Opening a new market is an important step that allows manufacturers, suppliers and other sellers to expand the distribution of their products from a specific local market to the rest of the world. This is the ultimate expansion moment to unlock potential new sales for each new market.
The right deployment can lead to immediate success for e-commerce solutions entering new markets. However, getting it right can be a tightrope walk when expanding your store globally.
Indeed, there are many places where you can encounter setbacks, but knowing what areas to look for before designing and developing an e-commerce solution ready for global deployment will set you up for success.
Deployment is the next big step in your business plan and can be a matter of grow or die. When you go global, proper preparation is your first line of defense against failure.
The steps to analyze before a global e-commerce deployment:
When talking about a deployment from a technical point of view, we simply refer to where e-commerce solutions enter new markets. However, this button press is at the end of the process. A global deployment affects multiple areas of an organization, each of which should be carefully considered prior to construction.
1. Characteristics of the market.
Each market has its own characteristics, such as legal restrictions, end customer preferences and usage habits of e-commerce related tools such as payment systems.
Indeed, these characteristics must be verified before designing an e-commerce platform for global deployment.
For example, payment systems have different popularity among customers in each country. PayPal is popular in Germany. Cashless methods like Swish or QR codes are present in Scandinavia or Asian countries. Finally, the United States remains firmly committed to card payments.
You should consider a few basic questions about each country you enter. They help you avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure that deployments in new locations will be profitable.
- Are there any legal restrictions on the products or services you offer?
- What taxes do customers have to pay on their purchases?
- Which payment method is the most popular?
- What delivery options are available and which do customers prefer?
2. Observe the competition.
Reviewing competing companies and products should be an integral part of accomplishing an international e-commerce business strategy.
Observing the competition and following an analytical roadmap provides insight into the technologies already in use in the market. It will also give you an overview of parameters such as price, quality or product availability. This would help you to differentiate the newly launched brand or product in the market.
Also read: The benefits of AI in e-commerce.
3. Internal team capacity.
Only an experienced team within the company can provide specific services in a given market. The internal team must first understand the potential of new markets by identifying the most effective methods to develop them.
Then, they must organize and execute the deployment, and finally, manage the needs of new customers. This can be reflected in efficiency and delivery time, integration with payment methods, and the ability to communicate with new customers.
If your team doesn’t have relevant market experience, consider hiring new, experienced people. This will help you better understand your customers’ perspectives in order to meet their expectations.
4. E-commerce system.
To sell in a new market, you need an e-commerce system that can handle the market-specific selling process.
However, it must be flexible enough to adapt to the specificities of other markets to ensure an efficient process in the next phase of global deployment.
To do this, the most popular e-commerce solutions have basic support tools that are deployed in several markets.
Some e-commerce platforms may not support popular payment methods or shipping methods in certain markets.
In this case, it is necessary to develop a non-standard platform or integration. This can significantly lengthen the time and cost needed to penetrate other markets.
If your current e-commerce solution isn’t flexible enough to quickly deploy to new markets, consider creating a separate proof of concept.
Indeed, it can be a small project created on a brand new platform. It allows you to establish a presence in a new market and test your assumptions with minimal investment.
The right tool to achieve this will be an e-commerce solution as a service. It allows you to minimize time to market.
5. Think about logistics.
Building an e-commerce website in a new market is more than a sales process. It involves following transparent order management and delivery services.
For some target groups, delivery time and cost may be key conditions influencing purchasing decisions.
Consider a company that has a well-established warehouse infrastructure in Europe and plans to start a sales process in the United States.
When entering a new global market and needing to guarantee short delivery times, the company may need to open a local warehouse or establish a partnership with a local delivery service provider.
6. Internal tools and processes.
When considering a global deployment, it is also useful to review existing tools and processes within the company.
However, systems that support product management processes, such as product information management (PIM) systems, accounting with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, applications and system products (SAP), customer relationship management systems (CRM).
However, you must ensure that all product information has a valid local language translation.
Finally, you also need to adapt your store to local tax systems and other legal requirements for a given market.