The ecommerce sector is expanding at an alarming rate – not just giving businesses access to a broader local audience but allowing them to move overseas. But, contrary to popular belief, successful ecommerce expansion isn’t just about your ability to market to and entice an international audience.
Here are five essential tips to ensure that you achieve successful, effective, and sustainable ecommerce expansion, as you take on the international market.
Complete a feasibility study
Completing a feasibility study essentially means looking at and considering whether your products will actually sell internationally – and through which avenues you intend to market and distribute your products.
Our feasibility study report, for example, looks at current product competitors, the viability and potential success of your branding, and the current market demand to name just three key touchpoints.
There are two branches to our compliance checks, which ensure that you are operating within the regulations of each country or region that you work in and sell to.
The first covers the product itself and its compliance with product regulations. You will need to ensure that your product label meets the standards set out by your target market – for example ensuring that the ingredients are listed correctly and that any claims made on your label are consistent with EU regulations. As part of our compliance checks, we invite sellers to submit their labels for a review – with our team assessing both the label and its ingredients list and claims, sharing our advised changes directly with you.
The second is VAT registration, making sure that you have the correct VAT registration for the country you intend to fulfil your orders from. This is what allows you to sell internationally with no issues, as it covers the tax requirements for sellers in that location or country, with our team able to support with everything from regular VAT checks to VAT returns management and consultations. You can also use our VAT registration form, which is an online tool designed to make the process of registering for VAT as quick and easy as possible for you.
Identify the best entry route
You’ve got your product, and you’ve worked through all the compliance checks and regulations – but how are you going to make sure that every order is received by the buyer in the correct location and within the specified delivery frame?
Knowing the best shipping entry routes is crucial to ecommerce success in an international market, as it is what ensures your goods are received and transition safely and efficiently. Do your research and identify the best entry route for your products.
Invest in the right tools
The EU is a different market to the USA, with different customer demands and marketing opportunities. Localised marketing is an important part of international expansion, as it allows you to optimise your listing and campaigns based on what the new target audience are looking and searching for.
From social media to online marketplaces and vendors, research and invest in the tools that will put your products front and centre in the right places, in front of the right audience.
Finally, to storage and warehousing. This may seem like a small detail but having a secure 3PL solution for storage and logistics is crucial to ensuring that your products are stored and kept in their optimum condition. If we could share one tip it would be to collect quotes and details from a selection of facilities and never go for the cheapest. For more information on this, check out our 3PL support page.
The Importance of Ecommerce Expansion
Studies suggest that by 2023, ecommerce will account for more than 22% of retail sales worldwide – up 8% from 2019. What this demonstrates is not only the need to embrace online and digital sales, but also the global power of ecommerce – with 59% of the world now having access to the internet and an estimated 2.14 billion people making online purchases in 2021.
For sellers, ecommerce expansion is the best way to capitalise on the global demand for convenience – with the continued development of marketing channels, automation systems, and warehousing all supporting international expansion for sellers across all industries.
Here at Global Ecommerce Experts, we offer an end-to-end solution for those sellers looking to expand internationally, with a comprehensive package which ticks all the boxes from VAT regulations to business decisions, warehousing, purchasing, marketing more. Delivering local market knowledge and an introduction to some of the biggest and most influential marketplaces in Europe, the team at GEE are primed to help your business thrive.
If you’re looking to expand your ecommerce business internationally, we’re here to help. Visit our website and get in touch with the team today.