Say you’re a company wanting to start selling in China, the biggest eCommerce market worldwide—and one with incredible potential for growth. Where would you start? You might try Laurentiu Ghenciu’s CommerceNow presentation on Effective Growth Strategies: Global Commerce in Local Markets, which is full of tips on making the most of your global expansion opportunities. Watch the full session or read our quick summary below to start growing your business in new markets.
To become a leader in high-growth markets, companies need to start by adapting their customer experience to local needs. Before doing that, though, there’s another key step to take: identifying what markets to pursue. China, for example, is the world’s largest eCommerce market: $672 billion sales/year, representing 30% of all eCommerce sales, while the US accounts for just 15%. However, 48% of online software sales happen in the USA, meaning that there may be a big growth opportunity in China for the right type of software company—if the company optimizes successfully for this market. Here’s how your company might do that.
Once you’ve identified your initial target market, there are three major components to optimizing for that market. The most important one—customer experience—has three components of its own. Take a look:
When working on optimizing your customer experience for new markets, it’s important to test the number of steps and content in the purchase flow. Even what experts think may not be what users respond to. In Germany, for example, a longer checkout flow won out, while the U.S. emphatically preferred a shorter flow. Make sure to test purchase flows with real customers in your target regions to understand their preferences. You’ll also need to take a close look at preferred payment methods, which are very different in the U.S. and China: mobile payments and particularly Alipay or WeChat Pay are extremely popular in China, while mobile payments haven’t yet gained as much market share in the U.S. Finally, ensure that local payment methods are accompanied by support in local languages.
The right pricing strategy is another important component of growing in local markets. Each market wants to see pricing in its own currency, but currency alone isn’t enough. You also have to understand local taxes and other fees, and display them appropriately in the format the customers in that market would expect. Otherwise, customers might trust your company enough to make a purchase.
Another important way to reach target markets is to create an international promotions calendar featuring local holidays/days to target. Each country has its own unique holidays that represent important opportunities to reach buyers there. Understanding these holidays could help skyrocket your sales in new markets.
Other trends and best practices to explore include testing in-app vs. web vs. mobile channels for promotions: one company found a 30% conversion rate increase when using in-app vs. web implementation for a campaign. Companies can also focus on acquisition first, using nonaggressive cross- and up-selling techniques. Test what products to offer on different channels or in different selling situations. Finally, making it easy to purchase with one-click payments can also increase orders.
Once you have your customer experience, pricing and marketing nailed down for a market, it’s time to look at how to prevent revenue leakage at every point in the purchase process. We’ve found that artificial intelligence (AI) can effectively automate revenue recovery in a variety of ways:
Automating each of these efforts can help ensure that your orders will be successfully completed in all markets, helping build customer trust and satisfaction. Account updaters using AI can save over 90% of unusable credit cards, increasing retention 40% and authorization rate 75%. These approaches are clearly worth implementing in ways that work for each market you enter.
One last thing: as you grow in global markets, you may also need to transform your traditional channels a bit. Many don’t want to be involved with order processing so a typical renewal flow for a customer might progress from the partner to the vendor back to the partner, perhaps beginning with a reminder from the vendor to the partner about the renewal. That’s a lot of steps!
We’ve found that you can go a long way toward streamlining this flow with automation, delivering an automated renewal notification to the shopper and partner alongside instant renewal from the vendor. This saves many steps and ensures customer satisfaction while allowing partners to maintain customer relationships.
Channel automation and partner portals can help you establish a presence in new markets and move ahead of your competitors, especially with non-aggressive cross-selling strategies. Refocus your acquisition methods and reinvent your channels to make it easy for your partners to work with you, no matter where they’re located.
Need more detail on any of these tips? Watch the full session. Successfully entering a global market? Tell us about it in the comments!