Sell Global, Price Local – Pricing for Global Vendors

Last updated on June 4th, 2018 at 01:18 pm

There is no such thing as a “small business”. The reach of your business is limited only by your imagination. Thanks to e-commerce, a business no longer conforms to geographical borders. Every business has the potential to reach billions of customers from any nook and corner of the world.

Today’s marketplace is a global frenzy of international customers, online retail and cross-border shipping. While this opens up tremendous opportunities for enterprises, it comes with its own set of challenges. Businesses are finding themselves in a hyper-competitive environment.

Because of the international nature of business operations, decisions regarding matters – such as pricing – severely affect the bottom line. Sellers targeting international customers need to devise intuitive pricing strategies to maintain a substantial profit-margin. This needs to be done without losing the interest and trust of customers.

Read on to find out how your business can develop a rewarding pricing strategy to achieve international success. You will find this particularly useful if you are contemplating international selling on Shopify.

The advent of International E-Commerce

Increasing internet penetration and digitization of payments has made consumers more comfortable with online shopping. Statistics by Statista.com show that online shopping is among the most popular online activities. In 2017, ecommerce retail sales world
wide were as high as USD 2.3 trillion. By 2021, it is projected that ecommerce sales will amount to around USD 4.88 trillion.

Global B2B ecommerce sales are even better positioned – projected to exceed USD 7.7 trillion this year. A massive portion of consumers are making online purchases from businesses located outside their home country.

Power the Pricing Strategies

Deciding the right price for a product in international markets isn’t simple because pricing structures vary across countries. Businesses need to choose the right pricing strategy, such as dynamic pricing or VAT inclusive pricing by considering various factors that are unique to each international market.

Business revenue is directly influenced by the price at which a particular product is sold. If the price is unreasonably high, the product will not sell. If it’s too low, exporting it may not render enough profits and may in fact, result in a net loss. In either case, the business’ bottom line is at risk.

Elements of a Winning Pricing Strategy

When setting the price of a product for international markets, you need to consider the geography, culture, attitudes, market forces, local businesses, and purchasing behaviors of consumers. It is possible to come up with a winning pricing strategy if you make the following considerations carefully:

  • The perceptions and preferences of foreign consumers.
  • The problems posed by the foreign country’s laws.
  • Whether the quality justifies the export price set for the product.
  • Whether the demand for the product is dependent on the price.
  • Whether the government will raise any red flags regarding the product pricing.
  • The competitiveness and flexibility of the pricing as per market segment.
  • The pricing options available in case the incurred costs for the product change over time.
  • The discounts that can be offered to international customers.
  • The type of market positioning the business is trying to convey through its pricing.

Many Countries, Many Prices

The products of most successful brands have different prices in different countries. For instance, the Nike Epic React Flyknit running shoe that costs USD 150 in USA has a selling price of INR 15,995 (USD 238.95) in India. The same shoe costs SAR 699 (USD 186.40) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and HKD 1,299 (USD 165.55) in Hong Kong.

So, while the shoe is a good bargain in the USA, it may not be the same in India. Such price differentials are a result of many factors like differences in the costs of production and transportation in different countries, differences in degree of market regulation, and variation in tax rates.

Many international sellers practice dynamic pricing, which means they set flexible prices for products according to the customer’s perceived paying ability. Dynamic pricing for international sellers helps to increase sales if they are able to offer the right price for the right product at the right time to the right customer in the right country.

When a product is sold in different international markets, their prices may escalate or drop. The escalation in price may be a result of a longer distribution chain or because the product is sold in small numbers which does not facilitate economies of scale. A drop in price may occur in cases where a local government regulates the pricing, making the market more profitable.

Whatever be the case, setting the proper price for each country ensures that the product is favorably positioned for each economy. It also caters to the needs of different segments of consumers and ensures revenue. Many apps for international sellers on Shopify such as the Multi Country Pricing app make it easy for sellers to adjust their pricing for different countries without creating new storefronts.

What influences the International Pricing?

The price differences across countries are not always in the hands of the manufacturers or sellers. Many other factors influence price differentials in different markets. Here is a round-up of a few such key influencers:

1.      Taxes and Duties

Local taxes and import duties make a big difference to the pricing of a product. For instance, automobiles and electronic products are expensive in Brazil because of the high import duty of up to 60% levied in the country. On the contrary, Japan is a cheaper place to shop because of the lower import duties and local taxes.

The price paid by customers for a product not only depends on the local taxes in the country to which you are exporting but also on the taxes in the country you are exporting from. For instance, if you are exporting from a country that levies VAT to a country that does not have VAT but levies sales tax, you will be taxed doubly because the exporting country will charge VAT while the country to which the product is imported will charge sales tax.

To ensure that your business remains profitable, you need to consider these tax differences across countries and set up a tax inclusive pricing. In countries that have a considerably higher rate for VAT, you can consider a VAT inclusive pricing as well.

2. Transportation and Shipping Costs

The costs of transporting and shipping a product also influence the final price of a product. If the country you are exporting to is far and the cost of shipping to that country is high, you may not be able to achieve a favorable profit margin. You should thus consider a shipping inclusive pricing while setting the prices of your products.

3. Size of Market

Another key factor that influences international pricing is the size of the local market. If the country you are exporting to is small, you may have to set a higher price to break even. If the country is fairly large and you can export a large number of products to achieve economies of scale, you can set the price with a lower profit margin for each product. You can experiment with not just country based pricing but also with region based pricing because the size of market varies drastically across regions.

4. Exchange Rate

One of the major disparities in international pricing occurs because of differences in the exchange rates of currencies. Similar products will be charged differently in different countries because of the different value of each currency that affects every part of the distribution chain. Moreover, since exchange rates keep varying over time, you may have to adjust the country based pricing.

5. Seasonal Fluctuations

Fluctuations in demand and supply also influence pricing. For instance, if you are selling a product for a festive season, you may experience an increase in the demand for your product. At such a time, you may lower the price to make a large number of sales and achieve economies of scale or escalate the price to make a larger profit per sale.

At the same time, you will also need to take into account the changes in transportation costs which also vary seasonally, especially if you maintain a region based pricing.

6. Pricing by Competitors

You will also have to consider the prices of other competitive products in each country. If the market you are targeting is large, you may have more competition and as a result, you may have to set a lower price.

