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July 02, 2013

Planning to take over the world?

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Alright, maybe not quite yet... but perhaps you are amongst the triumphant who have conquered the world of cross-border trade (CBT)? Those who can share stories of great success, and hard battles won? If you aren’t, then you are probably setting course for what is yet uncharted territory for your business and considering what steps to take. If you fall into the latter group, please take a moment to read our Guide to International Expansion

We’ve compiled this blog to help UK retailers understand their eBay CBT options. US retailers, stay tuned as we’ll be releasing a blog specific for the US later this week!

International expansion can be an important step to helping you stay ahead, or at least keep up with the competition, in online retail.

Marketplaces tend to be the easiest first approach as they encourage retailers to expand cross-border on their platforms by investing in various solutions. Amazon has Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) and eBay has various programmes that they may have already invited some of you to partake in.

eBay is often the platform of choice to experiment with when considering selling to other countries, with the Basic International Selling option being the natural first step for many.

Countries included on eIM

 

EBay EIM

eIM buyers can buy fixed price items listed on eBay.de (Germany), eBay.co.uk (UK) and eBay.com (US). They can only pay using PayPal, and in some locations they can browse for items in their own languages as well as see prices in local currencies. eBay is adding more countries to the list for which on-demand translations is available, but this is the list today:

Translated eBay Countries

By using the basic option your products would gain some additional exposure but don’t always expect the sound of victory trumpets. Your initial success, or lack thereof, utilising eBay’s Basic International Selling option should not determine your decision to sell to other countries. There are still a number of points that aren’t included to take into account in Basic International Selling, and this is where you will think about using eBay’s Advanced International Selling option. For example:

If no one can find your item, no one will buy it!

Your listings have not been optimised to ensure the best key terms are used. You may have lower quality machine translations which will have a negative impact on search. Machine translations will also not replace human localisation efforts such as – currency, sizes, weights, or the best categories to list your products to.

Create a battle plan!

There are other countries to consider. If you are thinking of listing to the larger attractive markets of Germany, France, Spain and other well-performing countries, you will need to utilise the advanced selling option. The Advanced option can only be approached with a well thought out battle plan. You’ll need to take care not to breach various eBay listing policies, such as duplicate listings, and content.

Invest in a trained army!

There are multiple aspects and potential pitfalls that shouldn’t be underestimated, so it’s worth hiring troops that know the territory! There are many services and solutions such as ChannelAdvisor and InterCultural Elements that are experts in the industry, and can lead you to victory.

Explore all options!

Don’t be satisfied with just one victory. In each country there are other channels to list your products, such as the various Amazon locales,  http://www.laredoute.fr/ and http://www.rakuten.com/

If you already have companies such as ChannelAdvisor and InterCultural Elements that form part of your forces, then you will soon be part of the group that tells stories of success, and hopefully battles that weren’t too hard.

Blog Post by Rynhardt Hanekom, International Manager, Customer Success at ChannelAdvisor

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