Is your business growing by the day?
If you are experiencing steady growth in your e-commerce store then you may want to consider the next steps.
Expanding beyond your own borders is a potential next step for anyone wanting to take their brand to the next level. Going global presents a world of opportunity (pun intended), but it also has some challenges.
So, what are the things you need to consider first?
In this update we take a look at what you need to know before taking your Shopify e-commerce business international.
Order Management And Shipping
Before you even consider going global, you need to work out the logistics of doing so. What will it cost? How will you get the orders to people? What will the timeframes be? How will you communicate that detail to your potential clients? These are all things to think about in this process.
There are a lot of different options for filling and shipping orders, but they ultimately boil down to either home-country based fulfilment or localising it in your overseas markets.
Shipping internationally from your home-country is a lot easier to set up but the rates will often be higher (especially out of New Zealand), and it could mean customers are waiting weeks to receive their international deliveries. Establishing fulfilment and shipping centres overseas is a lot more logistical work and cost up front. But in the long run it makes for faster orders and cheaper rates later on.
Localisation is a key part of any global business. It includes all of the things that make your business work efficiently in a foreign market. These aspects include accepting payments in different currencies, translation of websites and product information, and international domain names. It is all about making your site useable and accessible in an international market.
When And Where
You can start expanding internationally at any time, but knowing the lay of the land in the export market can help you pick the best opportunity. Profitability is your major consideration, so paying attention to when your dollar is strong against other currencies will be helpful.
The “where” is also important. You should think about your potential overseas markets case-by-case. You will need to know the local market trends, payment options, and local taxes and duties.
You will be able to see from current sales analytics where your biggest overseas customer bases already exist, or at least where people are looking at your site from – that’s a good place to start! Getting this wrong at the beginning could cost you hugely further down the line, so it is always worth doing the research first.
How will you manage the extra traffic to your e-commerce store? Is your current website going to be sufficient to support expansion? Having separate platforms for separate countries might seem logical, but it also means a lot more management and maintenance across multiple catalogues and databases.
You are better off having one platform running multiple sites – so long as it can handle it! A website that crashes constantly isn’t going to increase your sales or give your brand a good reputation in the international market.
Make sure you audit your site, or get a Shopify expert like Creative Web Designs to audit it for you. That way, you can check how robust it is and if it will be able to handle going global.
Once you are off the ground globally, the interactions and experiences your customers have with your brand are the make-or-break. They will want a service that has been designed with them in mind and speaks to them in their own language – both metaphorically and literally!
This is where your local and cultural research will really play its part. It will inform things like the type of communications you use with customers, how often you interact with them, and making sure they are culturally relevant and appropriate.Going global is an exciting step for your e-commerce store, but it can also be overwhelming. If you need help to ensure your Shopify website can handle the transition then get in touch with us here at Creative Web Designs. As a qualified Shopify partner, we can help ensure your website is up to the task.