Does your brand's cross-border e-commerce presence need a makeover? This is a good time for brands and retailers to take a closer look at what worked and what didn't in 2020 and make adjustments to their long tail e-commerce strategies. This might mean working with new logistics and technology partners, creating more localized customer experiences, or selecting new global markets to enter based on incoming website traffic. Solving any challenges in the cross-border e-commerce customer journey now will ensure that your brand is well-positioned for any surge in demand throughout the year--especially the 2021 holiday season.
While every retailer's cross-border expansion is different, there are a few key areas that can always use a critical eye. Reviewing the performance of your cross-border e-commerce shop can give you some clues as to where any breakdown may be happening with your customers. Here's a checklist of the key aspects to examine for possible improvements:
- Localization. If your brand's domestic e-commerce website has experienced an uptick in international traffic but these visits are not converting into sales, it's time to step up your localization efforts. Ensuring that your cross-border e-commerce site is localized from end to end, from local currency and pricing display through the checkout experience, will help build trust and convert global consumers by removing some of the most common barriers that they face.
- Product feeds. If your brand has invested in global display ads, but you aren't seeing the results you hoped for, it may be time to refresh your cross-border marketing product feeds. International product feeds contain localized information for the different markets that are displayed in ads across common ad platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram and many others. Providing the most updated information in a product feed, such as pricing, product descriptions, and delivery times, is critical. This will ensure that the information in the ads matches what's on your localized website.
- Relevant taxes and duties. If you've noticed a spike in cross-border shoppers who back out of a purchase during checkout, confusion about taxes and duties may be the culprit. To provide an optimal customer experience, your website should be able to calculate accurate duties and taxes for purchases in each market. This also means adjusting how these fees are displayed, such as listing them on the product page, in the shopping cart, or in the checkout flow to avoid any unpleasant surprises when the item is delivered. If it's unclear or confusing, your customers will look elsewhere.
- Payments. Payment methods vary across regions. There's an entire ecosystem of digital payments out there, and knowing which ones to offer in different countries is important to increasing conversion. As a cross-border e-commerce merchant, it's important to make the right payment methods available to global shoppers at checkout in order to remove any potential friction in the customer journey.
- Logistics. Fast and accurate delivery of goods is a must-have when selling to cross-border customers. They want to know, at the time of purchase, how long they will have to wait and what it's going to cost them. Cross-border e-commerce merchants need to create an international shipping strategy. There are multiple facets to the process, including managing last-mile carriers across various countries, customs paperwork, product restrictions in each market, and reverse logistics if a purchase doesn't work out. Presenting more than one shipping option provides a range of speed and pricing that increases the likelihood of matching the international consumer's comfort level.
Keep in mind that your cross-border e-commerce site is meant to be a dynamic vehicle rather than a static one-size fits all website. Flow works with retailers of all sizes on solving their cross-border expansion pain points. Our e-commerce retail customers use Flow's modular, flexible platform to address barriers that were holding them back from cross-border success.