In our last post in this series, we examined how retailers can best leverage technology to automate and optimise some of the pain points of selling across borders. Once you’ve invested the time and money towards expanding your business into new regions, how do you make sure you’re making the most out of the ample opportunity and not falling into the trap of thinking every market is alike? You want your products to be seen on the global stage, and we’re here to help.
By this point, you’re probably aware of the importance of product data management in any online retail venture, but it’s especially relevant when attempting to coordinate your product listings and quantities across a number of marketplaces. The laws of product data apply to an even greater degree when moving from selling locally to internationally. You’re competing against sellers with years of experience not only with their buyers, but also with the local terminology and culture.
While our tools will do much of the heavy lifting for you, here are a few more details to keep in mind before leaping into international marketplaces:
- Localisation: Selling items abroad isn’t as simple as listing your products in the correct language. Keeping a region’s culture and idioms top of mind is important. If you don’t localise, you instantly erode trust, reduce the likelihood of a positive Google search and risk unhappy customers and a tarnished reputation.
- Customer Service: If you decide to sell into a region where the dominant language is one you’re unfamiliar with, machine translations won’t be enough. If you want to sell in Germany, for example, you should have someone on hand who speaks German.
- Country-specific marketplace requirements: Each eBay and Amazon regional site has subtle differences and understanding the intricacies of each marketplace is vital to staying competitive. Categories, browse notes and item specifics can differ greatly, for example. If you sell a T-shirt on eBay Australia, all you need to provide is the size and colour, but if you do the same for eBay in the US, you need to list size, brand and colour. Amazon US requires even more information, including size, brand, colour, material composition and barcode number. Product titles on Amazon can be up to 120 characters, whereas eBay Australia allows no more than 80 characters.
While cross-border trade offers a wealth of opportunity, the key takeaway for retailers is to acknowledge that each marketplace is different and understand what each is expecting before taking the new-region plunge. But you need not wade through all the information alone: ChannelAdvisor Managed Services, our team of e-commerce experts, will ensure that you avoid those learning-curve mistakes and costly rework, leaving you to focus on sculpting and implementing strategies for success and ongoing growth.
With offices all over the world and a partnership with eBay spanning more than 13 years, ChannelAdvisor is ready with the tools and know-how to help you sell more.
Want more information on international expansion? Download our free Agile Cross-Border Trade eBook bundle.