Many business owners believe that “if you build it, they will come”. This saying might be a good approach in other fields, but it is not applicable to your eCommerce business. On the contrary, such a misconception can prove nothing but harmful to aspiring entrepreneurs.
So you have succeeded in bringing your business online. Congratulations! You now have ambitious plans to sell, broaden reach, defy your competition and gain more customers. The sky is the limit. Your only worry now is how you are going to achieve these goals, right? Well, this might be more difficult than it seems.
Have you already drafted an eCommerce strategy? Or do you need a marketing plan first? How do you plan to maintain and boost conversion rates? While your first impulse might be to add credit cards as a payment option on your website and call it a day, what about PayPal? Or do you consider integrating a payment gateway? If so, does it support the payment methods your target customers use? What are its fees? How will you tackle the dreaded problem of abandoned carts?
The issue with the online business world is that there is a huge amount of information and advice online regarding such questions, in every format, on every platform. And little time. The good news: despite the abundance of details, perspectives and advice, there is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee success and take it to the next level. So in case you still haven’t figured out how to achieve your growth-boosting strategy, read on. Here is what you can do:
Define a clear strategy and a strong marketing plan
Growing your business globally doesn’t just mean implementing an industry-leading payment method. It takes clear strategy and a well-defined marketing plan.
When it comes to marketing your eCommerce business, understanding your buyer, their needs, their journey, the language they use and their interests beyond your product is vital. But figuring out what makes them tick is only half the battle. You then have to be savvy enough to translate this into a coherent strategy that keeps them on track, establish a consistent brand experience through the entire process, and guide new leads all the way from first contact to final sale.
Choose the right payment solution
If shoppers get to your payment page and something does not work or they find out their favorite payment method is not available, they’ll just leave. They need to trust you completely. That means trusting you to provide what you’re advertising, to secure their payment, to understand enough about their business needs to provide a payment option that works for them. Be transparent enough throughout the process that no unexpected fees spring up in the final moments. This makes choosing the right payment solution a vital element of your eCommerce strategy.
Make sure that your payment platform is fully integrated with every different language version of your site, too. And last but not least: keep your customers safe. This isn’t only about creating a frictionless shopping experience; it’s about reassuring people that their payment details have not been compromised or ended up in the hands of cyber criminals.
Address your customers’ preferences
Not all customers are the same. Different segments will have different needs. You have to be willing to listen to your customers and put their feedback into action. You have to be receptive to their needs and preferences, from the way your site is laid out through to the ways they want to pay and their shopping behavior. Do they like making orders over the phone, visiting your online website or physical store first? Do they prefer to shop from their desktop browser or do they also use smartphones and tablets?
If you want to understand your customers and maximize sales, you need to keep an eye on these trends and habits. They’ll increase your chances of staying relevant.
Gain international reach by expanding to new countries
Do your research: on overseas rules and regulations, export restrictions, currency fluctuations, cultural norms, customer preferences and different payment expectations.
You need to adapt your website effectively for each new market. That means full translations, currency conversion optimization, and understanding of local markets and giving customers various options to make a purchase, using the methods they’re most used to and comfortable with.
Take your eCommerce business globally
It’s a big world out there. Your eCommerce store can sell to every single corner of the world where consumers have Internet access. So how do you achieve global reach? To answer that, you’ll need to find out if there is a potential customer base in the foreign markets you target.
Recognize that the assumptions you have about the way this works might not apply in all the countries you’re moving into. Do your research and try to get into the heads of the people you want to become your buyers. Seek local knowledge and expertise to make sure you’re approaching things in the best possible way. Also, analyze your competition, get the right structure and technology partners, platform and payment methods. It all boils down to selecting the right tech partners to help you get there and a willingness to learn and adapt as you go, spotting the most profitable opportunities.
By creating a plan, taking constant action and staying persistent no matter what, you can leverage effective methods to scale your eCommerce business, as well as develop and improve your “know-how” strategy. It’s not easy. No one ever said it would be. But it is well worth it. Good luck!
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