A consumer searching for a product online is likely to compare the prices of various sellers and if you are charging exorbitantly higher than your competitors, you may not be able to make a sale.

Also, if you list a shipping inclusive pricing for your products, you may be at a disadvantage because your price would turn out to be higher than products sold by local sellers. Adjust your pricing competitively such that it does not offset your profit margin even if you include transportation costs.

Serve Global, make the price Local

 

Selling products internationally is profitable. However, you need to ensure that you are offering a localized online experience to your customers. To create a localized experience, you will have to translate marketing collateral and storefronts into native languages. You will also have to list the products in local currencies and enable checkout in multiple currencies. There are several apps for international sellers on Shopify that help sellers carry out these tasks with ease.

              How much is SAR 500 or GBP 800?

According to a survey, 92% of the surveyed customers prefer to shop and make a purchase on sites that list the products in their local currency. If you are not listing products in the local currency, you will lose sales.

This is because a customer will fail to trust your site and will be rather comfortable buying from another site whose currency he is familiar with, where he will be spared the math of converting prices from one currency to another.

When viewing products listed with a foreign currency, he may be confused about the final price he will be charged in his local currency after exchange. If this isn’t reason enough, another important rationale to set the price in the local currency is that you will be able to compete with the local prices of similar products instead of the price being randomly based on the foreign exchange rate. Thus, dynamic pricing for international sellers is a suitable option if the business caters to diverse economic markets.

Also, it is wise to set a tax inclusive pricing for your products to balance the taxes incurred from currency exchange. If you are an international seller on Shopify, you can use the Shopify Multiple Currencies Converter app to display prices of products in local currencies.

Who Buys in Japanese Yen when living in USA?

It is estimated that 13% of online shoppers abandon the shopping cart if the price is stated in a foreign currency. It makes sense because you will not be comfortable paying in Japanese Yen when you live in the USA, for example. Moreover, the customer’s bank will charge him a transaction fee for making a purchase in a foreign currency. Thus, your business may suffer because of mismatched costs and revenue, thus harming your profit margins.

If your customers cannot checkout in their preferred currency, your business will suffer. Enabling checkout in multiple currencies helps achieve better conversion rates. Sellers on Shopify can use the Multi Currency Checkout App to checkout in local currencies.

Setting prices for an overseas market may get complex. However, with the right insight and tools like multi-currency checkout and converter apps, you can win a fair share of the market. If you are a global seller, think local.

If you offer a localized online shopping experience and set the pricing by taking into account differences in local taxes, regulation, shipping costs, competition, cultural and market factors, your international business will grow by leaps and bounds.

 

How Pricing Factor affects your E-commerce sales

Last updated on August 22nd, 2018 at 11:41 am

We all have been in this situation. You went to buy a shirt from a shopping mall and then your eyes catches a flattery white cotton fabric shirt, you run your fingers across the shirt hold it up to your frame.

 Then you look for the truth that always keeps hiding inside the shirt (the price tag). Slowly you reach for it and twist it around to see the price. OHhh Noooo!!!. Maybe after some quick mathematics calculation (I’ll download “Avengers Infinity War” movie rather than going to the theatre”) you go through the details like color, body fitting, and size.

This is a very common offline behavior we do while going for shopping physically. It won’t be wrong to say that the same process is followed by us when we go for online shopping.

Yeah in online shopping no price is hidden inside your shirt, it’s clearly stated right next to the product you’re looking. If 50% is the users need for the product then another 50% is the price that will make the product more charming to be bought.

Today in this article I will be going to discuss what pricing factor is and how it affects your growth in E-commerce business. So let’s roll onto it.

According to PWC research here are some prime reasons why customers visits an ecommerce website:

  • ‎61% to compare pricing
  • ‎23% to participate in promotions
  • ‎41% to look for coupons

Smart Margins

The idea of setting prices of your products low is a total myth. In fact, you lose the price battle if your pricing is too low. If you are dropping your costs to a point where you are losing money, you should consider finding a healthier source, or alter your product offerings to include more profitable things.

Setting up your profit margin with respect to that it won’t affect your customer’s buying is a pretty complex thing. When you consistently keep your products price low your existing customer will always expect the lower price for your product, even when it is unsustainable to your business. As a result, you could lose those customers over time.

There are tools available to measure what price your competitors’ sets for a product. One of them is by “Pricing Lab” which monitors and updates prices automatically in real time.

 

Cost-Based Pricing

It is the easiest way to calculate what product should be priced at. This has two variants :

i) Full cost Pricing

ii) Direct Cost Pricing

-Full cost pricing takes into consideration both variable, fixed costs, and profit %.

-While Direct-cost pricing is variable costs + profit %.

Cost-based pricing is one of the most intuitive ways to set a price. Simple logic is that after calculating the costs of a product for your company, you just have to apply the profit margin you want to achieve. That way if cost of the product is 50 and the margin you desire is 100%, you have to price it at 100.

With cost-based pricing, there’s always a sense of relief attached, as you know that you are covering your costs and gaining some profit on all the work that you are putting in.

 

Dynamic Pricing

It is a pricing strategy in which prices are changed in response to real-time supply and demand.

Dynamic Pricing allows retailers to remain competitive 24*7 by price monitoring and changes, boosting profits by 25% on average.

This strategy is an old practice. In the year 2000, Amazon was experimenting with dynamic pricing: Whenever a user tries to view the same product even after deleting their cookies and web-history they were shown different pricing every time for the same item.

This was mostly used for loyalty purposes, existing customers were recognized and offered a better deal. The result, a feeling of being ‘special’ and an increased loyalty to the business.

 

Penetration Pricing

This pricing strategy is mainly used when launching a new product or service. Penetration pricing includes offering a very low price during its initial offering. The prices are intentionally set low to attract the new customer. Lower price helps to lure customers away from competitors.

Penetration Pricing strategy helps the retailers to make the customer aware of their new product in the market. The price entices the customer to try the brand new product.

Because of the low pricing your branding among initial customers who will then share your products review/feedback with other possible customers.

 

Psychological Pricing

“Odd” pricing tends to win more than “Even”. The ‘9’s magic is one of the most widely used and oldest pricing practices. Ending prices with .99 or .97, or a bit less than a round number, is a market psychology tactic that deeply affects shopping decisions.

