If you’ve managed to make a success of your ecommerce business, selling to consumers in the UK, then you wonder what the next step is. If you could access all of those customers who live in foreign countries, then your potential profits could expand enormously. And this applies especially if your product has a niche appeal, and your would-be customers are spread across the globe.
Shipping across international boundaries can often be a tricky business, but the rewards can more than justify the effort. Let’s take a look at how you might approach those alluring global markets, while avoiding the pitfalls you might stumble into along the way.
Make sure that your packaging meets regulations
When you’re shipping to a new territory, you’ll have an entirely new system of law to contend with. It’s important to identify the things that you’ll need to change in order to stay on the right side of the regulations, and to minimise your costs.
Research your shipping options
Selling to foreign territories can impose costs in the form of tariffs, but also in the form of courier costs. The courier who offers a great deal when you’re shipping domestically might not be quite to competitive when you’re shipping to a foreign market. Using a courier-comparison service like Parcel2Go can pay considerable dividends, since your shipping costs are going to represent a considerable chunk of your outgoings.
Identify the most appealing markets
Some markets are going to make a better match for your business than others. By seeking out the low-hanging fruit, you’ll ensure that you’re getting a greater return on your investment. Do your research and ensure that your product is going to sell well in the market you’re targeting. It might be that some markets have the potential to work, but only after you’ve taken the time and effort to educate the consumer.
Understand the new cultures
Cultural barriers can present a considerable stumbling block. For this reason, it’s worth spending time in the new territory in person, and establishing a beachhead team whose role it is to assess the cultural climate. If you’re meeting with business leaders in a new territory, taking the time to pick up the cultural mores is critical – it’ll identify you as a person who’s concerned by details, and who’s going to be good to work with.
Shipping across the world is going to require a little investment. You’ll need a suitable cushion of cash in place so that you’re not worrying about potential liquidity problems while you’re learning to ropes of shipping to your new territory. This might mean seeking outside investment, or going to an established high-street lender.