E-stores, web shops, online marketplaces and in general e-commerce have a giant impact on international trade by offering worldwide presentation to manufacturers and exporters. In particular selling online on Amazon and other international and local marketplaces are growing extremely fast. In China there is actually no other way then selling through T-mall and Alibaba.
The key to selling online is localisation
About 2 billion people in the world order online, but only 360 million people are native English speakers. And although there are about 1,5 million people who understand English, you may have better sales chances if you present your products in their own language. And that is only one aspect of localisation. These are the four aspects that you have to think about:
- having the right products, that are in demand locally
- being on the right platforms, in the local language
- doing enough promotion, on local (social) media
- optimising your process for delivery and returns
Marketplaces work faster than own websites
Global retail ecommerce sales is now around 4.8 trillion and will reach $6.4 trillion by 2024 (source). More than half of it still is in China. A number of especially larger retailers sell through their own website, but are in a constant struggle for visitors, looking at the growth of advertising on Google and Facebook. For B2B and for recurring sales this may be the best option, for attracting new customers making use of online marketplaces can be way faster.
Marketplaces account for more than half of global online retail sales. The top 75 marketplaces account formore than 90% of global marketplace sales. (source).
Look outside the USA for better opportunities
The US population is less than 5% of the total number of people and together they generate around 20% of the world’s GDP. At this moment the US is leading in e-commerce, but other countries will catch up, and that is where you can find the real growth.
This means that smart traders and producers focus on local platforms instead of Amazon.com or Yahoo.com. Typically price competition on these large platforms is very high. If you put some effort in product translations and further localisation, you may find less competition on smaller platforms.
Sell more online in the native language and the right currency
Shopify research reveals that there isa clear preference for buying local (source). Out of the active buyers on the internet:
- 75% want to buy products in their native language
- 59% rarely or never buys from English-only sites
- 67% prefer navigation and content in their language
- 92% prefer to shop and make purchases on sites with prices in the local currency
- 33% are likely to abandon a purchase if pricing is in US dollars only.
However, there may be differences per country: according to Nielsen (source), in Japan only 32% of online shoppers ordered something from abroad in the last six months, while in Italy this was 79%. There may be various drivers behind this: knowledge of the English language, credit card penetration and the lack of good local vendors may play a role.
What will be your next online market?
About 2 billion people in the world order online and this rate is growing fast as an aftermath of the global pandemic. If your product is suitable for selling online then you need to work on the following aspects:
- What would be best marketplaces to choose and why?
- Having enough data on local competition and brand positioning
- What kind of social media and digital presence you will need to have to be successful in the online market
- Doing enough promotion, on local online media
- Optimising your process for delivery and returns
- Dealing with local regulations and importation process
Online sales is more than Facebook adds or putting your products on ebay or Amazon. It is a process of attracting attention, converting this to your sales platform, prompt delivery and good aftersales, in order to get recommendations and advocating customers.
Alliance experts helps you optimise your online presence
We position ourselves as your first point of contact in your journey to enter a new online market by providing you consulting and operational support as follows:
- Recommendations for you when entering the local e commerce based on your products and general strategy.
- Analysis of your main competitors and their success factors.
- Shape your online branding in the target market.
- Step by step online market entry plan.
- Choosing the best local marketplaces.
- Helping with your online localisation.
- Social media presence.
- Online competition and price positioning.
- Detailed planning to target online buyers.
- Management and monitoring of online sales and operational services in the local market.
We can do this as your local country manager, but on a part-time basis, which can just be a couple of hours per week. We closely align with your own marketing department and let them do the real branding activities, while we do all the proper translations.