Over the last few years, the e-commerce sector in the U.S. and globally has experienced significant growth. Overall, global e-commerce sales are estimated to reach $1 trillion in 2020. With more customers shifting from physical shopping trips to online purchasing, there are plenty of opportunities for both small businesses and individual shippers to succeed in cross border e-commerce. Additionally, considering tensions between the U.S. and China and growing import taxes, customers will be more interested in trade between other countries, and in local shopping as well. Selling cross border is a new level, so you need a polished strategy to successfully enter the mature market of U.S. e-commerce. Whether you are a business selling directly to customers, or a merchant using platforms like eBay or Amazon, there are nuances in online commerce that you need to know.
Starting cross border e-commerce: key things to know
Adjustment to the audience
No matter what product you will be selling, going for the wrong audience won’t take you far in the tight market of e-commerce. Make sure to capture your customer’s attention, thinking of everything from marketplace and ads to marketing strategy. Essentially, the next step is maintaining attention and acquiring new customers. That’s why all of your operational processes should be thought out in advance to provide a good shopping experience. From order fulfillment to shipping, make sure that everything works perfectly.
Customs and taxes
The hardest part of starting cross border e-commerce is adjusting to another country’s regulations. Understanding the customs and tax system is a crucial step to successfully enter the international market. Working with a customs broker would be beneficial to handle the nuances and intricacies of international shipping. One of the easiest and closest markets for U.S. merchants is the Canadian market, which has its own regulations and rules.
Returns and customer service
Working with reverse logistics can be especially challenging for small businesses and individual shippers. However, the value of good customer experience is extremely high, and will help define whether the customer will buy from you again. That’s why providing fast and helpful customer support along with easy return options will secure you more chances to retain customers.
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