There are many ideas of businesses. As many ideas as ways how to do it. We could open a new store in our city, or become a tradesman and propose the goods directly to the customer. Another thing is using possibilities of the internet – a place which has been dynamically developing recently. Thanks to the internet we can pay bills, check marks, book a table and buy a wide range of products. So why do not try to sell online? In this way, we can reach new segments of customers, including clients from other parts of the world. No wonder, so many entrepreneurs decide to start selling products overseas – if it is done in a proper way, there is a guarantee for realizing a profit.
1. Selling internationally – an idea of business
If you are wondering how to start international selling, we would give you a step by step guide how to do it in the most effective way. Who knows, maybe it would resolve doubts and shock you into taking steps in this field.
2. How to sell internationally online?
The number of customers who do shopping online rises year by year. In the light of the Wordpay Global Payment Report, over 57% of clients in Europe decided to buy from internet marketplace in 2017. Being aware of favorable trends, starting your adventure with selling overseas might be something prospective and let you not only make money but also gain popularity. But first…
2.1 Plan your actions
Before you become a professional seller, it is necessary to give some thought to your actions. Firstly, you need to know what you want to trade in. If you start from scratch, you need to carry out research and find proper products. There are many methods how to do it – we can use different international websites, such as AliExpress.com or AliBaba.com and find the list of best selling items. Naturally, if you want to sell products in several areas, you should check data from suppliers and producers who deal in this particular country.
Another thing, when we have had an experience already and we handle products in a domestic market. We can treat it as a kind of test – we have known already some problems and conditions connected with selling online. Starting the business locally is something that lets you spy the land and get to know the client online.
2.2 Find your target market
Many customers think about how to buy things from other countries online? There are some global portals, where we can find merchants from different parts of the world. Of course, we can be a part of these services. We only need to meet some requirements, register an account, add products and start selling internationally.
For example, we can use services of mentioned earlier AliBaba or AliExpress. Which of the following is the most common method of buying and selling goods internationally? Here is the point – we need to decide who would be our customer. Do we think about dealing with other businesses and selling items by wholesale? If so, then AliBaba portal is a good solution for us. This is B2B marketplace which provides transactions between exporters and importers. Being a member is related to having legal confirmation of your business – customers should be sure they cooperate only with proven entities.
In the situation when we would like to reach to an individual customer, services like AliExpress might be proper platforms. You can promote your products all over the world – it is possible after the registration process, which confirms the authenticity of your business. Then, you could list items, create descriptions, add photos and start to sell internationally.
Naturally, you can focus on customers from particular countries. Remember about the research and check if your products have a chance to be sold successfully. In this case, it would be easier to calculate speed and the cost of shipping to the chosen area. If you haven’t thought about places for selling overseas yet, you can look at the five the largest international e-commerce markets in the light of business.com data:
- China: $672 billion
- United States: $340 billion
- United Kingdom: $99 billion
- Japan: $79 billion
- Germany: $73 billion
2.3 Make sure it is legal
Trading legal goods is one of the most important issues. Before you start handling your products in the chosen country, check if these articles are allowed to be in the market. In some countries, if you want to deal in a special group of items, you need to have a permission from a proper institution. Selling products internationally is also related to meeting labeling standards – it matters especially in food products, where in most cases, you would be obliged to present all used ingredients, information about food additives or side effects of overusing.
The legal term, in this case, also means that you need to follow the procedure of taxes and charges on international shopping platform (if you decide to use them). Check the regulations, take care of order in your paperwork, do not dump any invoices and bills and in the case of some misunderstandings – use services of legal adviser.
2.3 Your website is your business card
No matter of destination you want to trade, keep in mind that your website is something crucial. If you want your products sold internationally, your profile must be professional. Add all necessary information such as your company data, contact and descriptions of your items. If you got some awards or certifications, it is a good idea to place it on the website – customers would think you are a reliable seller and order your goods willingly.
Another attractive solution is using social media power. You can create a profile on Facebook or Twitter, add posts and be up-to-date with your customers – watch what they observe, comment or like. What is more, scanning actions of the clients is not the only thing you can do – it is also a great place to look at your competitors’ moves and react to them properly.
2.4 Do you know your client?
Creation a professional website is not enough if you want to sell goods abroad in the most effective way. When you determine a target market, you need to establish a contact with customers and let them know your brand. The basic thing is a language – writing an email with your offer in the customer language makes you look more reliable. The second matter is a business culture. People from different countries pay attention to different details – for example, Chinese consumers are more health conscious and focused on food safety and high-quality products. Another matter might be a process of messages exchanging. In general, Italian do not make a point to punctuality, so you need to be prepared for waiting for a response. But you try to always give an answer on time – no matter who is your client.
2.5 Take care of relations with your client
You find clients, but what next? Try to do your best to keep them as long as possible. If they would be treated right, they not only be back, but also tell about your products and services their friends and family.
Users who sell international items should think about promoting options. Next to quick answers and communication in customer language, an encouraging move would be adding some small extra gadgets to the package – people like getting things for free. Remember about sending packages on time you have estimated on your website – in the case of some delayings inform about it the client.
International e-commerce lets hundreds of users spread their wings and reach to new customers. On the internet platforms, we can find almost everything – from home accessories to motorcycle parts. As we could see, the catalog of products you can deal in is very wide. Carry out research, find out if a chosen item is allowed to be in the market in the country you want to expand your business and make sure if there is a demand for it.
Now you know how to sell internationally – you can use special internet marketplaces or create your own website. In every situation, no matter of nationality of your customer, be professional, do not steal photos of items from other users and write only true things about your product – adding a fake value equals a customer loss. When we get the thing straight, there is nothing more to do than starting your adventure by selling overseas. Good luck!