Voice of the Industry

Taking your ecommerce business abroad? Here is what you should look at!

Tuesday 2 February 2021 08:31 CET | Editor: Stefana Ivan | Voice of the industry

Payvision reveals tips on expanding businesses abroad, such as choosing the right local payment methods, understanding currency risk, and having a locally tailored checkout

One thing we have started to enjoy more than before is seeing the delivery guy at our door, handing us the products we have ordered online. With the COVID-19 pandemic, online retail spending has gone through the roof. Take UK for example, where online sales spiked by 26% in April 2020 compared to the previous year – or the US, with its ecommerce sales having soared by 45%. Retail websites reached almost 22 billion visits in June 2020, a whopping 6 billion increase since January 2020

Consumers across Europe show a different appetite for international shopping. If the Dutch prefer mostly local e-shops, half of the Belgians are easy with e-shopping from other EU markets, while the Finns more so at 54%. When catering for a broader, pan-European market, for that matter, there is no standard approach to please all shoppers. As every country has its own specifics, you will have to take a good look at it and make sure your ecommerce satisfies every local flavour. That is where we share our wisdom with you. 

Make it local 

First thing you need to look at – localise your content. Help your customers understand upfront who you are, what you sell, and how your web shop flow works. Localisation also means you will have to speak the language of your new market. And not by just verbatim translating your website, but by giving it the local flavour and recognising the target culture. It means you need to look at locally customised offers, specific price lists, and policies tailored to the shopping behaviour of the target audience. 

Show them you care – in their language 

The second important thing to consider when localising your online store is setting up local customer support. Customer satisfaction and retention are driven, among others, by relatable product descriptions and localised FAQs to help customers self-navigate through different purchasing processes. Although customers should be able to solve their questions without direct contact with your team, consider setting up service emails. Take it one step further and hire a customer service person who speaks the language. That’s the way to deliver sterling service.

Let them order the way they are used to 

A locally tailored checkout goes beyond a simple translation of the process. There are so many market specific details, shoppers are used to a fill-in option or to choose from a drop-down menu. Measurements, postal codes, dates expressed in a certain format and currency units are all factors to consider. If your customer knows their payment methods are not supported, not only do you miss out on a sale, but customers will abandon their shopping cart and feel as though their time has been wasted. 

Include the right payment method 

When shopping online, there are few things more frustrating than discovering at the end of the ordering process that the payment method you use is not supported. Do your shoppers and yourself a favour: do the proper research and support the right local payment methods

Pricing strategy adapted to the market 

You can’t always charge the same price for one product, across all markets. When setting your price lists for a particular new market, you’ve got a couple of options. 

The first and most simple one is the cosmetic price localisation; this is when a product has a standard price across all your markets, expressed in different local currencies. The second one requires more research, as it is a true price localisation. It adjusts to the local operational costs, the local disposable income, competition benchmarking, and local price sensitivity. 

Understand currency risks 

Almost half of the shoppers do not feel comfortable purchasing an item in a foreign currency. While offering shoppers multiple currency choices can grant you a higher conversion rate, you might dread the forever-changing foreign currency exchange rates. 

There are ways to easily mitigate this: 

1) open a bank account in the local currency and have the funds transferred whenever the exchange rate suits you; 

2) find a global card acquiring PSP as it will do all the work for you, and you’re free of all the hassle. 

Take into account the landed costs 

In other words, factor in all the taxes, customs, duty, or shipping fees. These can add up and differ from one market to another. 

Set up delivery and returns 

Shipping products internationally requires a reliable shipping company, and this is not something you would like to take lightly. For your peace of mind, better work with a global courier service that has a large network and a bundle of experience. On top of that, they offer additional services such as customs clearance. 

Do it by the book 

Last but not least, do your homework and check all locally relevant legislation. If you are a merchant in Europe and working with a European coverage PSP, then you should be PSD2 compliant: SCA and 3D Secure 2.0. 

Now you are in the know!

This editorial was first published in our Cross-Border Payments and Ecommerce Report 2020–2021, which assesses the change of pace that occurred in 2020 and provides a comprehensive overview of the major trends driving growth in this space, being the ultimate source of information for players interested in selling across borders. 

About Payvision

Payvision powers transactions for businesses across the globe. The dedication to our clients shows– this is where we truly make a difference. Since 2018 we are part of ING, and this partnership means cutting-edge innovations and a startup mindset backed by ING’s expertise and global network.

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Keywords: Payvision, cross-border payments, local payment methods, currency risk, locally tailored checkout, PSP, shopping behaviour, ecommerce, online payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce