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4 Questions For Online, Cross-Border Selling

by simon
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Whoever said the first rule of retail is “location, location, location” obviously didn’t know about the Internet.

Thanks to eCommerce, it matters less today where you live and work than what you sell. In fact, eCommerce has made it easier than ever for sellers to reap the benefits of cross-border selling.

After all, consumers continue to buy more online, and they go wherever the Internet takes them.  A 2016 eMarketer report estimated global online retail sales would rise from $1.915 trillion that year to more than $4 trillion in 2020.

This has everything to do with technology and culture. First, the smartphones and internet access propagate everywhere. Then, younger generations were raised in the culture of online shopping. They’re used to it.

And it’s already making a marked impact. In fact, according to a 2016 PayPal, significant percentages of consumers already virtually cross borders to make a purchase. In America, 32% of online shoppers report buying through foreign online websites. Even in China, where a single domestic online marketplace dominates, 1-in-4 online shoppers buy from overseas websites.

It’s impossible forto conceive of “trillions.” Suffice it to say, eCommerce opens doors to great potential in cross-border selling.

Which of Your Products Are Ripe for Cross-Border Selling?

If eCommerce shows us anything, it’s that there’s a market somewhere for anything. However, some categories attract customers from across borders in droves. According to the aforementioned PayPal report, 46% of 28,000 online shoppers say they bought clothes, footwear, and accessories from overseas websites. Nearly 30% bought consumer technology, 20% bought toys or educational items, and 20% purchased cosmetics or beauty products.

How Will You Fulfill Orders?

How you dispatch your orders for cross-border selling relates directly to your supply chain. Do you dispatch orders from your own warehouse or from a 3PL partner? Can you use a single courier to deliver the product to a customer’s door, or will you need multiple couriers to service different markets?

How Will Your Customers Find You?

An eCommerce website gives sellers the obvious starting point.  But, will you also use online marketplaces to reach more overseas customers?

Will eCommerce Open Other Cross-Border Channels?

You may have started off selling directly to consumers. But, as with many companies, your brand may grow and the opportunity to sell through independent stores or chain retail partners may arise. Do you have a plan and resources in place to add B2B sales channels to your overall strategy?