Despite what some people think about the global market undergoing a recession, many economists are optimistic about it being temporary and ‘shrugging it off.’ So if you’re looking to expand your business but are wary due to the global economic situation, you shouldn’t be, especially with how eCommerce has made businesses enter a different market.
Today, we will discuss global e-commerce expansion and how translation services can enhance the customer experience for your international users. If you want to learn more about the future of e-commerce globally, keep reading!
Global E-commerce Expansion: What You Need to Consider
The Global e-commerce industry is expected to grow to 5.9 trillion USD worldwide in 2023. The eCommerce industry is growing, and global e-commerce expansion is the next logical step for many businesses seeking to maximize profits.
Some of the economies with the most prominent e-commerce industry are China, the United States, and the United Kingdom generate more than 50% of global e-commerce sales.
You might think, “How can I expand my e-commerce globally?”
Well, before we discuss that, there are some considerations you will have to make when having your e-commerce as an option for global expansion. Besides the cultural and language barriers, you must consider international regulations and develop operational and marketing strategies.
Some of this will involve seeking global marketing professionals and translation services while implementing the latest trends to create multilingual marketing content and comply with local laws and regulations. Some content you will need to translate and localize is websites, social media accounts, videos, and SEO strategy.
A Translation Expert’s Insight for Successful E-commerce Global Expansion
Now, you might be thinking: “How do you successfully expand globally?”
To continue where we left off, we should discuss the various factors when your e-commerce business enters the global market. If you want to succeed in the global e-commerce industry, you must be willing to invest time and resources in analyzing and researching your target market.
While writing this article, we were fortunate enough to talk with Ofer Tirosh, the CEO of Tomedes, a translation company offering multilingual solutions to e-commerce businesses worldwide. As someone who is part of the translation services sector, ensuring quality every step of the way in all of their translation and localization, Ofer has more than a decade of experience in the intricacies and nuances of the industry and how language and culture play a significant role in the global economy. From our discussions, he explained that your approach would largely depend on the region and market you will expand into.
So we have listed below some of his tips and advice on the different considerations you should note when creating a global e-commerce expansion plan.
- Research and analyze your target market
Before expanding globally, it’s essential to research and analyzes the target market thoroughly. Part of this will include understanding the economic, social, and cultural factors that can influence potential customers’ purchasing behavior.
Even if you have translated your marketing, having no proper background of your target customers can lead to misunderstandings and inaccuracies in your marketing campaign that can detrimentally affect your brand. That’s you will need to work with experts like professional translation services specialized in marketing to ensure your e-commerce website, products, services, and marketing content will be based on the needs and preferences of your target market.
- Regional approach to global e-commerce expansion
There’s a saying in global marketing: “To go global, you have to first go local.”
This is true as one of the most effective approaches to global e-commerce expansion is by tailoring your business to the region it is expanding into. Focusing on a region and understanding its culture, local market gaps, regulations, and the different complexities of this particular market can improve the buyer’s experience and make it more personalized.
- Considering the cultural differences when translating and localizing
The internet might have made our world seem smaller than ever. However, no matter how minor the cultural differences are between you and your target audience, they can significantly impact your global e-commerce expansion.
This can be the local customs or business practices being done in a country or region, which can affect the experience of your target users. Part of this will include the languages and the tone that you used on your e-commerce platform and marketing content.
For example, Japan has a more formal approach to business transactions than the US. So you would change your approach when working with a Japanese customer.
And it’s not just the manner in your approach. It can also involve localizing products and services to meet the specific needs of that region.
For example, a region is known to have a predominantly vegetarian population due to religious practices. If you have a fast food chain, you wouldn’t sell meat products in that area but instead offer vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
- Localizing payment options
Another consideration for global e-commerce expansion is considering the most popular and efficient payment method in a country or region.
For example, Paypal is one of the best-known online payment options as it is available across different countries. However, recently has been pulling out of some countries and is no longer serving in that countries.
A complicated payment system is one of the reasons why customers wouldn’t go through with their transactions. So make sure to offer various payment options to make it more accessible and efficient for them. Oh, and it’s also good to have local comms methods too, so if you can get a phone number for US one for the UK, and another for Japan, that will make life a whole lot easier too. That way, if customers need to get in touch before buying they will feel more comfortable doing so, just like they will being able to pay in their own way too.
- Creating a flexible plan for logistics and shipping
Efficient logistics and shipping are essential for a smooth e-commerce global expansion. In creating a plan for the logistics and shipment, you have to be flexible in your approach.
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, from shipping delays due to custom checks to missing products. So set up realistic expectations for your customers that there could be delays. Also, try to partner with international and local delivery companies to ensure your products are delivered efficiently.
- Compliance with international regulations
Another reason you might want to consider working with professional translation services because they can offer legal translations of your documents when you comply with the requirements for global e-commerce expansion.
This is to avoid penalties for failing to comply with international and local regulations that involved paying fees and taxes, not adhering to data privacy laws, and other consumer protection laws.
- Building up your team and resources
Expanding into a new market requires a significant investment of time and resources. Be prepared not to see immediate results. Think of this as a long-term investment.
Because of this, you will need to build a team dedicated to ensuring that your global expansion plans and resources are being allocated properly to create a better customer experience for your target market. These professionals must be familiar with the local markets and regulations and can help businesses navigate the complexities of global expansion.
Options for Global E-commerce Expansion
One option for global e-commerce expansion is to use international e-commerce platforms like Shopify, which allow businesses to sell their products and services globally without establishing a local presence. Another option is to create a private e-commerce website, which gives businesses greater control over the customer experience. Partnership with local companies is also a popular option, as it allows businesses to leverage the expertise and knowledge of local partners.
One of the biggest players in global e-commerce is China, and expanding into the Chinese market can be a lucrative opportunity for businesses. Chinese e-commerce platforms like Alibaba and JD.com have become some of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, and many businesses have found success by tapping into this market.
Strategies for Expanding E-commerce Business Globally
From our discussion, your e-commerce businesses must have effective communication and marketing strategies to expand globally. This includes creating a multilingual website and providing customer support in multiple languages. Additionally, customized product offerings that cater to local tastes and preferences can be crucial to success.
Collaborations with influencers or local brands can also effectively build brand awareness and reach new customers. Finally, with the rise of mobile devices, businesses should adopt a mobile-first strategy to ensure they are accessible to customers using their smartphones or tablets to shop online.
While global e-commerce expansion presents many business opportunities, it also comes with challenges. Businesses can find the right approach to expanding their e-commerce presence globally by exploring different options and strategies. With the proper preparation and research, businesses can overcome language and cultural barriers, navigate local regulations, and build successful e-commerce businesses worldwide.