With the growing number of people around the world who have access to internet, also the number of online buyers is rising steadily, and is now almost up to 2 billion people.
Amazon and Ebay lead the market, but do not dominate them
Many sellers focus on getting their product well positioned on Amazon.com or on Ebay.com. Amazon.com has around 310 million active users worldwide and around 200 million users in the USA. Ebay.com has 175 million active users, of which around 113 million users in the USA. The user groups of both platforms overlap each other. So if you focus only these big two, you ignore at least three quarters of the market.
There are hundreds of online marketplaces, and you can find the most important ones in the following figure of Linnworks:
In China, Taobao has almost 600 million users. In Japan, the number 2, Rakuten, has around 100 million users in the Asia Pacific region and 17% market share in Japan. In Germany, Otto has 10 million users, in France Pixmania around the same. There are many more specialised platforms, and all these contribute to the worldwide B2C internet sales of about 2,5 trillion USD a year.
Find less competition and eager buyers on smaller platforms
As everybody starts with the bigger platforms, and price competition on these platforms and between these platforms is strong, you will probably get low sales prices there. Canadian blog sites advice people to buy on Amazon.com instead of on Amazon.ca, as prices may be up to 50% lower.
You may think that people compare all platforms when they buy goods. But there is a clear preference for buying local, according to Shopify plus Global Ecommerce research. 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.
Please keep in mind that only 360 million people in the world are native English speakers, and that only 1,5 billion can understand English.
If you want to sell in a non-English speaking market, you will have to put effort in localisation:
- 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
Alliance experts can advise you, take care of translations, connect you with the right service providers and we can manage you business locally.
Alliance experts helps you to sell on local online marketplaces
Alliance experts can help you enter the online marketplaces in your target country, first with limited up-front costs to test your product, and if your sales is picking up, we can help you make the process more efficiently.
Step 1: test your product with limited investments
You can send us your product descriptions or just refer us to another e-commerce website where you offer your product. We will then make a translation into the local language and local style of presenting products. The seller will be a local Alliance experts entity, in order to gain trust. As soon as we get the order, and the payment, we will notify you, so that you can ship the product directly to the end-customer. For this purpose we will provide you with the right information about packaging and labeling requirements, customs procedures and customs duties etc.
We will also respond in the local language on any enquiries, requests or claims. Any returns can be sent to us, and we consult with you how to handle these. We will deduct the local taxes and our fees from the sales and will pay out the remainder on a monthly basis.
Step 2: add local shipping
If volumes increase and become more predictable, you can make your product more attractive by sending stock to the country, so that you can offer shorter delivery times. Alliance experts works together with a local fulfilment party, who can import your goods, keep your stock, and package and ship your products on demand. This way you will save on shipping costs, and increase your margins, at least if you have the volumes to overcome the monthly costs for storage and financing of your local stock.
Step 3: add offline
For a number of products it is useful to have offline sales outlets as well, if only for your customers to touch, feel and try out your products. If the online sales of your product becomes substantial, it will also become less risky for retailers to start distributing. Alliance experts knows the market, can easily select the right retail chains and approach the most relevant distributors. Read more about our matchmaking services.
Add marketing efforts for increased sales
No sales without marketing, and also on online platforms your product needs to be promoted in order to sell better. We can help you with your online marketing by keeping your local facebook page up-to-date and active, by managing your online advertising campaigns or by helping you select the right offline channels and activities.
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.