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 final expansion time to unlock new potential sales for each new market.
Correct deployment can lead to immediate success for e-commerce solutions that enter new markets. However, getting it right can be a tightrope walk when expanding your store globally.
Indeed, there are many places where you can run into setbacks, but knowing what areas to look for before designing and developing a global deployment-ready e-commerce solution will set you up for success.
Deployment is the next big step in your business plan, and it can be a matter of grow or die. When you go global, proper preparation is your first line of defense against failure.
Steps to consider before a global e-commerce deployment:
When we talk about deployment from a technical standpoint, we are simply referring to where e-commerce solutions enter new markets. However, this pressed button is at the end of the process. A global deployment affects multiple areas of an organization, each of which must be carefully considered prior to construction.
1. Market characteristics.
Each market has its own characteristics, such as legal restrictions, end-customer preferences and habits of use of tools related to e-commerce, such as payment systems.
In fact, 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 such as Swish or QR codes are present in Scandinavia or Asian countries. Finally, the United States remains firmly committed to card payments.
You should consider some basic questions about each country you enter. They help to avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure that deployments to new locations are 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 customers prefer?
2. Watch the competition.
Reviewing competing companies and products should be an integral part of carrying out an international e-commerce business strategy.
Watching the competition and following an analytical roadmap provides insights into 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 brand or newly launched product in the market.
Also read: The benefits of AI in e-commerce.
3. Capacity of the internal team.
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, 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 and experienced people. This will help you better understand your customers’ prospects 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 specifics of other markets to ensure an efficient process in the next phase of global deployment.
For this, the most popular e-commerce solutions rely on basic support tools that are deployed in different markets.
Some e-commerce platforms may not support payment methods or shipping methods that are popular in certain markets.
In this case, it is necessary to develop a non-standard platform or integration. This can significantly increase 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.
In fact, it might be a small project created on a whole new platform. It allows you to establish a presence in a new market and test your premises with minimal investment.
The right tool for this will be an e-commerce solution as a service. It allows you to minimize your time to market.
5. Think about the 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 the main 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 ensure short delivery times, the company may need to open a local warehouse or partner with a local delivery service provider.
6. Tools and internal processes.
When considering a global deployment, it is also helpful to review existing tools and processes within the enterprise.
However, systems that support product management processes such as product information management (PIM) systems, accounting with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, system applications and products (SAP), relationship management systems with the customer (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.