence, it must be optimized to cater to their needs. The products must be regularly updated, and you must have a currency converter that can display the prices. Also, having a translate feature on the website can be useful if buyers want to translate the content into their native language.
Setting up shop abroad is only part of the process. The real game begins after that. Your efforts are of no importance if your audience doesn’t know that you exist. This is where marketing comes in. A proper marketing plan is essential to ensure a wide reach and awareness of your brand. This plan must comprise of all initiatives ranging from online and offline campaigns. To begin with, you can run online ad campaigns along with establishing a social media presence. Moving on, you can foray into aggressive content marketing and start sending out emails once you build a list through other channels. You can show video or print ads on the offline front. This can be slightly expensive, but if you have the budget, you must invest in this format as it attracts several eyeballs.
Logistics & Order Fulfillment
Once customers start pouring in, the next task at hand will be to pack and ship these orders to your buyer’s doorstep. This won’t be possible if you don’t have a fulfillment plan in place.
Sorting out your warehousing space in advance is a great option. If you’re expanding your business, add some space to your warehouse to fulfill all international orders from one place.
For shipping, choosing a shipping aggregator like Shiprocket, instead of associating with a single courier company can be beneficial. It will give you a wider reach and also ship orders at a cheaper rate. For example, Shiprocket ships to 220+ countries at a starting rate of Rs. 110/500g.
Customs and Duty Fees
The customs and duty fees are the most confusing aspect of any international venture. If you make extra efforts to learn about the laws and regulations surrounding your business in a particular country, you’d not only be prepared for any mishap but also have ample knowledge to see how you can benefit your business. Moreover, complete awareness will also help you avoid any fake claims and Ponzi schemes by people who try to scam entrepreneurs.
Pricing plays a critical role in any eCommerce business. Hence, thorough market research will give you a fair idea of the pricing strategy you must adopt. A close look at the various costs operations and fulfillment cost, procurement costs, and taxes, etc. will give you a better idea to decide the pricing of the product. Ensure the pricing is inclusive of all these expenses or else you might face losses.
Setup Payment Channels
Last but not least, payment gateways. When you intend to collect payments online, a secure payment gateway is a must. There is a very high chance of fraud and scamming if your payment channel is not secure. Secondly, if you research correctly, you can save on additional interest fees that you pay for every order. Thus, set up a proper payment channel and begin selling soon.
International business is a great opportunity to reach out to a vast audience abroad. But since you are treading unknown waters, it is imperative you do your research and take the necessary measures before proceeding.