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Simple Ways to Boost Cross Border e-Commerce Sales

Published on 22 August 18

The story of Alibaba from a business conceived in a small apartment into one of the leading e-Commerce companies is a popular example of cross border success. In the current e-Commerce wave, every domestic, digital business stands a chance to amass an international customer base.

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Even in the case of large e-Commerce giants like Amazon, cross border e-Commerce success is natural progression given how the gen X buyers are browsing for products and services every second, making global the new local!

In 2017, Amazon’s one-fourth of the revenue from sales were from cross border trades. The massive increase in cross border e-Commerce of Amazon has opened the door of opportunities for many merchants across the world, stiffening the competition for its rivals including eBay and Alibaba.

But behind most of the success stories, technology and VC-backed investments are the common variables used for propelling businesses to cross global market boundaries. Mobile penetration and increase in daily average spending of users on mobile applications all the more provide reasons for e-Commerce firms to not only grow their business internationally but also explore opportunities in new markets.

The trend of cross border e-Commerce growth is prominent in the Asia-pacific region with China at the top of the list, exhibiting nearly 70 percent growth rate year by year. In India, the state of domestic e-Commerce is outpacing other industries by embracing innovative techniques for market research, brand penetration and customer satisfaction. Most of the e-Commerce vendors have bettered their brands with e-Commerce development solutions, user experience and customer services support that are on par with the services offered by international brands.

However, before making the plunge, below are the list of pros of engaging cross border sales that every e-Commerce vendor must know:

Overcome Competition Pressures in Local Market: There are always some possibilities where an e-Commerce company or brand can experience bitter turnout in the local markets due to fierce competition and less demand for the products or services they offer. Cross border sales in a region where the brand’s concept is new and innovative or has less competition can help an e-Commerce company increase revenue generation and sales while also diversifying their market.

Boost Brand Recognition: The journey from local to international is one of the trademarks of a successful brand or business. It is one of the most effective ways of creating brand recognition and a diverse customer base while also boosting the overall brand value in the home market.

Enable Business Expansion and New Partnerships: Business expansion is the core intention behind every cross border trade. With e-Commerce and successful marketing strategy in new market regions and segments, businesses can expect increase in sales volumes, ROIs and profitability which in turn provide them the support for business expansions. In case the brand or business manages to please its international customers with product and service quality or by creating great brand value, it can expect partnerships and funding from VCs or other renowned brands.

Ensure Business Stability: By creating a diverse market that is spread across the globe, e-commerce companies will be able to ensure business stability by having revenue from multiple regions that is useful in adding sustainability factor.

Five ways to boost cross border sales for e-Commerce businesses:

The rewards of cross-border sales and success no doubt is appealing but, most e-Commerce firms need to do their homework well to know better about the markets players, demand and supply factors, local currency, duty/tax, logistics and other factors in the target region. This is just to ensure they don’t encounter challenges that are bigger than their profit margins and earnings.

  1. Leverage Social Media for Global Reach: Social media creates an easy pathway for international customer base and market by serving as an ideal platform for digital marketing through ads, videos, pages, etc. Brands that prefer expanding their business with cross border sales need to first execute compelling marketing strategies and campaigns to be in the news and grab the attention of social media users and visitors to the platforms that are popular among the gen X audience. Social media marketing is cost effective way of understanding the brand reach, audience perceptions and to capture the attention of potential audience for increased conversion.

  2. Revamp Digital Marketing and Social Media Content: The first step to make an e-Commerce brand relevant to the international audience is by making changes in the website, marketing and social media content. Localizing content also includes changes in the customer support and noting cultural differences, language nuances, adopting multi-lingual product pages and translating brand and product messages to make sure the content is relevant and appealing to the audience in the target country or region.

  3. Analysis and Assessment on Risk, Cost, Taxes and Earnings: The cost of selling to international customers can sometimes have nasty surprises with too many taxes and currency exchange rates eating away the profits. Its best to do the math and understand the local taxes and costs like shipping, packaging and delivery that are applicable. These factors come in handy in pricing strategy and give insights on when to offer discounts and offers without losing too much on selling cost or profit margin.

  4. Understand International Audience: Brands need to penetrate deeper into the new market regions and understand its target customers better for profitability and long-term success. It includes market research, understanding buyers’ persona, identifying the triggers, customer expectations and requirements before launching the cross border e-Commerce expansion. Brands can test their products or services in the new markets by reaching influencers on social media or other brands and media outlets to simplify market penetration.

  5. Build Local Shipping Network: e-Commerce companies need to partner with local shipping companies that are well informed about factors that influence customers’ satisfaction in a different cultural and regional setting. Another reason to do so is to establish less-complicated, low cost shipping network, workflow and also create a localized site with localized shipping.

This blog is listed under Mobility and E-Commerce Community

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