A decision to expand business is never easy, especially when you want to conquer new, international markets. There are several things which should consider before making such a decision.
We’d like to share our own experience with you. Code Sphere Network is located in Langley, British Columbia but we plan to expand our services for Europe within next three months.
There are already companies operating on the local market for some time. Take your time and do a research about the potential competitors. Planning stage is the most important one. Be aware of the situation in the country, government plans, global trends and many, many more.
Even if you can compete with your prices and shipping costs, customers may still stay loyal to the companies they know. First find out more about your potential competitors, their offer and services they provide. Maybe there is a product which you might be the only one offering on the market. Try to gather as much information as possible about them, especially about their weaknesses. It is hard to compete with the price only, see what more you can offer to your customers what is not available with others.
Taxes and government regulations.
Another big research ahead. Taxes and government regulations. In my opinion don’t try the easy way. Hire a local company which know what and where, it really saves time and money. Usually taxes are the same for the whole country but in Canada or the United States they might be different for each province or state. Warranty and returns. Those might be regulated by a government or by the European Union regulations, or both. There are different terms and conditions how to store your customers sensitive information. In case of a security breach be sure you have the PIPEDA (for Canada) or the GDPR (for the European Union citizens) procedure implemented.
Doesn’t matter if you are in the business for many years or you just started you need to have suppliers you can rely on. Some of the products might not be available in other countries or the taxes way higher. The terms and conditions for delivering products might be different as well. Some suppliers offer drop shipping, it is always good to ask them if they can do it with your packages, tapes and logo. It is worth to check if they offer a flat fee for all shipments within a month.
Shipping and returns
It might happen that you will need to offer a free shipping for your customers for some time or if you don’t have to do it, some kind of a product bundle. Most of the worldwide well-known shipping companies such as Fedex, UPS or DHL are already there but it is always worth to consider some alternatives. As I’ve mentioned earlier warranty and returns can be regulated by a government, but you may offer you may offer and extended warranty which. Post-sale services might be very attractive for some customers. Returns, in some countries there are 10 or 14 days when a customer may return a product.
After taking care of everything described above it is time to take care of your customers. Clients in North America care more about quality and functionality of the web services where in Europe a modern layout is the most important factor. PrestaShop delivers a wide range of tools which can help make your e-commnerce unique, modern and ease to navigate by your customers. By using marketing tools, find out precisely who are your clients and what they are looking for by visiting your web store. Nowadays, customers are very aware of their expectations.
Naturally there are more factors and tips, it is hard to mention all of them. By writing this article we wanted to share my experience with other business owners who consider expanding their businesses, especially the e-commerce solutions.