It is found that the consumer perceives this odd price as being significantly lower than they actually are, as they tend to round them to the next lowest unit. For example:

As you can see in the above image that Amazon’s India site is also following the same practice of ‘9’.  All the pricing of the product listed there is odd or either ending with ‘9’.

Products pricing with 3.99$ got more chance to be sold than 4.00$ because mostly it is seen that value on the left (before the point) is what buyers interpret in their mind as the final pricing.

William Poundstone in his book Priceless, listed eight different studies on the use of charm pricing and found that on an average, they saw an increase in sales by 24% when they decided to use “Odd” pricing.

 

Smaller Fonts

No one wants to see the big large price in front of their eyes.

Research says that prices that are shown in smaller fonts convert better than larger font under the same display value.

                       Small font = small price (9.99$)

                 Large font = large price (9.99$)

Presenting the lower sale prices in comparatively small font resulted in more favorable value assessments and bigger purchase likelihood or choice than presenting the lower sale prices in relatively large font.”

 

Few Tips

  • Your buyers are experts to recognize the pricing. So try, to set the prices of your product as precise as possible. They even know the small difference between your products, and will understand why one costs 49$ and other 47$.

However, if you feel they are not that expert in pricing, do not make things difficult and set it at 50$  😉 .

  • As 99 is shorter and better than 100, the same way a price whose pronunciation is shorter seems lower to your buyers than a price pronounced longer. Twenty-five-twenty-eight dollars ($25.28) is worse than twenty-six-one dollars ($26.01).

 

  • As any startup is aware of the fact that, costs depend on sales volume. Sales volume depend on prices you set. Because your costs will change as you scale, pricing based on cost alone is a hazardous practice.

However, pricing based on cost also ignores something important, which is the value you create for your customers.

 

The Conclusion

 You first need to manage your focus on e-commerce pricing as it would mainly depend on what stage is your e-commerce currently.

If you’re just a startup, keeping low cost will probably have the biggest impact. But once you start getting bigger (increased visitors, a high number of sales) you can start working on customer retention.

In order to escalate your conversion rate you need to master your pricing strategy and your brand will be more efficient.

Wishing you all the best and good luck in your hunt for the right price !!

 

Tips: How Localization may help you in E-commerce

Last updated on August 22nd, 2018 at 11:51 am

There is a saying in Chinese   “万事开”.

What happened?

You don’t understand it right? Okay let me translate it to you in English, it says…

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”

The difficulty you faced while reading/understanding the Chinese sayings got easy when you read it in your native/common language. Same way it goes in the E-commerce business.

According to data by Shopify:

  • 75% of online customer want to buy products in their native language.
  • 59% of user rarely or never buy from English-only sites.
  • 67% prefer navigation and content in their language.

Your E-commerce company might be performing well at home, but when it comes to Global market, many difficulties may arise while growing your business internationally. And the prominent issue is localizing your Ecommerce store.

As you saw above that it was really difficult for you or anyone (who doesn’t understand Chinese) to read whatever it was written as it wasn’t in the known language of yours.

Well in the same way if your online store’s new audience doesn’t understand the language of the online profile, product descriptions, database-driven content, and graphic images, they would immediately switch to other website and look for a better alternative which is in their understandable language.

Therefore to grow your international E-commerce business you need to localize your e-commerce website.

But before that, you need to get the knack of what e-commerce localization is.

 

What is E-commerce localization?

It is an approach of translating the e-commerce storefront and all other contents of it into the language your new target audience can understand.

Many successful (e-commerce) companies are drawing their focus towards localizing their online channels as one of the ways to improve and customize their user’s (customer’s) shopping experience.

The opportunity to sell globally is huge. But to have a bite of it many global companies are looking ahead to improve the e-commerce game plan, exploring localized mobile apps, adding multiple languages and more.

If you are still reading this article, I hope you must have dipped your toes in the global e-commerce market. And you may also want to explore how localization of your e-commerce business can help your brand being successful.

Let’s start with the things that need to be localized before you go global.

1) Your Store front

When any of your online store visitor/customer opens up your online store he/she expect that the language, look and feel, of the website to be familiar (they know). So that they don’t face difficulty while viewing your store.

For example: When any visitor visits your online store and doesn’t recognize the language your site has then he/she would instantly leave your store and would look for a better alternative that has localized store-front.

 

2) Products and Description

Nobody wants to exercise their mind while doing online shopping to just translate the product description. The only thing that drives any visitor to your online-store is the products you sell there.

Therefore localizing that part of your e-commerce store will really be helpful to and your customer as well.

3) Currency

 Doing math at the time of shopping is just overwhelming. You hate that, I hate it, and everyone there just hates doing a calculation of converting the currencies in their local ones.

It is found that 92% of online customer prefer to shop and make purchases on sites that price in their local currency. Not only this, 33% of them likely to abandon a purchase if pricing is in US dollars only.

So as you can get the idea from the above data that reducing math calculation of converting the currencies in their native can genuinely increase your overall sales.

 

If you are having a store on Shopify there is an app named as “Auto Currency Switcher” which automatically detects the location of where your website, where it is being opened and changes the product price accordingly (in local currency).

4) Look and feel of your store

 Even though you have localized all the above things, you need to localize your store theme (look and feel). It includes all the color combination, type of product you sell when you target some specific group of an audience of a different country.

Here is an example of Amazon’s localization:

 

In Amazon India’s website, you can see that the design, color-combination, and product suggestions are totally different from Amazon’s China site.

Amazon’s India site

 

Amazon’s China site

So you can see that one of the world’s most successful e-commerce running business Amazon also believes in localization for their this success.

 

Localize User-Generated content

 Just for instance suppose you’re the customer who wants to buy a ‘Mobile Phone’ via online shopping. These are the things I guess you usually do:

  • Search for the product
  • Ask your friends/colleagues about the product (offline review).
  • Goes on the particular website and read reviews/ratings of the people who have already purchased the product. (online review)
  • If the percentage of a positive review is high you buy the product.

 

Likewise, your “to-be” customers highly appreciate the reviews which are being posted by your customer about the product.

