The phenomenon of global business presence online is gaining momentum by means of e-commerce businesses going global. This phenomenon can be beneficial as it opens a channel to feasibly access new markets. However when considering to take an e-commerce business global, a host of factors need to be adequately considered.
When pursuing global e-commerce opportunities, one of the core aspects to consider is the approach to take towards targeting a new market, as Whemman noted four possibilities for approaches:
- “Market Only” – where the focus is to create strong brand awareness in order to drive traffic to the e-commerce site
- “Market specific approach” – This requires customization of the sites to the needs of local markets
- “Broad-Brush approach” – This requires having a single site design having little customization to local markets (such as language)
- “Multinational approach” – Under this approach, companies considering long terms expansion can grow quickly and cost effectively
Source: Digital River. "Companies Face Important Choices in Global E-Commerce Initiatives." n.d.: n. pag. Print.
Other important factors have been alluded to by Gengo, a company that works with a number of ecommerce companies. They have identified that an important aspect is to ensure that internationalization strategy will succeed. They highlight the importance of having the right approach towards “global marketing”, which would requires managing different communication channels effectively, building “robust systems” for the content. A related concern is having the ability to take multiple vendors global.
Gengo further point towards the important aspect of managing the phases of global growth effectively. This requires adopting a continual testing and iteration approach, which further requires keeping investments low, while staying flexible to cater to the local market needs. In this regards, as “Cost of impression (CPM) rates” can differ across markets, and benchmarks have to be monitored adequately.
Another important aspect that Gengo highlights is product selection, which requires a careful understanding of the product lines that can do great in foreign markets. This further requires to carefully select products on the basis of different phase of operations. Under the “Research Phase”, it is important to recognize what categories of the overall product base be sellable in a targeted market. The second phase is the “Launch phase”, where the proven SKUs can be tested and tried in a new country. Finally Gengo points toward the content. It is believed that the content has to be treated as an “asset”, and appropriately translated in a foreign country’s language resonating well with cultural aspects to attract a high volume of customers.
Source: Gengo, “Going Global Ecommerce, Best Practices
Hence it can be seen that taking e-commerce company global comes with a number of important considerations, including the approach to take towards targeting a new market, approach towards global marketing, managing phases of global growth, and localization.