What’s the difference between eCommerce sellers overseas and eCommerce sellers here in the UK? Well, for one thing, the stats suggest that many businesses in the UK are failing to take advantage of the international market. Just over half of UK businesses sell to customers in other countries, whereas for France and Spain, for example, the figures are much higher. Why would this be?
Much of it is probably a mindset. In the UK, we’re culturally more used to thinking in terms of our own UK market. After all, travel beyond our borders requires things like ferries and aeroplanes and passports, and it doesn’t always come naturally to many UK business owners to consider doing business with someone who doesn’t have a jar of Marmite in the cupboard. It’s time to branch out into international sales.
There’s some major sales figures at stake here. Did you know that almost 22 million people in China bought products and services from UK businesses online last year? There’s worldwide customer demand for UK products and services. If your Magento store isn’t tapping into the international market potential, the chances are you’re missing out on some hefty sales figures.
So what’s really stopping UK Magento businesses from trading with eCommerce customers abroad? Delivery costs could be a factor. Shipping is an accepted cost for UK businesses, but transporting abroad requires additional fees – customs and excise duties – that can make pricing more complex and less competitive. In a consumer-driven world where everyone loves free shipping, that can present a barrier to sales.
The good news is there are a few incentives to opening your customer base overseas. Take PayPal for example. For PayPal transactions with overseas customers, PayPal actually offers to pay for shipping of returned goods to the United Kingdom. That’s a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, things you can do for yourself include tuning up on your SEO to ensure you get the all-important search rankings in the countries you’re looking to target, including gearing up your eCommerce store to accept multiple currencies, not just Pounds Sterling.
This could be the year your Magento business opens to an international market. Couldn’t it?