The idea of expanding your North East UK eCommerce business to cater to international shoppers can be undoubtedly tempting for any business. With global eCommerce sales expected to reach well over $6.5 Billion by 2023, it’s a market any savvy business person should look to exploit.
However, despite being a potentially lucrative opportunity, UK businesses need to be prepared and have the correct foundations before they enter into the global eCommerce market. In addition to functionality, there are also a wealth of SEO, marketing and business practice changes to be made along the way.
Globalise your SEO
Until now, your SEO and marketing strategies have likely targeted a specific, local market. From the city of Darlington North East UK, for example, to the entire United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, in terms of SEO both count as “local”.
When going global, your SEO needs to target a world of markets – so using more generic SEO that can be understood and target audiences worldwide is better for business. However, there’s a fine line between globalising and genericizing, so be careful not to water your brand down too much and get lost in the ether of global eCommerce marketing.
Professional eCommerce marketing consultants like Myk Baxter Marketing can help strategise and target SEO to be effective in a local-global marketplace.
Localise your Services
In contrast to your SEO, you will need to localise your services. Localisation services provide international customers that align with their culture, language and payment facilities.
Failing to localise your eCommerce site when expanding internationally can create pitfalls and leave you with fewer profits overall. If shoppers cannot understand your site content or are stuck converting prices with a calculator, you’ll risk losing potential paying customers.
Enabling payments in a local currency, using local payment platforms as well as the traditional Visa, MasterCard and PayPal options will greatly improve your chances of making a sale.
Adapting images, media and content to specific languages and cultures also helps improve sales. For example, thumbs up in most cultures is a sign of approval, but in many middle eastern countries, it’s the equivalent to a middle finger!
Account for Tax and Logistical Complexities
One the hardest parts of moving your eCommerce business into the international market is the case of regulations, taxations and country-specific eCommerce laws.
For each market you enter, you need to be sure that you’re ticking the boxes for what is required to operate in their digital space – such as taxes for import or excise duties, as well as regulations on what can and cannot be sold.
In addition, international logistics will become a whole new ball game. Customers today expect a seamless shopping experience, so be sure to under-promise and over-deliver on your logistical benchmarks. Err on the side of delays, and be sure you have a robust and reliable logistics network for each of your target markets.
Luckily, the eCommerce experts at Myk Baxter Marketing know how to help local, North East UK eCommerce businesses evolve, expand and strategically enter the global markets.
As we all know, cross-border selling is the future of good eCommerce, and with the right support, any UK business can expand into the global market with ease, improving sales and brand recognition while improving your client base and creating more resilient profit streams for years to come.