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Five strategies for improving global eCommerce and cross-border trades


The ability to sell products and services across borders is a crucial capability as the world continues to become more connected. Global eCommerce operations offer vast opportunities but also present extremely complex challenges.

This article explores five strategic approaches that can help British businesses excel online in international markets.

Understand local market nuances

Every market, country or region has its own unique set of cultural, economic and regulatory conditions that influence consumer behaviour. Businesses looking to expand globally must first take the time to understand these local nuances.

This means researching local consumer preferences, purchasing habits and payment preferences. For example, while debit and credit cards are popular in the U.S. and UK, some regions in the EU prefer bank transfers and other forms of payment.

Careful adaptation to local markets should involve tailoring marketing strategies to fit norms and expectations in those regions. This includes localising website and promotional content and even adjusting product offerings to meet local tastes and regulatory requirements.

Optimise for mobile transactions

More than half of web traffic comes from mobile across the globe, and even higher proportions in many emerging markets. With this in mind, optimising for mobile shopping and transactions is essential.

Ensure your website is responsive and easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets. Additionally, integrate local mobile payment systems and platforms to remove barriers to purchase. These should naturally increase conversion rates.

For example, offering mobile payment options like Alipay in China or Klarna in the EU can significantly enhance the shopping experience for local customers and boost sales. While using different payment platforms, integrating proper digital tax systems is key to managing tax and VAT reporting across various regions and ensuring compliance.

Use data analytics to drive decisions

Properly leveraging data analytics is a game changer when entering new markets. By analysing customer behavioural data, purchasing patterns and wider market trends, you can make more informed decisions about everything from product placement to promotional strategies.

It’s well and truly worth investing in advanced analytics tools in the backend. The right insights can help identify which products are likely to sell best in which markets, when to push certain marketing campaigns and how to price products competitively in different regions.

Streamline logistics and fulfilment

Effective logistics and fulfilment are key to succeeding in international trade. This includes choosing the right international shipping partners, understanding and adhering to local customs regulations, and perhaps setting up local distribution centres to reduce shipping times and costs.

Transparent communication about shipping processes, costs and expected delivery times is crucial to maintaining customer trust and satisfaction. Offer trackable shipping options and be clear about any additional fees or taxes that might apply. This helps to prevent unpleasant surprises and ensures a consistent and hopefully positive customer experience across borders.

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