Is Ecommerce the Right Sales Channel for Your International Expansion?

Ecommerce has truly transformed the way we do business. Consumers can conveniently order goods at the click of a button; businesses are able to reach a wide customer base without having to set up a physical presence – an appealing prospect for many companies looking to expand internationally. However, ecommerce is not necessarily the right sales channel for every business. Here, Galvin International explains how to decide if ecommerce is a viable choice for your company, and what you need to know when establishing an online sales presence.

Deciding if ecommerce works for you

Ask yourself these questions when considering international market expansion through online sales:

How much does your business rely on face-to-face contact with your customer?

Selling goods and services online is extremely popular today, but that doesn’t mean it’s suited to every business. Does the level of customer service in your business require an in-person approach? Will customers feel comfortable purchasing your offerings without experiencing them firsthand? How important is customer loyalty to your business model? It’s important to understand the value of face-to-face interaction in your business, and whether you can develop the same relationships with customers online.

Do you have the marketing strategy to back up an ecommerce approach?

Whether you’re expanding your business abroad through online sales or through a storefront, comprehensive research and analysis is necessary to determine where your business fits into the market. You can then tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.

Today, digital marketing is important to all businesses – but it is especially essential to those in the ecommerce marketplace. Since you don’t have a physical presence in your target market, your website must do the work of a salesperson. It needs to be intuitive, easy to navigate and highly tailored to your target audience. You’ll need to consider web optimisation and SEO rankings, which can ensure that the right people are visiting your site. You should also evaluate your social media presence. Compelling use of social media can draw traffic to your website and ultimately convert followers to customers.

Do you need to set up your own website? If so, do you have the resources?

Some businesses enter the world of ecommerce through an existing online marketplace, but you may want to set up your own webstore instead. Selling from your own website is valuable because it allows you to portray your brand however you wish and can help to avoid direct comparison with your competitors. Still, it comes with its own challenges. You’ll need to employ web developers and ensure that you can keep up with the logistical demands of your own operation.

Going global through online sales

Once you’ve determined that online sales is the right path for your business’s international expansion, you need to ensure that you’re setting up your operations compliantly and efficiently. Even though you aren’t opening a storefront, you still have to strictly adhere to your target market’s tax requirements.

Here, it’s extremely helpful to seek the guidance of local experts who understand the intricacies of the country’s laws. The right expert will help you delineate exactly which financial requirements apply to your business, how you can get the most from your tax returns and how you can future-proof your company for further growth – whether you plan on establishing a physical presence eventually or you stick to ecommerce.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to international expansion. Ecommerce is an exciting avenue for global growth, but it isn’t ideal for every business. How can you determine if it’s right for you? At Galvin International, we guide you through each step of the expansion process and help you figure out the best market entry method for your company. No matter which sales channel you choose, we build a compliant foundation for your business’s expansion by connecting you with on-ground experts. Get in touch with us today to explore the future of international ecommerce for your company.

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