Here a statistics from the infographic Review of Reviews  about the consumer behavior and online reviews say that:

  • 71 % of shoppers agree that online consumer reviews make them more comfortable that they’re shopping the correct product or service
  • 70 % of individuals consult reviews and ratings before buying the product
  • 63 % of people are more likely to purchase a product from a website if it has positive product ratings and reviews
  • Customer reviews create a 74 % hike in product conversion

 

 

Wrapping it up

Selling online is common nowadays. But if you want to outstand your international competitors you need to do localization of your ecommerce store.

Understanding these cultural and local desires with eCommerce localization is essential if you would like to succeed in the global e-commerce market.

Which of these tips would you apply to localize your e-commerce store?

 

 

The Omnichannel Strategy Fuelling Cross-border Commerce

Last updated on May 25th, 2018 at 08:43 am

Consumers are the real king in the world of cross-border commerce. They possess the power of choice. They have the freedom to choose whether to shop online directly from a retail website or from the online marketplace. They have the right to choose their preference over the multiple online channels. As per latest research, the phenomenon of “Online Local. In-store Global” is one of the driving elements of cross-border commerce. Many shoppers while traveling abroad often discover the brands and visit their offline stores. Later, they continue to purchase products from the brand store online.

Let us understand why it is essential to implement the omnichannel strategy for cross-border commerce.

Getting the payment options right

The payment options for online shopping vary from country to country. There is no widely accepted payment option used by a majority of the cross-border shoppers. It is very crucial to choose the payment options. This increases the chances of increasing significant number of online consumers. There are important factors the online shoppers and merchants should consider while selecting the payment options. Some factors are

  • Value of purchase
  • Service fee
  • The total cost of purchase
  • Purchase protection plan

As per a survey, credit cards were the most preferred mode of payment. Second to the list were the E-wallets that allow the consumers to store and access multiple payment options at one go.

Direct sales vs online marketplaces

Nearly, half of the consumers trust shopping through online marketplaces. They do most of their online shopping through marketplaces – be it local or cross-border. In top countries like Japan, China, Germany, and India, the shoppers make their most of the purchases with the cross-border marketplaces. As per reports, 75% of the global shoppers purchase their favorite brands and products from the retailer’s direct site.

While in some countries like Australia and Canada, the trend is direct-to-retail sales. Thus, the online retailers need to consider a broader approach to increasing their online market presence. For this, they have to accept multiple channels to reach a large number of global shoppers and increase their sales.

Huge Interest in cross-border commerce

The research suggests that cross-border commerce prevails to be the first choice among the consumers globally. Consumers often make about 95% of their domestic purchases online. However, more than 66% of the consumers have also contributed to the cross-border purchases. Countries that have the highest number of cross-border shoppers are Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. While there are still some countries like Japan and U.S. which are evolving and making their online presence stronger in the cross-border commerce.

Shipping and returns

Online shipping and returns are a major concern for both merchants and the consumers. There are certain elements that merchants always face challenges. They are

  • Shipping the right products
  • Order tracking and delivery
  • Transparent return policy
  • Proper custom duty and taxes

This issue becomes a more challenging task during the holiday season as most of the consumers opt for online and cross-border shopping. As per reports, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and China are among those countries with a large number of consumers opting for cross-border purchases. During holiday seasons, the consumer rush is more and thus the merchants and retailers experience a lot of challenges. There are constant efforts to bring improvements in giving the consumers a seamless shopping experience.

In order to grow the online presence in the cross-border market and strategize the omnichannel approach, consider the following steps:

  1. Integrate your findings
  2. Segment your audience
  3. Know your customers
  4. Prioritize the online channels and the devices
  5. Focus on customer support
  6. Measure your efforts.
  7. Create a premium customer experience

Conclusion:

Every cross-border marketer should engage the audience in a value-driven way to empower the cross-channel integrations. Thus, to provide a seamless and better customer experience, it is necessary to give your customers the first priority. Additionally, it is essential to analyze the sales in the marketplace and choose the right payment options. This increases your brand awareness and loyalty in the omnichannel cross-border market.

Top Market considerations to go Global through Cross-Border Commerce

Last updated on May 25th, 2018 at 08:44 am

Never in the history of the international commerce, trade has taken such a commendable leap in the sales and profits. This boosts the job opportunities, enhances the company’s prestige and offers a beneficial way for the businesses to expand. This also provides the businesses tonnes of opportunities and global exposure on a global platform. Whether it is a large scale business or an emerging startup aiming to go global, there is always a constant challenge to survive in this evolving market. However, there are certain factors that the businesses going international should take into consideration.

Prior to kicking off these factors, always consider key points:

  • Consumers: How can brands connect with intended consumer’s life?
  • Product: What value will the product add to their lifestyle?
  • Technology: Are you making the right choices in terms of technology?
  • Location: Are you making the right selection in the countries with the right set of investment?

So, before you embark on the journey of entering the cross-border trades, always consider these factors.

  • Conduct proper market research

Market research is an effective tool for identifying and exploring the best market that fits your product. Look at investing maximum time into a market evaluation. This gives you sufficient data and market insights while strategizing your go-to-market plans.

  • Define your business plan for entering the global markets.

Discussing, strategizing and planning is essential in order to define the business status, commitments and goals. This helps to enter the competitive global market and understand the strategies of your rivals. Determine which localized marketplaces you want to enter in. For instance, B2C, C2C or O2O fashion.

  • Choose the best product to hit the international markets

This is the most crucial factor in your company’s future depends on it. Choose your product or service diligently and wisely. Consider all the pros and cons of the product and its market analysis. Once done, plan and go for it.

  • Find cross-border customers.

First thing first. Without targeting your base customers you cannot proceed further. You should know who your customers will be. To start a business overseas, it is crucial to know them and where they reside.

  • Understand the consumer’s behaviour

A consumer rules the market. It is quite necessary to keep a track on their moves. If your target audience is youth, understand the trends and make investments accordingly. For instance, if the target is a 20-year old crowd, then in the U.S., merchants prefer more of Amazon than other eCommerce plans. But in China, it would not be the same. You might have to invest in a WeChat store or TMall.

  • Determine the investments for international expansion

Determine how much investment could you make? Strategize upon the ROI and the profit margins. Leverage all your market and data insights and analytics to make the right business investments in various international markets.

  • Do data analysis to predict how your product sale

Perform precise analysis of product sales as per specific geographic location. Understand the product rates and demands in the local markets of the countries. Decide how many units you would want to sell in a particular geographic location.

