Use eCommerce for Global Expansion
Online stores empower manufacturers and distributors to gain customers and clients just about anywhere at any time. This power, however, can only be fully leveraged when businesses take a careful approach to building their website to attract a wide array of online shoppers, including those from overseas. Building your web store to handle multiple languages, shipping processes, payment types and more is no easy task, but as people increasingly buy products from abroad, crafting your website to achieve global expansion will earn you an incredible influx of sales. Take advantage of the following tips to utilize your eCommerce software to become a fierce global competitor.
The checkout process is tricky to manage even for businesses targeting domestic shoppers. You have to make some important decisions about the payment methods you’ll accept, the policies and shipping options you’ll offer and the format in which you’ll accept payment, shipping and contact information from your customers. Sure, this sounds easy, but many websites get this wrong. An astounding percentage of shoppers abandon their carts because of a slow, tedious checkout process or lack of shipping and payment options. This becomes a major concern when you start trying to bring in international traffic. Not all buyers from all countries rely on Visa or PayPal, meaning businesses need to research the payment types they should support to attract business from specific countries. Additionally, you want to make sure you show the currencies your site supports.
Have you had the experience of checking out at a store, online or brick and mortar, and being presented with fees or other surprises just before you swipe your card? This is another big contributor to shopping cart abandonment, so make sure your shipping costs, fees and return policy are all easy to find, ensuring the buyer knows what to expect on the last page of checkout.
Some businesses mistakenly regard comprehensive customer service as a necessity only for brick and mortar establishments. However, with the incredible volume of eCommerce sites, your online store is up against intense competition, and a high-functioning website and excellent products aren’t enough to differentiate your brand in the global marketplace. More and more, consumers are looking for experiences, not just in the form of sophisticated websites but also in the quality of customer service. To provide superior service to global customers, make sure you have a method to respond to queries in local languages. You should also implement a plan for responding to customers outside of your time zone efficiently in order to avoid irritated shoppers.
Yet another huge factor that contributes to cart abandonment is shipping costs and convenience. Even worse, a customer might complete a purchase but then refuse a shipment if it arrives at their door with an unexpected fee. To avoid both critical issues, businesses should take advantages of tools from shipping carriers to understand shipping regulations and “landed costs” (total expense of delivering an item across borders) to calculate costs and provide customers with accurate information. Furthermore, you may even be able to negotiate better rates with your carrier. If you can’t get the cheapest rates and fastest delivery times, at least make sure your shipping information is accurate, so you don’t end up with dissatisfied customers.
Now that you have a few guidelines for expanding your website traffic across borders, what’s next? Nobody can provide a streamlined checkout process, optimal shipping options, reliable customer service and an excellent online shopping experience without a robust platform. Magento eCommerce uses open source coding, making it a flexible platform that can support growing, international businesses. Its multi-site architecture utilizes a common codebase and database for all versions of your site to enable faster configurations and global launches. Magento includes 150+ language packs, a shipping solution built for global scalability that is expected to roll out this summer and apps that support international business processes, including calculation of landed costs. These features make Magento a comprehensive eCommerce system for businesses looking to become a top brand in the worldwide market.
Small to mid-size manufacturers and distributors should look no further than Datix for Magento and enterprise software solutions that expand their business. In addition to our experience with Magento, Datix also has integration expertise. Our first-rate integration solution, Unity, can connect Epicor ERP with Magento to streamline operations, handle errors and mitigate risk from end to end of your enterprise.
Take advantage of Magento’s functionality to grow your business. Find out how by contacting Datix today!