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Common Issues to Avoid With Cross-Border Selling

The prospect of expanding into cross-border ecommerce can undoubtedly be tempting for any business.

Global ecommerce sales are forecasted to reach over $6.5 trillion USD by 2023 and technological advances, trade agreements and increased supply chain interconnectedness put the global markets at our fingertips.

What’s more, according to The Global Voices 2021: Cross-Border Shopper Insights study, 68% of shoppers surveyed made ecommerce purchases outside their home country in 2020. The demand for cross-border offerings is evident, but does your business have the supply to meet it?

With the right foundations and guidance, selling into international markets can reap huge benefits for your business and take you to another level of success. Let’s look at some common pitfalls of embarking on a cross-border ecommerce journey and how to avoid them.

Your Content Isn’t Localised

When entering new international markets and customer segments, you can’t skip localisation. Localisation serves to provide international customers with shopping experiences that align with their culture and language.

Failing to localise your ecommerce site’s content can have a number of ramifications. If shoppers can’t understand your web content, your conversion rates and revenue will suffer. You also run the risk of inadvertently coming across as insensitive to cultural differences.

Your Ecommerce Checkout Isn’t Convenient

One of the biggest blunders you can make when targeting international customers is using the same ecommerce checkout options you offer domestically. This can increase cart abandonment rates and diminish sales.

Make sure you enable payments in your target market’s local currency and personalise the purchasing experience even further by accepting a broad range of payment methods.

You Haven’t Accounted for Tax Complexity

They say that only two things in this world are certain: death and taxes. When it comes to selling internationally, you’ll inevitably need to plan for the tax complexity that comes with it. When selling across borders, extra taxes may apply for things like import or excise duties. Failure to understand the tax ramifications of your cross-border transactions can lead to a number of problems for you and your customers.

First, your customers may be subject to hidden taxes or levies they weren’t aware of at the time of purchase — potentially impacting international customer retention and brand loyalty.

Furthermore, your own business may receive notices from fiscal authorities about unpaid income taxes or levies you may not have been aware of. These unforeseen expenses can decimate profit margins and cause liquidity problems.

You Haven’t Considered Logistics Issues

Our last point of caution is to never overlook the importance of logistics planning — how you plan to deliver goods to your customers, and how long they’ll take to get there.

Customers expect a seamless shopping experience from browsing online all the way to delivery, but without rigorous logistics planning, customers could experience excessive delays.

Cross-Border Selling Is The Future

As our world becomes increasingly global, cross-border ecommerce will increasingly become the norm for shoppers across the world. You’ll need to do your due diligence and invest in early planning, but doing so will prove to be worth your while. A seamless cross-border sales strategy can broaden your client base, increase sales and heighten global awareness of your brand.

Secure your free spot at the BigCommerce Globalisation Summit to find solid solutions for your international growing pains and unlock your global commerce potential in 2022 and beyond.

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