International eCommerce (or global eCommerce) is the future of business expansion strategy, and we have statistics to back it up. According to estimates, the worldwide eCommerce sale will reach $5 trillion by 2022, and by 2024, international retail sales via eCommerce will show an increase of 21.8%.
If a business wants to go borderless in today’s times, it needs to have a robust global eCommerce strategy in place, and the first step towards achieving that is choosing the right eCommerce platform.
In the past decade, Adobe Commerce (formerly known as Magento) has not only powered multiple digital commerce businesses across the globe but supported their growth in international markets with its distinct features.
In this blog, we deep dive into the concept of international or global eCommerce and how Magento can help your business achieve it with its capabilities.
Let’s begin by discussing its definition.
To put it simply, international or global eCommerce is nothing but selling your products/services in countries other than your country of origin, which is usually the place where a company is founded and incorporated.
However, this definition leaves many people confused. Many of us aspire to have a digital commerce business to start selling internationally and believe that having an online presence equates to having a foolproof international business expansion plan.
Then, how does international eCommerce differ from its local counterpart? Why do businesses need to strategize in detail to launch global eCommerce?
The answer to these questions lies in different laws of the land and how customer preferences change even within a radius of a few kilometers. Let’s unpack these reasons in detail.
The world and its culture are not uniform. In fact, people living in different cities of the same country exhibit contradictory consumer preferences and tastes. Naturally, people in different countries, too, have specific likes and dislikes; and, if a business wants to create a place for itself in any particular geographical area, it needs to adapt to its local culture and taste.
As discussed above, businesses needed first to establish a physical store in another country if they had a business plan for international expansion and then move on to localization.
With the rise of digital commerce, you can start your business worldwide without a brick-and-mortar outlet, but you still need to cater to its local culture.
This need to customize eCommerce solutions per local specifications makes international eCommerce different; this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Every country has different trade rules and regulations that eCommerce businesses must follow for smooth operations. To give you a gist about what they are, given below is a brief list of factors that affect a global eCommerce business –
Target market: You need to analyze and understand your target market in every location. If you’re thinking of going international with your online food business, you need to customize the dishes per that country’s local cuisine.
For example – brands like McDonald’s and Dominos had to include more vegetarian options when they ventured into India. Every food company had to avoid pork when they expanded their business in the Middle East.
Duties, taxes, and tariffs: If you’re planning not to have a warehouse at every location at the initial stage and go ahead with international shipping, you must understand every duty, tax, and tariff involved.
Furthermore, you need to clarify these to your customers and not spring up surprises at the checkout page. (By the way, this is a golden tip for reducing cart abandonment rate, too!)
International payment options: We live in the era of digital payments, and there are different payment gateways in every country. Furthermore, some countries prefer digital transactions while others rely more on the COD (cash on delivery) option.
An ideal eCommerce solution for global customers would take all these details into account and include as many payment options as possible with a simple process.
An eCommerce solution meant for global customers needs to have all the possible payment options backed by a simple process.
Pro tip: Include local banks in your localized eCommerce stores so that customers can enable eCommerce transactions on their debit/credit cards. Also, ensure that PayPal is integrated as a digital wallet as it is one of the safest and preferred payment options worldwide.
Shipping options: To ensure an impeccable customer experience, it is crucial to figure out the right shipping strategy for your global digital commerce business. Some courier services might be popular in one place but may have bad networks in another.
Before entering a new geographical location, research thoroughly about the popular shipping partners operating in that region. For instance, Royal Mail covers more than 50% of the UK’s shipping network, followed by Hermes.
Pro tip: Before including a shipping partner, try their services, make an estimate about their additional cost, and include it in the final international shipping cost. You could also offer free shipping for orders above a specific price.
Local language: Although English is well-accepted worldwide, having your global eCommerce site optimized with local languages can have a significant impact on your conversion rates.
A report indicates that 76% of intent users like to read the product description in their native language, and 75% of them are more likely to repeat a purchase if the after-sales care is in their local language. So, it’s essential to embrace local languages when starting an international eCommerce business.
Local currencies: Last but not least, ensure that your customers can check the prices in their local currency. Having to convert dollars into pound sterlings for every product can make your prospective customers run in another direction.
Trusted by major brands worldwide, Magento or Adobe Commerce is one of the leading eCommerce platforms at present. It was explicitly conceptualized for supporting digital commerce, and thus, it has unique features that help an online business grow steadily.
Backed by a strong community, Magento is flexible, scalable, and has practical tools that help in cross-selling and upselling products. However, an international launch requires a platform that assures top-notch data security, unified customer experience, and quick time-to-market.
Luckily, Magento fits the bill of a perfect platform for international eCommerce for more reasons than one. Let’s have a look at the main Magento features that set it apart –
Magento is also a multi-store eCommerce platform. With this feature, you can take country-specific localization to the next level. At the store level of Magento commerce, you can introduce local currencies, translated text, and even local SEO for multiple locations.
An international business expansion plan would ultimately require you to have multiple warehouses in different countries. With Magento multi-warehouse, you can create numerous warehouses for each location and manage them from a single source. It helps increase operational efficiency, betters inventory management at the global level, and improves resource management.
Magento internalization can be a tremendous support system in building a global eCommerce business. Powered by features like multi-language support and multi warehouses, Magento enables you to streamline eCommerce operations and create room for localized customer experiences at every level.
Today, a business needs more than an offline and online store; every region, customer group, and target market has unique demands and choices. If any business plans to expand its reach, it must tailor its offerings and eCommerce platform accordingly.
And Magento (Adobe Commerce) can be your ticket to a successful international eCommerce strategy. So, if the international market is on your checklist, then it’s time to look for an experienced Magento implementation and support partner and start your global journey today.
All the best!
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