Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re already an established online seller, it’s always a good idea to spend some time perfecting your brand.
As international e-commerce revolutionises the way e-tailers do business, we explore how they can increase revenue as they reach audiences in all corners of the globe
The internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for sole traders and small businesses. Not only can companies now market themselves internationally on the web, but online ordering means customers can shop 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.
Online retail platforms such as Amazon and eBay have consistently outperformed the high street over recent years, and research shows a steep rise in global business won by small and medium sized enterprises online.
Smart businesses keep ahead of the curve in this constantly evolving era of e-commerce, and tap into the new global markets it reveals. Here we give our advice for online sellers wanting to access this global market with minimum stress, and at maximum profit:
- Choose the right marketplace
Amazon is one of the most recognisable and popular marketplaces to sell on. In Europe there are five Amazon marketplaces covering more than 25% of e-commerce spending in the region. Sellers are not limited to the domestic marketplace, and have a broad coverage across many countries.
- Spread the risk
- Think "description line"
Use all the available space for the main description line, including as many of these keywords as possible, and write in an easy-to-understand, customer-friendly way. Avoid punctuation and special characters because people generally don’t use these when searching.
- A picture's worth a thousand words
- Comply with regulations
- Think stock and distribution
- Enlist the help of a foreign exchange service
“Platforms such as Amazon or eBay give you access to international markets in a way that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago. As overseas sales grow, the process of getting money back to your home country (and currency) can end up being neither straightforward nor cost-effective.”
While online marketplaces are well practised at getting your products in front of the right customers, they may not be as effective when it comes to managing currency. If you sell on international marketplaces such as Amazon, and generate sales in foreign currency, you can lose up to 4% of your sales turnover in foreign exchange conversions. You need an equally strong partner in foreign exchange to ensure your money is available in the right place, in the right currency, at the right time.
Currencies Direct’s e-tailer Collection Account provides online retailers with an overseas bank account – located in the markets and denominated in the currencies they sell in – which enables them to collect money without converting it into their home currency. Deepak says:
“Previously, the only option was a UK bank account, which would mean a 4% hit on profit just to change payments into sterling. Setting up international bank accounts and using foreign exchange experts can mean not only better exchange rates, but also better economic management of transfers.”
Let’s talk international payments. The team at Currencies Direct are ready to discuss the best way for you to receive money from global customers. Call them on +44 (0) 20 7847 9269 or find out more at currenciesdirect.com/etailers. You can also register and, compared to online marketplaces, save up to 3% of the total sales value on exchange rates.*
*Based on exchange rate comparison as of 18/02/2015