Global e-commerce reached US$2.3 trillion in 2018 and is expected to reach US$4.5 trillion by 2021. These numbers are so huge that they are practically meaningless. For you as an e-commerce business owner, this might simply mean more sales and higher earnings.
All types of enterprises may now reach out to new markets and customers all around the world thanks to online trade. If you foresee a 'but,' it's this: you're practically guaranteed to run into difficulties since we’re in a world of 220 countries and territories, not to mention different languages spoken. We divide the obstacles into four categories.
1. Receiving payment
Payment options that are widespread in your country may not be so widely used in another. While certain modes of payment are proud to call themselves worldwide, in reality, they might not be as what they claim to be. The studies reveal that up to 59% of customers would abandon their cart if their chosen payment method is not available. If this tends to happen with your business, it's important to think about a variety of payment options, for example, Alipay in China or online bank payments in India, etc.
2. Sending your shipments across borders
Shipping physical goods overseas may be a difficulty in and of itself. Shipping costs can wipe out any potential sales of low-margin commoditized items and eat into the profitability of more specialized businesses.
Then there are issues like height and weight limits, customs regulations and documentation, and regional rules and norms to contend with, that possibly change.
When you factor in the risk of products arriving damaged in hundreds of miles away or not arriving at all, it's easy to see why some E-commerce businesses prefer the concept of doing cross-border E-commerce to actually executing it. But it doesn't have to be that way.
3. Being viewed as ‘foreigner’
This appears to be a problem that mostly affects businesses based in nations where English is the primary language. While many individuals across the world understand English, E-commerce businesses who neglect to translate their material into local languages miss out on significant potential.
According to a poll conducted by the Common Sense Advisory in 2014, 59% of 3,000 customers from ten countries would never make a purchase from an English-only website. That could be a big loss.
4. Using the wrong platform
Selecting the proper platform for your E-commerce shop is just as important as picking the right location for a bricks and mortar store. An older legacy system, especially one that was custom-built for you when you were just getting started, might severely limit your development potential. As you grow into new markets and regions, you may notice that platform issues arise.
It may struggle to handle different currencies, rely on an increasing number of third-party applications to perform basic operations, or be unable to operate with sophisticated technology such as chat bots or artificial intelligence.
Changing platforms is disruptive, and the longer you wait to switch to one that is more suited to your needs, the more disruptive it will become.
If you think you can handle these obstacles, congratulations, you’re more than ready to expand your business internationally and let DHL Express take care of international logistics for you. We’re happy to help you grow your business and reach your customers no matter where they are in the world!
Three ways to ship internationally with DHL Express
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