A Checklist: How to Sell Overseas Successfully?

eCommerce; Retail

The internet has opened up a world of opportunities these days for businesses eyeing overseas expansion — selling beyond domestic borders can be a game-changing strategy to extend reach. 

In addition to expanding market reach, selling overseas can offer businesses significant benefits such as reducing their dependence on a single market that may be vulnerable to external factors, like competition and economic fluctuations. 

Most importantly, selling overseas can be a main driver of growth and profitability for businesses of all sizes and industries. While there may not be many fundamental differences between global and local ecommerce platforms, there are still challenges that businesses may encounter when expanding their operations overseas. These challenges can include navigating legal and regulatory compliance requirements and  managing global logistics. In this article, we will provide you with a checklist of key strategies and considerations to take note of when looking to sell overseas.

1. Consider partnering with an overseas ecommerce marketplace

Forming a partnership with a foreign ecommerce marketplace may be an ideal strategy for businesses looking to sell overseas successfully. This is because businesses can overcome many of the challenges related to cross-border commerce, by leveraging the marketplace's existing customer base, logistics infrastructure, and market expertise. In addition, such a partnership also increases a business’ brand exposure, paving the way for a wider audience. There are numerous marketplaces offering advertising and promotion tools as well, which can help businesses target their ideal customers, besides boosting visibility in the local market. Despite the advantages, it is still essential for businesses to  meticulously assess the risks, costs and requirements associated with each marketplace in order to ensure a smooth selling process.

2. Invest in transaction and localisation services

Just like in domestic markets, providing an exceptional customer experience should also be a top priority for businesses operating in the global ecommerce space. Exceptional customer service is critical to achieving customer satisfaction, which is a key driver of repeat business. By providing localised transaction and payment options, customers can purchase their products or services more easily, ensuring a seamless online shopping experience. Apart from that, businesses develop trust and credibility with local customers when they offer transaction and payment options that are familiar to customers domestically.

3. Ensure consistent availability of customer service

This is critical for success in overseas online sales as it helps to retain customer loyalty. When a customer comes to you with an issue with a product or service, it is important to resolve the issue promptly- to prevent the customer from becoming frustrated or feeling dissatisfied. When customers feel that their needs and concerns are valued, they are more likely to develop a positive perception of the business and its products or services. This can lead to increased loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth referrals. At the same time, providing real-time support for customers across different time zones should also be taken into account. Consistent customer service ensures customers have all-time access to support.

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4. Work with a global legal team 

It is important to be aware of different countries’ laws and regulations pertaining to online sales, such as data protection, consumer protection, privacy, and intellectual property rights. Before commencing overseas online sales, businesses should work with a global legal team to ensure compliance with country-specific legal regulations. Failure to comply may result in legal action, fines, and reputational damage, which can adversely impact the success of an overseas online sales venture. Thanks to the professionalism of a global legal team, businesses can gain valuable insights into the specific laws and regulations in each country, and become familiar with navigating the legal landscape while ensuring adherence to the rules. On top of that, businesses should also hire legal teams to learn how to structure transactions, establish compliance policies and draft contracts.

Work with a global legal team-online sales channels

5. Focus on global logistics and international shipping

Businesses should prioritise global logistics and international shipping when selling overseas as  timely delivery of products is essential to meet customer expectations. By prioritising order fulfilment and providing a seamless experience for customers, businesses establish trust and loyalty, positioning themselves for long-term success in the global marketplace. Moreover, it is recommended to work with an experienced logistics provider to achieve cost efficiency. This is made possible when businesses streamline the shipping process from different online sales channels. Shipping companies have the expertise in managing complex international shipments, as well as determining the most cost-saving shipping options.

We hope you find the guidelines mentioned above helpful in overseas online sales. The key is to have a deep understanding of the target market and the ways to ensure excellent customer service. SHOPLINE Singapore is a leading website builder in Singapore. We help you to create a free website to support your business and charity initiatives. Start free trial for 14 days now!

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