  • Build a website for a global purpose

Develop a website that has multilingual support. This helps to attract international customers and traders and communicate with them. Preferably, you can decide to choose English as the prime language and later on as you expand in the other geographical markets, you can add support for other languages.

  • Establish a method of export

Establishing a direct or indirect method of export matters a lot in the international business.

Businesses have to exercise over their ventures. Additionally, it is very important to seize an opportunity and plan a whole strategy.

  • Focus on pricing and determine the landing costs

Get customer reactions by testing out the product quality and price on them. Determine the landing costs, analyse later and negotiate if necessary.

  • Set up terms, conditions, policies and other financing options.

Set up terms of payment prior to product selling. Great businesses recommend not to sell an open account to a brand new customer. It is better to focus on the market policies for both local and global markets. And it is essential to check the financial options on the basis of the geographical areas.

Once you have a proper knowledge of these factors, the next step is syncing with the digital and physical experiences. This helps the merchants and consumers to get familiar with the brand and engage new buyers in the international market.

Conclusion

Regardless of the business size, cross-border commerce requires a significant investment of money or time and sometimes both. It is quintessential to focus on the landscape of where you are going to set up your business and what factors you will take into consideration. Together, these will aid to the critical components of success.

 

 

Consumer Returns Management in Cross Border Commerce

Last updated on May 25th, 2018 at 08:45 am

Cross-border commerce does not only rely on successful product delivery. Businesses also need to equally focus on the consumer returns management especially if local geography needs to be addressed. A well-oiled return management process has the power to exceed the customer’s expectations and fuels the business expansion process. This also ensures the brand loyalty. Hence, easy returns policy is the chief concern for any online shopper or consumer before taking a step into the online experience of shopping.

Let us understand why Consumer Returns Management plays a vital role in cross-border commerce.

Consumer Focus

The challenging part for any eCommerce business is providing a seamless shopping experience. There is also a constant challenge to improve the shopping experience keeping a focus on the consumers. This engages and retains the consumers in the chain. One such process in the chain is offering “hassle-free” returns to the consumers. eCommerce businesses should have the ability to offer lenient and flexible returns. This engages more consumers and retains the customer base with a thrust to expand the business. This also helps the businesses to function minimizing the risk of fraud and abuse.

Customer value and satisfaction

Any business whether offline or online should aim at clarifying the return policies to promote strong sales. According to the UPS survey, about 88% of the online shoppers check the return policies first and then proceed to shop. The rest will forgo purchases if they are unable to locate or understand the policies. Thus, it becomes essential to value the customer’s preferences and satisfy their needs.

eCommerce businesses have a variety of products to offer to the millions of customers online. They offer products and services for everything, right from fashion to electronics. Customers have the freedom to purchase from a wide range of the products. These companies can create opportunities in the competitive market with their accessible and easy return policies. This attracts the customers and they can leverage the online stores with the same old traditional touch.

Online shoppers should get the same offline shopping experience with the qualifying purchases. They have the leisure to check the product details before they add the items to the cart. Consumers and buyers can get the chance to check the minutest product details just like the traditional stores. Every product detail should include the product color, material texture, size, pictures and much more. Thus, eCommerce businesses have maintained the decorum that the offline businesses offer. They do offer exciting return policies that encourage the consumers to take a plunge into the wide shopping experience.

Fraud prevention

Fraud detection and prevention is the widest challenge in the eCommerce world. Businesses should keep a watch on the illegal activities if any. Those with the lax return policies might turn out to be great money for the hackers and criminals. To play on a safer side, eCommerce businesses should build definitive eCommerce return processes and policies. Also, they should maintain high-level security to avoid any such risks. Otherwise, they might become indelible marks on the names of reputable brands.

Efficiency in returns management

While returns will always be a crucial part of the business, they do not need to be a liability. To increase the efficiency and foster growth for your business, develop effective reverse logistics processes. This aids as a competitive advantage and can prove beneficial.

Hence, for effective returns policy, make sure you:

  • Create meaningful content about the returns process and policy.
  • Make the returns policy and process more understanding as per local demographics.
  • Offer flexible, convenient and easy options – such as in-store returns.

For businesses to redefine their returns management, here are some important points to focus on.

  • Focus on the global picture: Easy and flexible returns solutions should be available to everyone and everywhere. Businesses ought to focus on their current return logistics to manage the cross-border trade. They should be able to turn the local legends into international successes.
  • Make the returns process simple for online shoppers: Simplify the returns process and policies. This helps the customers to easily initiate the returns through calls or an online returns management portal. Businesses should provide 24/7 access to the customers through a customer service hotline.
  • Track your returns smartly: Know where your returns go when the customers send them. Businesses should aim at establishing cost-effective ways of determining the stocks and maintaining them.

Cross-Border Commerce: Choosing the Right Regional Trends with Payment options

Last updated on May 25th, 2018 at 08:47 am

Cross-border commerce is one of the most challenging ways for the online merchants to develop their presence in the market. The e-commerce merchants have started focusing more on the cross-border markets to grow their business. Today every merchant aims at expanding their business or market employing regional sensibilities and local market flavor for their success. They focus on building strategies that promote their growth in the online market and create a place in the heart of the consumers. To grow faster, they have to build strategies taking into consideration the market trends and key elements. Here are some of the best strategies:

Trust first: Pay locally; offer at a global level

A global offering can never be enough. Consumers demand secure transactions while shopping online. For this, online merchants have to focus on offering the commonly used, trusted and secured payment methods in the local markets. They have to ensure their customer’s safety, confidence along with the market’s conversion rates. Apart from this, the online merchants have to keep up with the pace of technology. The power of technology is undeniable in the expansion of markets in the global and local market. It binds the consumers and the online merchants across all the geographies and various channels giving a great experience to both in all terms.

Merchants need an overview of the market dynamics and the consumer’s behavior for the successful expansion of their online businesses. This way, it helps them to localize the experience. Moreover, businesses have to study the local payment cultures. For instance, in some countries, consumers trust payment modes as credit and debit cards while in some they trust e-Wallets.

