6 International E-Commerce Resources for Small Businesses

18 December, 2019
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Taking your online business into the global market is a giant leap for many entrepreneurs. However, it’s important to remember that cross-border trading should always be a carefully calculated risk, particularly for small businesses looking to grow and see a return on their investments.

If your current business model has been successful on a local level, this may not necessarily indicate that the same approach will work abroad. In this article, we’ve listed the six primary resources that you should have before you set off to sell your product on an international scale.

A resource for shipping

The most significant concern you’ll have as an international seller is whether it’s actually possible to ship to the locations you’re considering. This doesn’t only relate to cost, but also whether the shipping networks within that region are established. From there, you will have to select an order fulfilment service provider that is experienced in delivering, processing returns, and handling certain customer service elements on your behalf.

Asendia is owned by two of the world’s most reputable mailing companies, enabling us to reach 220 global destinations and provide a range of postal services that cater to the needs of your international customers. We’re trusted by some of the biggest online retailers in the world, but no job is too small for us – we offer competitive and transparent pricing to suit any budget.

Our services are extensive, making Asendia your one-stop choice for customs clearance, DDP, returns, fulfilment and e-commerce software.

Make sure that you select a shipping service that can streamline your cross-border delivery process as much as possible; it’s bound to save you time and money in the long term.

A resource for keeping up with international tax laws and regulations

Each country treats certain goods and services differently when it comes to taxation. This is a crucial step in your evaluation process when deciding whether to ship abroad. If you miscalculate tax, you may have to eat into your profits in order to counterbalance the price increase for your customer. Ensure that you understand how tax could affect the final price you state on your website, as well as whether there are overall restrictions on the type of products you sell.

It’s very likely that if you select a reputable courier, they will be able to offer advice and guidance on how to navigate the tax laws in the country you plan to sell in. So when you’re shopping around for a courier, check to see whether they have experience in delivering similar goods to yours to your chosen destination.

If you don’t use an intermediary to oversee your international tax compliance, just remember that laws of this nature are always changing, so you will have to stay on top of the ones that concern you regularly. For more information, you can also visit the UK’s official government website,

An inventory resource

An expensive overhead for small businesses is housing stock on site. If you’re going to start catering to international markets too, your warehousing needs are going to change significantly. Shipping directly from your local premises may not be the most cost-effective option, particularly if you’re trying to scale.

An international logistics partner should be able to take on your inventory and distribute directly to the location you’re targeting. This speeds up the delivery process and helps you to keep track of what’s being dispatched more efficiently as opposed to trying to deal with local and international shipments from your domestic depot.

A resource for international payments

While credit cards are a globally accepted payment method, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the preferred option in every country.

For example, British and French customers like to pay with debit cards, while consumers in the Asian market prefer to use Alipay, and Germans want to make online bank transfers.

Make sure that your website offers the most well recognised payment method to the customers you are targeting; otherwise, you may risk dissuading them from completing their purchase.

Lastly, remember that you will be dealing with different currencies, so be sure to choose a payment gateway that offers the best tariffs for both you and your customer.

An international e-commerce platform resource

There are tonnes of international e-commerce platforms on the market, and you’re going to need one. But don’t get distracted by all the bells and whistles. Choose a platform that will easily integrate with your existing software – something that you can easily make sense of and start using right away.

The platform also needs to fit your current budget while still allowing room to grow. The key is to choose a service that is geared towards international e-commerce and makes your shipment process easy and accurate.

A resource for international market analysis

While fans of your products will always have things in common, some key differentiators arise when you start trying to reach a global market. You have to take into account the customs and requirements of foreign buyers and whether your product truly satisfies a need in that market.

It’s essential to do your research and get access to primary data that will inform your marketing strategy. Often, the best place to start when trying to figure out whether a market is suitable for your business is to look at competitors operating in that location and seek advice from companies or distributors already trading there.

Also, moderation is vital when you take that initial step. Don’t overstretch your budget on a massive campaign until you’ve started gaining some traction. This way, you can A/B test your marketing efforts and also tweak any aspects of your service delivery that may need improvement.

Going international is an exciting move for a business of any size. Make sure that you consider all of the factors we’ve discussed in this article and seek the best partners and affiliates to help you streamline your global outreach.

Asendia has a wealth of experience and access to a global network of experts who can offer advice on each point we’ve covered here. If you’d like to find out how we can help you progress to the next level of your international e-commerce campaign, get in touch with us today.

Thinking of launching your international e-commerce strategy? Make sure you talk to the experts. Get in touch with our team today and we'll help get you started.

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