How do you plan your internationale e-commerce expansion? Which steps are important when localizing your webshops and how to tackle international logistics?

The ‘first mile’ of the customer’s purchase path is all about browsing, comparing and deciding whether or not to buy. It often is a question of trust, influenced by price competitiveness, level of service as well as emotion. For foreign retailers, localization plays a major role in succeeding abroad: It increases visibility in search engines and offers website users a look and feel they are accustomed to, making buyers feel more comfortable. This can equate to a strong boost in website conversions.  Logistics- ‘the last mile’- is the crucial phase of getting the product from the seller to the buyer- and it plays an enormous role in the creation of trust and satisfaction with the consumer. In order to cater to the high expectations of todays’ digital consumers, a local approach for each target market is important for international success.

Within the EU, the single market has already created a favourable environment for selling cross- border. Improved logistics infrastructures and government initiatives are facilitating cross-border e-commerce between the continents. Countries such as China and the USA are becoming popular destinations for European e-commerce sellers and buyers. Online is evolving into a fully accepted sales channel, and the number of cross-border transactions is increasing. Vast opportunities, but how to seize them?

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 An online store with a local look and feel supported by native customer services, which displays the correct currency and transparent delivery pricing, increases the trust of the consumers and therefore helps convert visitors into buyers. Logistics is one of the most crucial factors: First, foreign retailers have to compete with local sellers when it comes to delivery times, costs and the returns policy. Second, ‘the last mile’ often defines the feeling the customer has when first receiving their order. A bad experience could deter a buyer from making a repeat purchase from the seller. Logistics are therefore not only vital for being competitive, but also very important when it comes to customer retention and creating a trustworthy image.

PostNL and Salesupply are experts in helping sellers to expand across borders. In this Whitepaper, we have combined our knowledge and expertise in order to offer some insights on e-commerce expansion, consumer preferences and valuable tips on selling internationally.

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