Omni-Channel and Social eCommerce – The future

Omni-channel retail and the social eCommerce is the future already. This gives fully-integrated and seamless customer experience. This also helps to understand how the customers interact with the online brands across all the channels. The eCommerce merchants can gather the comprehensive data from various geographies, brands, and stores. This collectively helps to analyze the customers’ behaviors and preferences in a better way. Furthermore, this can help to create great customer offerings and provide loyalty solutions.

In the digital space, millennials prove to be great influencers. They play a vital role in voicing their opinions and sharing information. For instance, 50-60% of the consumers follow brands and products on social media. They browse a plethora of products on the social media. As per online surveys, 33% of the online shoppers utilize social media for potential purchases. Thus, the online and social recommendation of brands and products encourage the significance of cross-border trades and transactions. In future, social eCommerce and omnichannel strategies will become a major source of payment drivers too.

Go cashless and seek new opportunities

The eCommerce field is flourishing at a more accelerated rate. By 2019, it is expected to hit $3.6 trillion. This is the right time for the eCommerce enthusiasts and merchants to invest and expand internationally. To strategize a good expansion, merchants must understand the landscape and seek out new opportunities. They need to seek out effective ways of electronic payments as the global market is turning cashless. Most countries like North America, Europe carry out cashless payments.

In comparison to the domestic eCommerce market, cross-border eCommerce is skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate. Consumers have started trusting international sources to buy products that are unavailable locally. Online merchants can turn these higher demands into high-profit margins. They can grow their businesses effectively. That said, new opportunities arise with the growth of cross-border eCommerce market.

Key points to remember

While choosing the right step with the payment modes, here are some key points every merchant should consider. So, choose the payment partner smartly to grow your online presence and a strong global network.

  • Focus on the regional trends that meet the customers’ demands and expectations
  • Know the online market value of your products in terms of local and global market
  • Follow the customer shopping habits across various geographies, devices, and media
  • Integrate the trusted payment methods to ensure secure customer online shopping experiences
  • Focus on the fast delivery of the products and best return policies
  • Exciting payment cashback offers and coupons
  • Keep a check on the local regulations, exchange rates and policies

To summarise, developing a successful cross-border strategy is not just about best products and services. It is equally necessary to maintain trust, security and provide a great shopping experience for all the customers. Along with this, they also need to retain the customer base, product quality, brand awareness and customer satisfaction values. Thus, for a seamless experience, the online merchants have to focus on developing expansion strategies that are easy and trustworthy.

Shopify Plus: An Effective E-commerce Enterprise Solution that is Feature-Rich and Fantastic!

Last updated on August 8th, 2018 at 10:58 am

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin

When your business grows you need to find something scalable and stable platform which could handle this growth of yours.

You may find yourself being stretched in new and unknown ways as your online business grows. All growth comes with growing pains; the expansion of a web store is not any exception.

Perhaps your e-commerce platform may get affected by this growth as well, and to be honest, if the platform breaks down you go down with it. So, when the growing pain becomes overwhelming, it’s time to consider a switch.

More than 3,600 businesses trust Shopify Plus to grow bigger and faster in this competitive environment. According to the Shopify’s analysis, Shopify Plus merchants grows at an average of 126 % year-over-year.

However, Shopify’s offer is for small and medium-sized businesses and Shopify Plus is for prime volume stores. Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level platform. It handles all the technical legwork of running a large online store for you.

Now let’s discuss some advantages which you will enjoy as Plus client.

1) Extended Validation SSL Certificate

-You must have seen this many a times

-“Your connection to this site is not secure”.

-After viewing that alert warning what you do?

‘You instantly leave that website.’

The same thing applies to almost all the people across the internet. They would immediately leave the webpage which pops-up that warning.

EV SSL certificates were invented by one of the most prominent certificate vendors to enhance e-commerce security, fight phishing attacks and to create the most trusted SSL Certificate. Visual assurance of security helps e-commerce merchants increase trust, reduce shopping cart abandonment, and build long-term relationships.

Comparision between Simple SSL vs EV SSL
Simple SSL EV SSL
The padlock icon in address bar. Padlock icon and Name of the organization in the address bar.

 

Doesn’t help users cross-check the website’s identity.

 

Verified legal Identity is displayed to the users.
No identity check by a human being. Meticulous Documentation checks to confirm their authenticity and ownership.

 

without EV-SSL

 

with EV-SSL

 

Features of EV SSL:

  • “Green lock” symbol with your Company/Brand name beside the green lock in the address bar which builds the immediate trust of your customers and helps with conversion.
  • Provides the highest strength of 2048-bit signatures with 256-bit
  • Recognized by 99% of browsers and mobile devices.
  • Unlimited server licenses.

What are the advantages you will get as EV SSL certificate holder

source : https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/upgrade-to-shopify-plus

 

As a Shopify Plus client, you will get certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliance, a site-wide EV SSL certificate to redirect traffic from HTTP to encrypted HTTPS, data protection, and risk assessment for each and every order. Setting up your EV SSL takes minutes to complete, one or two weeks at most to confirm, and can make a surprising impact on your bottom line.

 

2) Automate your Business

The human mind is the most powerful tool. Even high-quality machines can’t replicate them. The mind is capable of solving complex problems, which modern technology can just dream of it for now.

That’s why it is important to free and relax your business team from being delayed in repetitive, labor-intensive processes, and to keep them on the stimulating important, and increasingly complex challenges that your business faces.

2 Automation Tools available exclusively to Shopify Plus customers

People are expensive, even when it comes to just pushing buttons, which makes it harder to save money. Therefore Shopify introduced the most effective way to automate real-time alerts and business operating process. Let’s see some examples how Shopify flow can improve your organization’s processes.

Tasks that customers do:

-Customers place an order.

– Customer place an order whose value is over £500.

-Then checkouts to the payment.

How does it work?

Flow combines business processes into 3 simple steps:

  1. The Trigger: When an order is placed.
  2. The Condition: Customer whose order value is over £500.
  3. The Action: It automatically tag customer as VIP and Email customer services to include a thank you note or greetings.
source:https://www.digitaloperative.com/blog/2017/shopify-flow

Workflow initializes when an order is created. It makes sure that your VIP’s (> £500/monthly spending on your store) customers are being properly rewarded.

Rewards high Average Order Value (AOV= Revenue/Number of orders) and longtime customers, track and apply the tag to customers those who convert through targeted marketing campaigns.

