Assuage Technology Group

The Guide to International Website Expansion

by rrollins, April 13, 2022

Developing a winning e-commerce strategy

When developing your e-commerce strategy you need to bear in mind that one size does not fit all and the approach you take for one market is unlikely to work for another. The key is to do your research, understand what your target market wants and then deliver a bespoke solution.

Before embarking on your international expansion journey, it’s worth taking the time to develop a winning strategy which includes:

  • Understanding the target audience
  • Securing funding and creating a budget
  • Deciding on the best sales channel and approach (this is key!)
  • Planning your international marketing strategy
  • Setting realistic expectations

Website localization

Website localization is the process of adapting your website material and code to a particular language and country. This involves optimizing not just the content, but also images, keywords, metatags, URLs, links, navigation, and contact information all for different audiences.

Payment methods

Payment methods should be localized to the country you are expanding your online store into, as well as convenient and secure. Different countries have different payment preferences, with some favoring credit cards, while others prefer cash on delivery or mobile payments.

Localizing your payment options can enhance the shoppers’ experience and increase their trust in your company. For example, if you run a French online shoe store that is available to international customers, but only offers PayPal as a payment option for non-French customers when they check out, it might be worthwhile to consider adding local alternatives for other countries as well. One of the most important factors for successful cross-border eCommerce is building trust with consumers who live in other countries. Accepting a variety of payment methods goes a long way toward building this trust for new customers since it makes them feel more comfortable buying from you.

Currency and taxes

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when dealing with international taxes and currency. Some countries will allow you to come in without paying taxes for a certain amount of time, which may be good for businesses looking to test the waters first. However, it’s important not to give bad information on your website (i.e., pricing goods in Euros if you’re shipping internationally from the U.S.).

When it comes to employing tax experts, they can help not only with filing correctly but also with determining the best business structure based on your goals and needs. A good local tax expert will have an understanding of both domestic and international rules so they can guide how best to proceed with international expansion.

Language barriers and cultural differences

Expanding your business internationally has a lot of exciting perks. You get to reach new audiences, expand your brand’s horizons, and build connections. However, it also comes with some challenges.

If you’re opening a new location in a foreign country, whether that’s hiring sales reps or opening an office, you’ll need to create a website that speaks to your new customers.

For example, let’s say you’re expanding your business into Mexico. Not only will you need to offer content in Spanish, but you’ll also want to make sure it’s translated correctly—no one will want to do business with you if they can’t understand what you’re offering.

You should also take into account cultural differences; certain words and phrases may have negative connotations in other countries that might not be obvious to people from your home country.

Once you have the content down, the next step is making sure people can find you online. Different countries use different search engines (Google’s not #1 everywhere), and even if their search engine of choice is Google, there are still some differences in how people search for terms in different countries. For example, people from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK tend to use “shoes”

Localized delivery options

When it comes to your overseas customers, you can make their shopping experience more enjoyable by offering them a variety of localized delivery options.

An interview conducted with the web design and software design agency Assuage Tech Group in Pittsburgh, Pa. We learned that in many cases, the most popular options in one region won’t be the favorites in another. For instance, most shoppers in Sweden prefer the Post-N-Go method, while their neighbors to the west in Norway prefer to have their orders held nearby so they can pick them up at their convenience. The best way to determine what your customers like is by asking them directly or monitoring any reviews they leave on your site after receiving an order.

Organizing your inventory

Knowing your inventory data is key when you want to expand internationally. You will also want to consider whether you are selling B2B or B2C, as turns and safety stock periods will differ.

  • How much inventory should you stock?

In the beginning, you can start with a low level of inventory and build up based on data collected from your customers’ purchase behavior. A good measure for this is your inventory turnover ratio. Inventory turnover refers to the number of times that a company sells its entire inventory in a specified period – normally one year. For example, if we sell our entire stock by the end of December, then our average inventory turnover rate would be once per year.

The formula for calculating an annualized rate of inventory turnover is: (annual sales / average value of the total amount of goods) or in other words: (total sales / average amount available). The more frequently we turn over our entire stock during any given year, the better it is for our business – this means that we have been selling at a high rate and should be able to meet consumer demand.

Inventory turnover ratio = Total Sales ÷ Average Value Available

International expansion can be tricky, but with the right plan, it can pay off.

International expansion is a big decision for any business, and it can be tricky to get right. That’s why you need a good plan, one that accounts for local laws and regulations, cultural differences, consumer expectations, and much more.

With the right plan in place and careful execution, international expansion can pay off handsomely – especially in today’s global economy where more people have access to the internet than ever before.

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