November 9, 2013

The 8 Cs of E-Commerce Internationalization!

E-commerce marketing has moved beyond localization. Merchants have started optimizing their websites for global shoppers. While moving into the international marketers, e-commerce merchants need to take into consideration many of the following aspects:

1. Country

There could be many possible countries where you would like to expand your business and ship products however, while choosing a country to engage with merchants have to check out the PETLE (Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental) factors. Along with, the merchants will also have to take into account the competitors strategy in the similar market and the kind of products they are selling.

2. Customers

Merchants need to understand the customer behavior of every specific country and measure their level of engagement, adoption and interaction. Profile the customers through demographics, psychographics and behavioural patterns.

3. Communication

E-commerce merchants need to identify the ways and means to communicate with the global buyers in different countries. Do we need to hire a local promotional agency in every country? Do we need to communicate through print, electronic or outdoor? Do we need to set up a local customer support? These are the some vital communication questions you need to resolve before moving ahead with the internationalization.

4. Culture

Different countries have different culture and taboos. Respect each culture individually. Ensure that the different countries are offered timely delivery of products as all of them will have different holiday calendars. Also, while crafting content for the products you need to ensure that the description doesn’t have words that hurt the cultural sentiments of any group of buyers.

5. Currency

Internationalization is very unstable due to the changing rates of currency. Offer global buyers a variety of payment options like debit cards, cash on delivery and more. Also, apart from the payment options provide the global buyers with a variety of currency options to choose from while making payment.

6. Conversion

The conversion of a lead will take different time and happen differently across all the countries. While estimating a revenue forecast, ensure that you take into consideration factors like propensity of consumers to buy online, their purchasing power, growth of internet marketing etc. and then come up with a reasonable cost benefit analysis for each country separately.

7. Content 

Every country has a different language and different level of understanding content. While designing an e-store make sure that you have a CMS that provides you flexibility to implement appropriate levels of access and control over curated content. While crafting content specific to the country, you also need to analyze the meaning of those words and possibility of using them.

8. Costs
All of the above points will enable you to come up with a detailed cost analysis over and above the cost benefit analysis. The costs here would cover up not only distribution costs for different countries but as well cover up the opportunity costs.

Wrapping up, e-commerce internationalization is certainly a good idea of expanding business however; while doing do please take care of the challenges and associated solutions attached thereon.

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