Consumers are increasingly buying online and are attracted to international retail brands resulting in a massive worldwide e-commerce sales growth year on year. According to Statista, E-retail revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022. Cross-border retail is, therefore, a great opportunity for brands looking for growth. However, entering this market is not easy and requires a lot of preparatory work.
If you’re one of them who haven’t expanded overseas, or perhaps you don’t know how to begin, well, lucky for you, here’s your comprehensive guide to going international with your e-commerce store.
While every company is different, there are key steps to international e-commerce success:
- Identify international market potential- You need to do some research and be very specific about your target markets by identifying the regions where your products and brand will perform. Evaluate different markets around the world, understand their consumers, determine the current market opportunity, and anticipate all landed costs before making the decision to take your brand there.
- Localize by market- In order to go global, go local. Language is the most important consideration for localization. Research has shown that most online shoppers won’t purchase from a site that’s not in their own language or currency. Other factors include different address formats and varied checkout preferences.
- Determine payment methods- Payment and tax are two of the most complex factors. Tackle these locally based on legislation, diversity of payment types, and consumer preferences. For example, consumers in some Asia-Pacific countries value convenience above all else. Those in the Netherlands prize consumer protections. Likewise, you could risk losing out on sales if you don’t allow people to purchase using their preferred payment method. US shoppers prefer credit cards (66%), while China prefers digital payment methods such as Alipay (86%). Analyze your target market to understand and offer the best payment mix.
- Don’t overlook the importance of mobile commerce: Mobile commerce is an important part of international e-commerce and the global economy. With the recent pandemic and quarantine rules, social shopping has become even more widespread among consumers, which is why it represents a popular channel for many retailers to reach their global customer base. Hence, a mobile-friendly website is a must. It will put you in another league and catapult you far ahead of the competition.
Download Whitepaper– Connect with Customers &Grow Your Business with Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Choose the right platform for e-commerce internationalization: For any company looking to scale internationally, choosing the right e-commerce platform should play a defining role in the growth strategy. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) is a platform built with internationalization in mind, ready to support enterprise retailers and help small- to medium-size businesses blaze the trail to that “enterprise” distinction.
- The unique multi-site functionality of Commerce Cloud allows you to customize your platform to cater to the different customs, cultures, currencies, and languages across the globe too. So, you can now build personalized, convenient commerce experiences that can be organized by language, country, state, region, or city to cater to all of the diverse audiences your business is targeting.
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) B2C has the capability to host multiple sites within the same instance or realm. Realms can support up to one hundred sites. Multisite management allows the creation of multiple sites and the management under a single window. With this, regional teams can develop sites accordingly with the reference point of your global site (internationalization) thus resulting in quick launches of regional stores within weeks. Moreover, the business manager interface also has the built-in support of English, and other widely spoken languages and will help to have local people in the merchant team to have more customized regional content.
- Merchants can create and manage local site instances, deploy localized marketing messages and promotions, global content strategies, custom price lists, and more to specific customer groups. They can also create multiple priced books defining price tags for different currencies for a product.
- Furthermore, SFCC natively supports payment and currency plug-ins from leading providers. This makes it easy to quickly launch relevant payment providers in the country or region of your choice. Customers can pay in their local currency using their preferred payment method. In addition, you can utilize the pre-certified translations providers in the Commerce Cloud Partner Marketplace to help deploy professional and automated translations directly to your site and marketing efforts.
- A distinct site in SFCC should be configured for each distinct fulfilment area based on your business rules. For example, if you have distinct warehouses or distribution centres fulfilling to the United States, Canada, and Europe, we recommend three sites at a minimum—one each for CA, US, and EU. SFCC is well-optimized to perform using this configuration. Of course, not all retailers are equipped to fulfil internationally this way, which is where the Salesforce AppExchange and Commerce Cloud LINK Partner Marketplace come in. Partners such as UPS i-Parcel and Borderfree may manage most back-end fulfilment on your behalf, including payments, duties, customs, and tax compliance.
- Using the Salesforce Reference Architecture, merchants can develop mobile sites, optimize the experience across devices, & go live in a shorter timeframe at a lower cost. SFRA with its advanced UX design platform provides a seamless user experience and also is a great platform for developers to work on. It has newly implemented data-driven design for PDP and Store locator, Bootstrap 4 for web development, jQuery for client-side scripting.
With SFCC, you can manage all of your sites from a single unified platform to keep things easy for you! Leveraging the power of the cloud, the technology helps you craft innovative customer experiences that drive conversions and inspire brand loyalty. Furthermore, it essentially ensures that the experience your customers have with your business is entirely on their terms, just the way they want it.
The bottom line is that satisfied customers drive business, and with Salesforce Commerce Cloud you can now be sure you are doing just that.
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