Cross Border Ecommerce Solution Provider Request for Proposal Template

Not sure where to start with creating a cross border e-commerce request for proposal (RFP)? Discover everything you need to know about cross border e-commerce RFPs below.

Why a Cross-Border RFP is important.

International businesses use RFPs to evaluate cross-border solutions in response to a need for a particular solution or service. Retailers and brands can’t always manage every aspect of their e-commerce businesses themselves, which is where a cross-border company can step in and help. The RFP allows the brand to discover the right provider to handle particular aspects of cross-border that would be difficult to take on otherwise. The RFP can help structure the process of vendor selection enabling brands to gather all the necessary information about the company and to assess the completeness of the solution.

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The Benefits of Submitting a Cross-Border RFP

Your global e-commerce business has many moving parts. When doing business in multiple countries, it is often challenging or impossible to handle every aspect of the localization process, such as offering multi-currency pricing, calculating real-time duties and taxes or providing direct international shipping. Consumers in each country have certain preferences for their online experience and the retailer needs to be aware and respond to these norms in order to boost conversion. But operationalizing all the moving parts to deliver that preferred, localized experience is a burden for many retailers entering and expanding into new markets. The RFP presents an opportunity for e-commerce companies to examine all the corners of a cross-border solution to ensure it can work with the existing e-commerce platform and deliver localized experiences to international customers.

Considerations for a Cross-Border E-commerce RFP

To write an effective RFP it is important to provide information on the brand’s company and details on the type of project requiring a cross-border solution and request information on the solution company’s background, experience and financial stability. Understanding the timing for the project is also important in order to manage expectations on both sides. Thorough cross-border e-commerce RFPs will include several dozen questions around each area the solution supports. Including a section inquiring around the amount of support included with configuration and set up is also important for a brand to understand upfront.

Brands will often involve both business leaders and tech leaders in the RFP process to ensure that the potential partner’s technology is safe and will integrate easily with the existing tech stack. Therefore, it’s important to also evaluate the technical capabilities and integration services that the technology and potential partner provide.

While it may seem obvious, brands should always request client references and be as specific as possible when posing questions and speaking to those references. Often times references can be biased, so to get the full picture always ask about the onboarding process, implementation, launch and post launch experiences.

Our free RFP template takes a detailed approach to evaluating a vendor to find the right one. This cross-border RFP sample includes over 75 questions examining all aspects of a cross-border solution to ensure the highest performance, flexibility and completeness. You are free to use this template and adjust the questions to fit specific business and technical requirements as needed.

What to include in a Cross Border E-commerce RFP?

Before diving into all the specific questions on process, integration, and features, it is important for brands to include the following at the top of the RFP to set the tone and manage expectations:

  • Background information. Brands should include details like the company’s founding story, what type of products offered, brand differentiators , and any other existing vendor relationships that would be important for the potential solution partner to know about.
  • The scope of the project. Provide as much information on the project, including which areas of cross-border are of particular concern. This will help the potential vendor to provide answers that speak to the areas most relevant to the business.
  • A range for your project’s budget. While some brands might not have a specific budget in mind at this stage, often times many companies do. Providing this information upfront, or at least a range, will weed out cost-prohibitive vendors and manage expectations upfront for the rest.
  • A realistic timeline. Provide the estimated start date for the engagement as well as the target end date for the project.
    Business metrics. Letting potential vendors know how their services will be measured will help them provide information that speaks to those outcomes and focuses any ensuing discussions around results and not just process and features.
  • Deadline for submissions. Any vendor that does not submit their proposal by the deadline will be automatically disqualified from consideration.
  • The decision date. Letting vendors know of the deadline for the decision will spare brands the hassle of receiving constant follow ups from potential vendors and, again, helps to manage expectations on both sides.

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