3 Key Elements for Success in International E-commerce
Written by Max Riis Christensen
To succeed in foreign markets, ambition and translation alone are not enough.
In this blog post, we will discuss the three most important elements of international e-commerce based on our experience working with over 1000 companies in the past 12 years.1. Know Your Numbers!
Understanding the right numbers is crucial when it comes to e-commerce. One key metric to focus on is IPO (Income per Order).
Selling online incurs various costs when a customer clicks the buy button. Unlike retail stores, each order triggers expenses such as customer service, warehouse salaries, packaging materials, shipping costs, and return handling. Often, these costs are comparable to the product prices themselves. It's essential to have a detailed understanding of these costs to calculate the IPO accurately.
Start by calculating the IPO in your home market and then adjust each number according to the situation in the new market. Factors like competitor actions, product prices, and average order size can significantly impact your IPO.
How to calculate your Income Per Order:
Average order value + Shipping fee
- Import Tax
- Shipping cost
- Purchase price
- Packaging material per order
- Payment fees per order
- Warehouse cost per order
- Return handling per order
- Customer service per order
Thoroughly calculating these numbers will help you determine if the new market is attractive or if you should explore other options.2. Join forces with a Local Hero
Having input from an e-commerce specialist who grew up in your target country is invaluable. They know the market and understand the best practices for e-commerce in that specific region.
This is especially important in marketing. Each market has different marketing channel preferences, and there may be unfamiliar channels you haven't encountered before. Having a local expert will ensure you make informed decisions and avoid simply replicating your domestic marketing strategies.3. Focus on Implementation
Implementation is key, and it's an area where many companies can improve. When launching a webshop in a foreign market, you still have your regular responsibilities. In the initial months, you may not see immediate returns on the extra hours of work invested, which sometimes leads to reprioritizing tasks, with the new market being pushed down the to-do list.
However, in a competitive foreign market, success requires giving it your best effort. You must have a professional webshop, deliver an exceptional customer experience, and leverage the most effective online marketing options available.
Our Best Advice:
When planning to launch your shop in a new country, we always recommend following the five phases outlined below and preparing a thorough business case. Calculate the numbers accurately and ensure that resources are allocated, even if initial sales don't meet your expectations.