 

  • Order risk management:

It sends the email to customer service or finance team when a high risk (fraud) order is placed. Or automatically cancel the order from countries deemed high risk or you simply do not deliver to.

Afterward, another email can be generated for the customer service team to contact the customer and explain why their order was canceled.

 

  • Manage your inventory:

You would never run out of popular products in your store again. Flow sends email to your supplier to restock when inventory levels drop below a chosen number. It also advises marketing team via slack to pause any product based advertising campaigns until the stock is back.

 

 

  • Automate Collections:

Whenever you add a product with a tag, flow will automatically include them in the collection having that tag name. For example, if an item has “t-shirt” in the product description, you can create an automation to include them in ‘t-shirts’ and new collection.

 

 

In the eye of E-commerce, these holidays are like the Super Bowl of shopping. It’s one of those days in which retailers prepare for weeks in advance to make sure they are inclined to compete with millions of other vendors and brands selling their products.

It is really difficult and painful for the merchants managing a growing e-commerce business while waiting around until a specific time (often even after midnight), just to push a button to start a sale or promotion.

With Launchpad you can preplan everything. Launchpad offers a simple way to automate sales campaigns, product releases, and flash sales. It is an outstanding tool for high-energy holiday sales like Black Friday/Cyber Monday and more.

 

It allows you to manage complex events such as:

  • Save your time by scheduling a sale by automatically launching your event checklist.
  • Auto publish selected product at a selected time and date.
  • Lock your store to create a hype and anticipation, before the start of the sale
  • Track the events performance in real-time to understand the consumer behavior.
  • Add a discount offer (BOGO) on the specific collection during the sale.
  • Control every step of the customized sales campaign.

So, as you know how Launchpad can save time and give you peace of mind. You can now go to bed without worrying about anything, and start selling even when you are asleep.

 

3) Customize with Shopify Script      

As a Shopify Plus client, you can make a significant impact on your bottom line by few customizations with Shopify Script.

Whether it is utilizing balance exchange, to fire a coupon, an exit offer, or customizing the look and feel of the checkout, everything is just a few clicks away so it matches your brand style.

To do this Shopify Plus provides you the facility to

  • Customize your checkout directly- both in its look and feel as well as in your customer’s field like shipping methods, and payment option.
  • Customize your checkout dynamically through with Shopify Scripts and the Shopify Script Editor.

For example, after redesigning their website which includes dynamic and live pricing, Merchology observed that their mobile revenue increased by 340%.

What Merchology did was they customized their Shopify Scripts implementation which looks inside the user’s (customer) shopping cart, identifies if any changes have been made by the customer (for example, if they adjust an item’s size or increase/decrease their order quantity) Shopify Script will automatically adjust the checkout price in real-time.

 

4) Build for Growth

As your business grows big, the more time you spend on maintaining and managing your staff and tech infrastructure. When you spend more time on these things, the harder it is to focus on the strategies that made you and your online store successful in the first place.

Then you realize how overwhelming and exhausting managing this type of growth can be. Even if the potential is there it can all be wiped out by an unknowingly wrong significant decision.

Being a merchant on Shopify Plus what you will surely appreciate is the platform’s capabilities for the growth. It is designed and built to accommodate this type of growth.

 

5) Unrivaled Support

In order to make your Shopify Plus experience outstanding, you’ll work closely with various merchant success team. This includes Solutions Engineer and Gurus for the 24/7 support.

Merchant success team not only make you concentrate on features and opportunities applicable to you but also they make sure that you get ahead of the knowledge curve with special access to new feature betas.

Other than this they also offer platform training, assist with third-party integrations, and help find approved Partners to work on a design that you prefer and development projects specific to your business.

 

Final Thoughts

Well-known brands names like Budweiser, Bulova, The Economist, Nestle, and RedBull use Shopify Plus to run their e-commerce business.

With this multi-functional platform, you get free apps that automate tasks, notifications, campaigns and many more, which gives you more time to focus on product development, marketing optimization, and other strategies to further your brand expansion.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to upgrade yourself and your e-commerce business to the most reliable and scalable e-commerce platform Shopify Plus to accelerate your growth at its best.

 

Shopify Gift Cards: A Unique way to boost your bottom line

Last updated on August 8th, 2018 at 10:57 am

Offering physical gifts to your loved ones may not always be adored by the one you are gifting. The reason behind this can be that they didn’t like what you gave, the gift you gave was useless to them and many more.

Therefore it would be preferable if you send them a physical gift card having some value. So that, your loved ones could buy anything of their choice using the gift card.

Well in the same way, if you offer your online store’s customer to buy digital gift cards option it would not solely increase your sales but also make your Shopify store more “gift giver friendly”.

 

Introduction to Shopify Gift-Cards

Shopify introduced the Gift-Cards option for all the Professional and Unlimited plan user in the year 2013.

Gift cards offer a versatile manner for your customers to get a present for somebody from your store, creating it simple for them to share their love for your brand while also maintaining full freedom of choice for the recipient.

As indicated by a study directed by the National Retail Federation, 81% of Americans will buy at least one gift card during the holidays. Indeed, about 70% of the customers who are receiving the gift cards, will spend more than the value on the card. It’s a win-win situation.

Shopify Gift Cards are extremely flexible and allows you to enhance the gift card experience on your site. As an example, you can:

Specify the price values available to your customers ($10,$25, $50, $75, or whatever)

  • Personalize the email notification sent to your customers after purchase
  • You can send your customers their gift card balance and manage gift cards in your Shopify admin.

 

How do they work?

When your online customer is making a purchase in your store they can redeem the value (amount of money or balance) of a gift card by entering its unique code at the time of checkout. A gift card holds a balance which can be used to spend over more than one order.

Shopify gift card offers you as a store owner to view and manage the status of each gift cards in your Shopify admin.

Some Requirements to sell and redeem Shopify gift card:

  • You must have Shopify plan or higher. Basic Shopify plan is not supported to use the gift card.
  • Need to activate the gift card feature in your Shopify admin to start selling.
  • Go to Product > Gift Cards from your Shopify admin panel.
  • Click on ‘Start selling gift cards on my store’.

You are done. Your first gift card is created immediately, but it is hidden from sales channels by default.

