As worldwide online sales continue to grow at rates of 15 to 20 percent per year, many eCommerce companies are looking to place themselves in new and emerging markets.
The trouble, it seems, according to The 2015 Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Study, is that many eCommerce sites that would attract a global audience are failing to meet the needs of a huge potential customer base.
“In today’s global marketplace, ecommerce is continuing to connect the world’s economies in new ways, making it possible for brands to sell, compete and expand their footprint,” stated Lila Snyder, President of Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes, in a press release. “By focusing on the consumer – what they want and how they like to shop – brands can develop the right roadmap to achieve global ecommerce success.”
To Be Global, Think Local
You have a huge untapped group of customers out there that want your products badly, but they’re struggling to finish their orders for a number of very easy to solve reasons.
According to Pitney Bowes, 29 percent of global buyers have been deterred by not being able to read product descriptions in their native languages. Another 25 percent turn back when the products aren’t listed in the customer’s native currency and 27 percent are denied when they discover you can’t process the credit cards of their home country.
The other big problems that global customers regularly experience involve order fulfillment. This is a trickier one, since global fulfillment services can vary so widely and there are often a number of hand-offs when packages travel far overseas. China, for example, has access to major American shippers, but those shippers are routinely forced to use local delivery companies for a shipment’s last mile because of inaccessibility or lack of permission to deliver in certain areas.
Global Fulfillment Services Make It Easy
As an eCommerce business, you’re not expected to know the ins and outs of shipping to your global markets, but those customers still need the expertise of someone who does.
Partnering with a 3PL that provides global fulfillment services is the obvious answer — not only will your new partner ensure that your products make it all the way to their destination, they’ll know if you need to make your customers aware of any extra costs or time delays involved.
In fact, by integrating your 3PL’s customer web portal, your global customers can stay as informed about their order’s progress as your domestic ones. International eCommerce shoppers want to buy from American shops, in fact the U.S. remains the most desirable eDestination, with 71 percent preferring to shop here than anywhere else. The trick, then, is to make your global customers feel as at home as your local customers.
You can tap into whole new markets with a little web ingenuity. Increased attention to developing local versions of your site for global shoppers with the help of a 3PL who provides global fulfillment services will make a big impression, too. There’s no telling how large your reach can be once you start providing custom services to these underserved global markets.