As part of our international e-commerce campaign to help businesses get ready for the Christmas shopping season, Dan Wilson from Tamebay has shared his five top tips to help you understand how to best use online marketplaces.
1) Christmas is a good time to start selling internationally
If you aren’t selling overseas, take the plunge this Christmas. Choose a few key lines and list them on overseas marketplaces and see how it goes. You can choose which nations you wish to trade with. To look for emerging Christmastime trends across the world use a tool like Terapeak to ascertain marketplace demand.
2) Manage expectations & overcommunicate
Shipping overseas just takes longer so make sure your buyers know when they should expect their purchases. Shop around for the best international courier, you might be surprised at how reasonable shipping overseas can be. Extending the Christmas season even by just a few days can mean a valuable extra sales.
3) Consider Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
This is a service where Amazon hold and despatch your stock and you can place your goods in warehouses overseas to expedite shipping. Of course, it comes at a price but it can also help you win the Buy Box. Do the maths to see if you can make it work for you. FBA could be a real Christmas helper for sellers meaning you can use Amazon’s infrastructure to sell closer and closer to The big day itself in foreign markets.
4) Make the most of your eBay Shop
Part of the eBay Shop package is the bundling of listings for international sites. You can list on European eBay sites and those further afield. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Plug into eBay’s International Shipping programme and Managed Returns scheme to boost buyer confidence and sales.
5) Measure & evaluate
Not all businesses will profit from cross border trade but you won’t know until you try it and then measure the results and Christmas is a great time to start because demand goes through the roof. Keep a track of your successes and problems so you can properly judge the future potential of exporting. And don’t forget every problem can be solved. Companies exist that can help you optimize your international listings if you need help, and you can check out providers like webinterpret.
Next week we’ll be looking at ‘Ensuring your website is optimised’ with Sarah Carroll from Grow Global. Don’t forget to follow our daily tips and share your own experiences – and if you have any questions about planning your Christmas 2014 e-commerce strategy, just post them in our forum, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @OpentoExport (#XmasEcom).