Shopify also offer you to sell and redeem physical gift cards, all you need is:

The Retail Package:

The retail package is meant to assist you to create a full retail store experience, so the majority of its features work only with Shopify POS for iPad.

If you use Shopify POS for iPhone, then you will be able to add the retail package to use a Swipe card reader with a supported third-party gateway and physical gift cards.

Physical gift Card Enable:

If your store is in the Shopify plan or higher and you have got the retail package, then you’ll be able to purchase physical gift cards from the Shopify Hardware Store.

Sales Channel that supports gift card

Your online shopper can redeem their gift cards on any of your sales channels that use Shopify’s checkout :

  • Online Store
  • Buy Button
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook (when you use Shopify’s checkout)
  • Messenger (when you use Shopify’s checkout)
  • Shopify POS

For Facebook and Messenger sales channel, your customer won’t be able to use the gift card if you use Facebook’s checkout. They have to use the Shopify’s checkout to make use of gift cards.

 

Benefits to You and Your Customer

Today’s consumer adores digital Gift cards due to their instant deliverability. For the already occupied, last-minute shopper, sending gift cards to favorite local businesses may be a lifesaver for them.

Offering visitors of your online store the alternative to purchase a gift card for their friends and family is a sure fire way to participate in the season of giving and to give your sales a boost at the same time.

Here’s what your customers can do:

  • Use the gift card multiple time.
  • Use more than one gift card for a single purchase.
  • Check their gift card balance by opening the unique link sent via email after purchase.
  • Use gift cards jointly with other discount codes.

Many shoppers are more likely to buy gifts from your store if they know a gift card option is available. This can calm nervous buyers who aren’t quite sure about size, color or which item might be the best for the recipient.

When using gift cards many Shopify stores see a decrease in exchanges and returns. Since it’s difficult to select the right item (or size or color), letting the recipient choose it themselves means it’s less likely to get returned and since returns and exchanges can be very costly and time-consuming, the more you can cut down on those things, the better.

 

Conclusion :

Even if the gift card feature does require the Shopify plan or higher, many store owners see a significant return on this investment with a rise in gift sales. Additionally, the Shopify plan comes with advanced reporting tools and a lower process rate, so those features and the benefits of selling gift cards can often result in a big advantage for your business.

 

Optimizing the Local Market for International Selling

Last updated on May 25th, 2018 at 08:47 am

The cross-border commerce world is booming rapidly. With just a click of a button on smartphones, you can buy and sell anything across the globe. As per the Forrester study, the cross-border commerce is likely to double by 2021. This will bring a phenomenal increase in the outcome of sales and revenues. Thus, a majority of the online shoppers are going global in their search for sales and purchases. This has given a little run for money to the retailers. However, some of them have joined the bandwagon in the global marketplace.

For instance, the cross-border market of China will see a remarkable progress in 2021 with a huge increase in sales and purchases in this market. India and US are also following suit.

Let us understand the major considerations for the success in the global market.

Optimize local markets

As per research, a majority of online shoppers prefer using the globally recognized marketplaces. They focus on gaining a potential profit margin. This gives them a global recognition and a great customer outreach. It is necessary for these merchants to understand the market rates and values. Also, timely analysis of these helps them to increase their market.

Consumers should look out for multiple benefits to shop at marketplaces:

  • Best deals
  • Free shipping and delivery
  • Ease of searching what you what at one click
  • Wide range of products for all categories
  • Faster delivery time
  • Customer Loyalty Points
  • Quality products
  • Great customer experience
  • Brand loyalty

Cross-border market strategies

Marketplaces have crossed international divides. There has been a substantial increase in the purchase of online marketplaces. This ratio is high when compared to retailer websites.

These cross-border market strategies succeed based on a lot of factors:

  • Retailer’s market presence
  • How much risk a retailer has to undertake?
  • What difference lies between a marketplace’s and retailer’s own assortment?
  • Is the retailer fully aware of the cross-border policies and charges?

Be like the locals and pose like a foreigner

The US, China, and India have an astounding cross-border market. Whether it is clothes, cosmetic products, food products and electronic items, they hold their positions in the marketplace.

It is essential for these online shoppers to know the insights of the local markets. They have to be aware of the conditions of the local markets, policies and the tax benefits. They have to understand and analyze the demand and supply of their products in these areas. This is the biggest challenge though. But from the sell-side, it is the most important thing to consider while entering the global markets.

Participation in the national market

The online brands have to actively participate in the national markets. They have to continuously strive to build their presence. This gives a good exposure in terms of markets and the consumers. They have to keep the important things while expanding their business globally.

  • They have to understand the fiscal policies.
  • They have to be well prepared for regulatory challenges.
  • They should do proper calculations of the border taxes and custom duty charges.
  • They should ensure the import/export compliance.
  • They have to do accurate shipping and product costs’ calculations.
  • They have to manage logistics effectively and efficiently.
  • They have to process the data and conduct secured payments.

Focus on the brand and quality

It would be tough to survive in the global market if marketers rely completely on the brand. Product perception has to go hand in hand. As per a survey, 70% of the consumers make at least one cross-border purchase annually. This is because of the attractive pricing and discounts they get as well as the strong perception of the product aligned with local needs and quality expectations. Also because of the variety, they get in the products and its qualities.

It is quintessential to localize the brand. They need to create its online presence to enter the new global market. They have to deliver quality products and create a brand awareness to the local consumers. Thus, they have to look like an outsider but have to behave like the locals. The brand equity and the product quality matter among the consumers in countries such as India, China, and Hong Kong.

Manage the inventories and outlets

There are few of the retail brands that have managed to build empires. They have made the most of both cross-border and the domestic deals. These global brands do not enter the market directly. They have to plan and strategize cautiously. They have to manage the resources and the entire system. They have to be quick and efficient in delivering goods and services to their consumers.

Managing the inventory globally is one of the prime concerns for all the online retailers. They have to look into the challenges such as currencies, language, geographical distance, instant delivery and customer satisfaction. Regardless of the time zones and the cultural differences, they have to manage the inventories most effectively.

Conclusion

Brands have to evaluate the market position before entering into the cross-border commerce. As per the geographical and historical conditions, they might have to face huge challenges. But, they have to equally focus on the local brand perceptions to rise and stand out in this global market. Once they ensure compliance for all sorts of cross-border transactions, they surely can gain maximum success in multiple markets.