Most sellers have dreams of becoming a global powerhouse. That’s part of why you might have gotten into ecommerce in the first place. You want to sell around the world. And the market is ready for your international expansion. International ecommerce sales are set to rise by 22.5% over the next two years after rising 81% in the previous four years.
Still, despite the fact that Amazon has a global presence, many sellers on the site struggle to bring in sales across borders. With that in mind, here are three secret weapons that help your business become a global juggernaut on Amazon.
Third-Party Testing Centers
Fun fact: Baby walkers are banned in Canada. Health Canada found in 2004 that over 1900 babies between the ages of five months and 14 months had sustained baby walker related injuries. Baby walkers are less common in the United States than they were a decade ago, but they still aren’t outright banned here. That’s just one example of the importance of knowing international restrictions on the type of products you sell. They won’t always be the same as the US. It’s your responsibility as a seller to make sure everything you sell is legal in the country where it is listed.
Baby walkers are one thing, but the more insidious form of legality you need to worry about are the raw materials and chemicals in your products. Ecommerce sellers typically know plenty about technology, marketing, and their product, but how many of us can say we’re really experts in chemistry, health, or international law? That’s the kind of expertise you need to have access to in order to know for sure that your products are chemically and materially legal in the countries where you’re marketing them. Leave this up to a third-party vendor, one that specializes in product testing for online selling. The global product sourcing services of a solution like Cascadia can handle the regulatory and safety product testing for you.
One of the stereotypes of Americans is that we don’t often take time to consider the viewpoints of other cultures. When it comes to ecommerce, this stereotype could be costing you money. It’s much easier to sell to American shoppers as an American than to sell internationally. We know how Americans buy because we are Americans. But if you’re serious about competing globally on Amazon, you need to infuse American values for speed, reliability, and savings with international values.
For example, in the United States we generally accept that a lower price means somewhat lower quality. It’s the difference between fast food and a five-star restaurant. We don’t expect to get filet mignon from a drive-thru, and we don’t expect to get a lifetime guarantee from a 1 cent phone charger. However, in the UK and Japan, buyers would expect the 1 cent charger to last just as long as a more expensive charger. According to Rachel Greer, a former Amazon employee working in product compliance and safety, Europe and Japan have higher rates of customer complaints for defects. This can result in negative feedback and more returns.
Manage buyer expectations by explicitly and honestly describing the condition of the item. The less disappointed the buyer is, the less likely they are to leave negative feedback that hurts your chances at making more sales.
Ecommerce Automation Software
No one can be perfect. Working 24 hours a day to forward sales orders to fulfillment centers and communicate tracking information to customers isn’t sustainable. The problem is that global selling on Amazon doesn’t take a break. While our time zone is sleeping, other countries are up shopping. How can you realistically keep up with their orders without becoming a night owl?
Ecommerce automation software is the key. Software never gets tired. Eliminating human error and making your business run smoothly 24/7 is important to create a business model that grows with you. Here’s a couple of things ecommerce automation software can do for you.
- Automatically route your sales orders to your supplier or fulfillment service like FBA.
- Forward tracking information to customers.
- Sync your inventory across multiple sales channels to prevent overselling.
And that’s just a snapshot. Hands-off communication, faster fulfillment, and less human error leads to higher profits, happier customers, and a more efficient business. Apply this and the other tips in this piece and you’ll be well-prepared to compete globally on Amazon.
About the Author
Dion Beary writes about ecommerce for ecomdash, a software company that automates inventory management for small businesses selling online. His passions are Twitter, casseroles, and 00’s rap.
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