Taking E-commerce to Global Markets
In our previous article, we looked at multi-channel distribution as a means of growing an e-commerce business. When considering the options for expansion, international markets could provide another major channel of opportunity. What do you need to go global and how can our fulfilment services help?
Local fulfilment and international deliveries
Fulfilment Matters has a sister company, B2C Europe. Their network of operators provides reliable and cost-effective despatch solutions throughout the world. This established worldwide delivery service ensures that we support e-commerce businesses that decide to extend their reach.
You could opt for a fulfilment company in your country of choice, however opting for a UK based Fulfilment Centre makes stock management, regular communication and issue resolution far easier. We promise that every phone call is answered by a person, not a machine. We are proactive in providing regular updates and you can visit in person.
Effective fulfilment and delivery are essential elements in serving customers overseas, but there are many other factors to consider.
1. Is there a demand for your products overseas?
Before making an investment in global markets, it is vital to research whether there is any demand for what you offer. Your best-selling products in the UK may not raise any interest in other countries. A good place to start your investigations is on the Government’s UK Export website. They can also advise on shipping restrictions which might impact on your ability to trade overseas.
Britain has a reputation for producing high-quality goods with a heritage story behind them. Craftsmanship, long-established brands and associations with globally renowned companies are often favoured. Take time to explore where in the world your goods will go down a treat.
2. Is it financially viable to produce, promote, fulfil and ship goods overseas?
There’s no doubt that targeting international markets could greatly increase your sales figures, but you need to ensure that growth is reflected in your profits too. It will take considerable investment and effort to broaden your horizons, so adopting a long-term strategy is essential.
3. Adapting your website for a global audience
As an e-commerce business, you know that your website has to deliver a positive customer experience. If you are using a leading e-commerce platform, it can be relatively straightforward to adapt your online presence. Location settings enable you to adjust details including language and pricing to suit the countries you wish to target.
4. Engage a knowledgeable team
Cultural differences, customs and business etiquette alter from country to country. A person with knowledge of the country will be a great asset when entering a new market. They can advise on which social media channels to use and who the leading peer influencers are. They can make subtle changes to the tone or timing of your marketing, to improve the chances of engaging with customers. It can also be worth considering a native speaker to take on a customer service role.
5. Monitor progress and be willing to adapt
Regular business reviews are part of the process for any successful e-commerce business. Shopping habits, tastes and expectations are constantly shifting. Make a point of requesting feedback, monitoring orders and returns, reviewing processes and making good use of available data to inform decision making. If sales in one country are flagging, look to emerging markets for fresh opportunities.
Global markets have the potential to boost sales and drive your e-commerce business to new heights, but it needs careful consideration. If you decide to go ahead, make the best use of established resources and local knowledge.
If you would like to find out more about local fulfilment services and international shipping, contact us on 01296 531600.