As part of our buildup to the next Going Global at ExCel, London on May 17-18, we’ve interviewed some of the brilliant speakers who will be on the show’s roster. In the third of four interviews, we talk to Thrive Digital who are speaking on ‘International Ecommerce’.
Going Global Live is Europe’s premier event for anyone who is looking to extend their business overseas or increase their foothold in the international market.
Who are Thrive Digital?
Thrive Digital is an ecommerce agency specialising in international growth.
What are you talking about at Going Global?
The Going Global we will be talking about ecommerce as a driver for global growth. This will include looking at different strategies for entering international markets, as well as analysing the most areas that will provide the highest return. There will be a heavy focus on developing trust, as this is key to generating sales in cross-border ecommerce.
What tips would you give to first-time exporters on doing international ecommerce right?
Do your market research!
It is crucial to know the market, from customer attitudes to logistical practices. Once you have a strong position in your home market, you can make specific decisions and build your offering around this. The most important markets to the UK in e-commerce are USA, China and Germany – what do you really know about these markets and how can you infiltrate them?
Get your branding right
Brand is key to ecommerce. Consumers in different geographies are purchasing from brands they are visually used to. Good examples of geographically localised branding are TaoBao and AliExpress. Both sites are owned by AliBaba (the world’s largest online retail group), but both are very differently branded. TaoBao is aimed at a predominantly Chinese audience, whereas AliExpress is aimed at an American one.
As a westerner, I would be far more likely to purchase from AliExpress. This is largely because I am far more familiar with this visual style. It is what I am used to, and I am comfortable with it. Simply, I trust it. Make sure your branding is what your customers are used to.
Make sure you can deliver
Meet the market standards and expectations. Is the delivery trustworthy? Can you ensure delivery? If you are shipping internationally, and people in that country expect low cost delivery within a few days, are you able to achieve this? If not, then you need to look at how you can. That may be setting up better logistics inhouse, or engaging a third party such as FBA.
Make sure customers can pay how they want to pay
If customers can pay the way they are used to paying, they are more likely to pay. It is not just about currency. Even within Europe, payment preferences vary wildly. In the UK for example Visa and MasterCard are the most popular (with PayPal coming quite a long way behind in second place). In Germany ELV is top, while in the Netherlands it is Ideal. In Russia Qiwi, WebMoney and Yandex are more popular than PayPal. Whereas in France, PayPal is used by the highest percentage of people compared to other countries.
When trying to sell products to another country, look at how they like to pay.
Don’t jump in before testing the water – consider a minimum viable product
Don’t use the field of dreams method. The notion of “build it and they will come,” is simply not true. So many companies build websites and wonder why they have no e-commerce sales. You don’t get “walk ins” from websites, and SEO is not a substitute. For SEO to work there must be existing demand. Don’t invest a fortune in a website without testing the product and the market.
Going Global – an unmissable event
Going Global is an absolutely unmissable event for those working or trading overseas. If you are thinking about taking your business overseas, or are looking to expand your foothold internationally, then you need to be at Going Global. In this current economic climate, it has never been more relevant or important to take control and advantage of trading in an international market. What makes this event even more spectacular? It is free to attend! To register for tickets visit, www.goinggloballive.co.uk.