Everything e-commerce businesses need to know before launching
Article co-written & researched by Tyler Anthony
In the digital era, websites are making it increasingly simple for businesses to enter the e-commerce space in order to buy and sell their products and services online, even if the transaction doesn’t actually occur on the website. What a lot of businesses are failing to consider is how they can utilize e-commerce to simplify the process of exporting products to new markets. And while there’s a lot to consider if your business chooses to take this route, it’s a very beneficial way to export products that are performing well for your company. In today’s world, online platforms reduce overhead and outperforming physical retail locations making e-commerce a very attractive concept for many.
Before you jump into online sales, here’s what you need to know about the world of e-commerce:
How e-commerce works
The vast majority of businesses are now equipped to do some, or all, of their operations online, so if you’re considering this for your business it’s important to understand how you can make online exports work for you. To put it simply, exporting online means you’re selling your product or service to different destinations via an online platform. Ecommerce creates an opportunity for businesses to reach a far larger market without the high cost of a physical expansion. By conducting business online you’re able to benefit from features such as online customer service and international communication portals, making it far more convenient for you to reach multiple markets from one platform and grow your business.
Two key considerations the most businesses overlook
Although e-commerce exports are extremely attractive at first glance, it’s not as simple as creating a website for your product or service. Among other things, you’ll need to:
- adjust your products and advertising to fit the needs of your target market, which often includes having a different site for each market you operate in. If products are not compliant with the laws and standards of your target market, you may face a number of issues
- consider how prepared your company is for e-commerce exports and how moving your business online could impact current operations. If you believe this is something that you can take on, you’ll want to create a plan and strategy for entering the e-commerce market. We recommend consulting with a professional for advice on how to properly create and execute your plan to increase your opportunity for success. As an online exporter, shipping and delivery of your products becomes a large part of your business operations and online success so you’ll need to be prepared for it. Connecting with customs agents, freight agencies, and fulfillment houses in the markets you are operating will provide you with valuable resources if you ever need them, and understanding the shipping regulations of the locations you operate in will help you limit the risk of shipping delays or complications.
Why is it so important to adapt to each individual market?
What works in one market will not always work in the next. Understanding the needs of your consumers and understanding which of your products fit into each market will translate to your overall sales performance. You need to tailor your e-commerce sites to suit your target market, which isn’t necessarily a simple or cheap task, but when done right should be a worthwhile investment that will help you maximize your success with each specific audience. These tasks include everything from adding functionalities that allow users having the ability to change the currency to tax calculations and language translations based on the needs of each specific location.
How important are online customers?
Online customers are just as important as in-person ones. Either way, they are interested in your products and/or services and are willing to spend money on your business. Because of this, it’s extremely important to offer online customer assistance and provide quality service, every time a customer or potential customer interacts with your business. When setting up your e-commerce store take the time to implement proper privacy and safety measures to avoid any major complications and disputes. By creating a positive experience for online customers, you have the ability to establish a relationship, earn their trust and increase the likelihood that they will come back. Many online stores don’t put much effort into quality online support, so this is an easy way to gain a competitive advantage in the market.
If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your business needs and we’ll give you the advice and support you require to keep moving in the right direction.
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