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How To Grow eCommerce Beyond Borders


Shopping online is now one of the most popular ways for people to purchase their goods. Although bricks and mortar retail is staying strong in some sectors like automotive and supermarkets, many industries like fashion and electronics have been completely disrupted by the rise in eCommerce. This has led to pure players, those who only operate online, commanding a higher market share and dominating the marketplace. 

One of the main reasons for this is because these new pure players are digital natives. This means that they are younger entrepreneurs who have grown up using the internet. They have a great knowledge of how to use it effectively, and more importantly, how to use it to make money. 

Because you can now buy anything from anywhere in the world, the opportunities eCommerce presents are limitless. These three tips will help to take your eCommerce venture to the next level and operate successfully in the global marketplace.

Localize your Website

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If your business is based in the USA and you wanted to set up a new set of retail outlets in Spain you would make sure that all of your shop signage was written in Spanish. You would also want to make sure that your shop staff and marketing team understood and fitted in with the Spanish culture, like taking a siesta in the afternoon. 

This should be no different for your website. It must be set up to accommodate your Spanish market. You would, therefore, need to enlist Spanish interpreting services like Allied Interpreting to help translate your dedicated Spanish website. Product images and descriptions will all need to be considered and tailored to the market you are entering.

Localize Distribution

One of the main requirements that people have when shopping online is that they receive their products quickly. A lot of people will pay for next day delivery. If you are operating from a different country, then it’s going to be difficult to get your products packaged, shipped, and through customs in another country in that space of time. 

The answer is to use distributors who can send the product for you, or, alternatively, you could invest in warehousing and distribution in the country. It may take up to 7 working days to get an item from mainland USA to Spain. Most people won’t want to wait this long. However, if you localize your distribution you will be able to deliver a much better service to your customers and start gaining market share. 

Work with Partners in that Country 

Being able to work effectively with partners is probably one of the most important elements in business. You must ensure that you understand the cultural and business practices. The way to do this is to work with native and well-established partners. 

One great example for ecommerce is payment gateways. If you ask customers to use a payment gateway that is common in the US but unknown in Spain, this could cause customers to be cautious and not make the purchase. It may also be that banks have different security checks that they need to carry out that local payment gateways will be aware of and will help you to navigate.

Sean Jacobson

I'm Sean, a former HR and business consultant providing you insights into the business world for Leader to Leader.

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