Expanding an eCommerce business locally is achievable for most brands. But making a brand successful on the international stage often requires radical thinking and a brand new approach. Frequently, small and medium-sized businesses require a template for success, plus partners who can make their ambitions an operational reality.
In this post, we look at how to expand your eCommerce business on the global stage.
Thoroughly Research Your New Target Markets
One of the reasons eCommerce brands struggle to make headway abroad is that they fail to thoroughly research their target markets. Unfortunately, the world is not homogeneous. Different markets have different requirements. And that means that it is essential to tailor your approach depending on the area in which you want to expand.
How you do this very much depends on the specifics of your business. However, you’ll need to consider the following:
- The legal requirements in your target market and how they relate to your business
- The level of infrastructure available and whether it meets your needs
- The type of culture and openness to foreign brands
- The characteristics of the local economy and whether it can support a business like yours
Sort Out Your Finances
The overseas expansion also requires building sufficient finances to acquire the necessary level of capital to make it happen. Fortunately, there are a variety of funding sources that you can explore to do this.
If you’re making good profits from your domestic business, you may be able to ask investors if you can channel these away from dividends and into growing the company for the future. Most boards will agree with a plan like this, so long as the returns are positive.
If your cash flow isn’t so good, then you can look at alternative options. These include things like peer-to-peer lending, private loans, and loans from banks and financial institutions.
Whenever you consider taking out a loan, factor in the cost of paying it back and whether it makes business sense. Sometimes, the returns from expanding your enterprise are quite low, so even if you have a larger company, you may not be making as much profit as before.
Do Some Planning
Before you expand your eCommerce business, it pays to do a little planning. Find out if you are ready to grow and what benefits it will bring to your organization.
Start by jotting down the organizational resources that you’ll need to expand your enterprise overseas. Then create an international business plan that will set out how long your expansion efforts will take and how you’ll know when you’ve achieved your goals.
Finally, you should carry out a SWOT analysis, asking questions such as:
- What makes you unique?
- Who is the biggest rival in your target market?
Sweat The Details
Lastly, you’ll need to think through all of the details to ensure that your approach is suitable for the target market. This includes:
- Ensuring that you’re charging a price that local consumers find acceptable
- Fulfilling all your tax obligations and permit requirements
Following various logistics, customs, and import laws and tariffs