Three Steps to International Selling


If you have any doubts that selling beyond Singapore is a major opportunity for your business, just look at the numbers. An research suggests that global retail ecommerce sales are accelerating faster than previously anticipated, and Asia Pacific will be the main driver behind this growth, accounting for over half of global retail ecommerce sales. The study also expects ecommerce sales in the region to climb $1.459 trillion by 2019, contributing to over three-fourths of the worldwide growth of $1.907 trillion.

As you begin taking your e-commerce venture to the global stage, laying out some solid groundwork will ensure that the business will run smoothly and seamlessly. Whatever your starting point, we have outlined three critical areas of planning crucial in your preparation.

1. Find your target markets

Like any new venture, it pays to do your homework. Your first step is to learn about who your international customers are, what they buy and how they shop.

Gather market intelligence

Start by looking at your own internal data to see from which countries people are already buying your products. Try further expanding your reach into these markets, even if only to test selling specific products.

Research demand and local buying trends

To help develop your target markets, research the top countries that have strong demand for your products or niche specialty. Is there a demand or gap in the market? While you are at it, try to learn as much as you can about consumers’ spending patterns and the countries they typically buy from.

2. Consider how customers want to pay

With your initial market research out of the way, start thinking about how you will be paid. This is an important step, as checkout is the point at which shoppers tend to abandon their purchases — either because their preferred payment method is not available, or because they do not feel confident their payment will be handled securely.

Buyers’ preferred payment methods

It is important that you are aware of the payment options available in-market. Generally, people prefer paying in a familiar currency; so if you are selling internationally, you need to consider accepting different currencies. If you are not offering payment in local currency, make sure a clear currency conversion is shown so customers can see what they are paying.

To help make it easier and quicker to start selling internationally, look for payment providers that address these. PayPal, for instance, allows sellers to accept major credit and debit cards, bank and PayPal payments; so buyers can choose to use their preferred payment type. PayPal also allows sellers to accept multiple currencies from multiple markets.

Choose a payment provider with a reputation for security

Look for a payment provider with a strong global reputation. PayPal, for instance, ranks among the top payment methods for international payments because of its renowned security and protection policies.

3. Plan your market entry

You have a couple of options for entering a new market — from starting small on an existing online marketplace, to optimizing your current website or setting up a local web presence in specific countries.

Start small on an existing online marketplace

Established sites like eBay can often give you large reach. They allow you to test demand for your products before committing a large sum to redeveloping your existing site. Also consider other online marketplaces that may be popular in your target market.

Optimize your current website

A slightly more advanced option is to optimize your current website for international buyers. You can start by simply highlighting your ability to accept international orders with information on countries served and the shipping information.

To find out more about how PayPal can help you expand your business globally, please click here.