6 reasons why you should be selling internationally
Have you thought of expanding your market beyond your own borders? Perhaps you’ve been selling domestically for a few years, but now your sales volume is stagnating and you’d like to give it a boost. Or perhaps you’ve been considering selling internationally for a while but you’re not quite sure how to proceed.
There’s no need to hold back! Thanks to the internet, nothing prevents international shoppers from buying across borders. You’ve probably already noticed a small number of cross-border buyers arriving at your eCommerce door even without deliberately targeting them. There’s never been a better time to sell internationally. Forrester predicts that between 2017 and 2022, cross-border transactions will exceed domestic ones by 17%.
Need more encouragement? Here are 6 reasons why you should set up your store for cross-border selling.
1. Expand your market reach
No matter how healthy your sales volume is at the moment, it could always be higher. By extending access to your storefront to international customers, you’ll add millions of potential new customers who haven’t yet had the chance to buy your product. For instance, Europe holds an estimated 296 million online shoppers, 16% of whom already shop across borders. Another example is Latin America, an overseas market that is often overlooked by e-tailers. 139.3 million citizens of Latin America are predicted to shop online in 2018, with eCommerce sales projected to grow to $87 billion in the region. Why ignore potential sales of this magnitude?
2. Keep up with the competition
You already know that if you don’t expand to fill a gap in the market, your competitors will. If there’s space for your product to sell internationally and you aren’t filling it, someone else will gladly find those customers instead. It’s vital to keep one step ahead of the competition and that includes planning a strategic entry into cross-border sales.
3. Be seasonal ‑ all year round
By selling to markets in different climates and seasons, you can take advantage of peaks in demand for your product all year round. For example, if you’re selling high-quality snow boots, your peak demand at home is probably only around 4-5 months in the wintertime. If you expand to target markets in the Southern Hemisphere, you can leverage demand during otherwise slow summer months when it’s wintertime “down under.”
By selling to other countries and cultures you can also take advantage of seasonal shopping surges that occur at different times of the year, for example moving on from the Christmas shopping season to target Chinese New Year gifts in what is otherwise a low sales season in February. This gives you two advantages: One is that you have a double peak season in which to sell; the other is that you won’t hold back on fielding a full line later in the season out of fear that you’ll be left with a pile of unsold goods.
By smoothing out your annual sales peaks you can enjoy an even revenue cycle. Knowing you can sell to multiple markets within a few months will give you the confidence to keep an extensive and attractive stock available throughout your season, which in turn attracts more customers. In this way you can augment your capacities for higher year-round sales and optimize resource allocation more effectively.
4. Stay open longer
Opening up your online store to cross-border selling maximizes the number of shopping hours in a day as well as the number of shopping seasons in a year. If you only sell domestically, there are probably many hours when your site is more or less dormant. Targeting buyers in other time zones evens out your daily traffic spikes.
5. Make more of your brand reputation
In many countries, Western goods carry a certain cachet. They are seen as better quality, more “cool” and exciting, and hold the stamp of having “made it” to a particular quality of life. It depends on your product, of course, but if you sell your goods overseas you could find enthusiastic shoppers who are eager to choose a product that represents the West. You can often raise your prices enough to cover the extra cost of cross-border fulfillment.
For example, American products are highly in demand in China. 61% of Chinese are willing to pay more for American-made goods, according to the BCG. In some categories, the statistics are even higher: 466 million Chinese shoppers made online purchases in 2016, spending over $752 billion, far more than US shoppers who spent around $360 billion. This amounts to an extremely large Chinese online market that is highly enthusiastic to buy American goods.
6. Take advantage of favorable economic conditions
Exchange rates and local market conditions can put you in a position to seriously undercut the local equivalent product. Depending on the economy of the market you’re targeting, residents could buy your product, pay extra for international shipping and still have spent less than if they’d bought a locally-produced alternative. It’s worth taking some time to research the exchange rates and the price of similar products in a few international markets to see if you can identify a sweet deal.
Don’t leave your eCommerce trade to stagnate. Thanks to the internet and mobile sales apps, there’s never been a better time to sell internationally. While optimizing your store for international selling requires planning, the prize makes it worthwhile. With the support of Payoneer and its partners in leading marketplaces worldwide, you can meet this challenge and succeed. Payoneer and their partners can help you grow your cross-border business and get paid easily in multiple currencies.