Selling cross-border can seem out of reach for merchants in the U.S. There are no shortage of obstacles in the way. But this shouldn't stop merchants from taking a good long look at the benefits to selling cross-border, as it has a huge impact on profits for those that crack the code.
In fact, global ecommerce sales are estimated to reach in excess of $4.8 trillion by 2021.
That’s over a trillion dollar growth in just three short years — Unbelievable! Statistics like these are a pretty clear call to action for any merchant to begin developing a cross-border sales strategy. And my marketplace, American Outlets, helps merchants achieve global sales growth and success. We already have 200+ merchants selling globally with us.
Before unboxing the benefits of cross-border selling, and what American Outlets can do for you, let’s examine the hurdles merchants face. You may have even hit a few of these global obstacles yourself.
Hurdles Merchants Face When Selling Globally
Reaching a global audience and getting them to buy your products can prove to be a headache for U.S. merchants in any industry and/or niche. For example, what may be up for grabs to order and have shipped into and within the US could be illegal in other countries. Case in point – Drones.
Israel is one such market where drones can not be shipped to. Little cross-border idiosyncrasies like this can spell monetary disaster for a drone merchant that sets up an ecommerce marketplace in Israel without fully understanding local regulations and shipping laws. Let’s take a closer look at a few more hurdles merchants face.
Connecting With Global Customers Is Hard
Most merchants have the ability to master their corner of the world. However, when it comes time to expand globally, pretty much everything can be lost in translation. If you’re going to enter the global ecommerce space you need to be ready to localize your marketplace, product descriptions, currency, checkout, and even the products themselves.
According to research conducted by Common Sense Advisory with over 3,000 participants, localization is critical. In fact, 75 percent of shoppers want to buy products in their native languages, among other important must-haves to make a purchase.
Even if merchants offer products in a consumer’s native language, the price better not be in USD. Over 92 percent of consumers in a 30,000 participant survey said they would not buy a product if the price and checkout was not in their country’s currency.
Cross-Border Marketing Is Challenging And Expensive
A common hurdle for merchants when it comes to cross-border selling is marketing. You would think that marketing is pretty straightforward and that it can be a rinse and repeat process in any country. Think again. Marketing is not just about purchasing social media ads and getting a few billboard placements. It is that to a degree, but you need to have relevant content for said ads and billboards.
To get your marketing message across effectively to entice global consumers to purchase your products, you need to understand the culture and climate of the country you’re marketing in. Not to mention localization needs (see above to reiterate the point).
In most cases, merchants need to hire local marketing firms to do the marketing for them. This is because they are tapped into the market, know local influencers, and know exactly what triggers consumer confidence and trust in that country. This can be pretty expensive, since the demand is greater for the local marketing agency you decide to hire.
Shipping Internationally, Taxes, Customs Another Merchant Hurdle
Even if you happen to connect, localize, and market your products effectively, you still need to get them from the US to the consumers’ door steps. This in itself is a major hurdle merchants face when it comes to cross-border selling.
For instance, let’s say you are shipping a watch from the US to Israel. This seems simple enough right? Well it is, but the cost and time it takes to ship one watch makes it nearly impossible for a merchant to churn a profit. Affordable shipping will cost around $13 and take 7-20 days, according to an online shipping calculator.
You would think, pretty good deal. However, there is no tracking option available, so that watch may or may not make it to your customer’s doorstep. Trackable options that are safe (like using FedEx) can cost around $33 and take up to five to 10 days. But at that price, consumers in that country can probably find a better deal with less risk.
In fact, global consumers are pretty concerned about shipping costs and delivery times with over 50 percent worried about cost and 47 percent not enthused about delivery time, according to Invesp.
And the price of shipping goes up from there. When your selling at scale globally, international shipping costs can add up quickly and the overall profit margins decrease exponentially. Not to mention the chance for poor reviews and ratings due to shipping delays from customs and damaged goods. And we all know how quickly poor ratings and reviews can sink a global seller in any country.
American Outlets Bridges The Cross-Border Gap For Merchants
The above challenges are not meant to discourage you from selling products globally. Knowing what you are up against before spending money and time is important for business growth and success on any level. The good news, is that there are companies and online marketplaces that eliminate all of the above hurdles and more.
Online marketplaces like, for example, Borderfree, have the ability to list merchant products for sale and the capability to ship them globally. This is not a bad starting point for merchants dabbling in global ecommerce.
But to get the true cross-border benefits and overcome every conceivable hurdle that stands in your way of reaching global customers, American Outlets is a premiere merchant choice. Two major factors that separate American Outlets from other cross-border marketplaces is the end-to-end solutions they deliver and their ability to turn a global marketplace into a local retail experience.
Here’s how we make global ecommerce easy for merchants:
4+ Million Built-In Customer Base
Unlike any other marketplace, we have a built-in customer base in the millions. By partnering with Shufersal, Israel’s top retailer, we have the customers you need for cross-border success.
Delivering A Local Retail Experience
We know the importance of localizing everything to our customers in Israel. After all, global consumers want to buy products listed in their native language, as well as pay for those products in local currency. That’s why we made the global marketplace a local retail experience.
Everything on American Outlets is localized, from product listings to checkout. We even went one step further by localizing the products themselves. For example, we engrave Hebrew onto laptop keyboards to go the extra mile, achieving our mission – Global Made Local.
$10+ Million Marketing Budget
Marketing is no longer a challenge for US merchants who want to take their products cross-border. We know the culture and seasonal shifts in the Israel market, ensuring every digital and print ad is optimized for results. Our $10+ million marketing budget also allows us to contract local influencers to sell your products. Check out this influencer video we did: https://vimeo.com/315503993/9f9af85d9a
Global Shipping, Taxes, Customs At No Cost
Shipping is quite possibly the number one deterrent for merchants to sell cross-border. But with American Outlets, merchants only fulfill orders to the US with two shipping options, individual or save extra money on bulk shipping. Once orders arrive at our warehouse in the US, we take care of the rest at no extra cost. Shipping globally is really that easy.
Merchants Never Need To Handle Returns
Part of our end-to-end global ecommerce solution for merchants is the handling of returns. With RMA easy returns, customers can return items in one-click. This furthers our mission to create a local retail experience.
Warranty And Extended Warranty
We provide the manufacturer warranty and offer an extended warranty ensuring to fulfill our mission of providing a true local retail experience for our customers.
One-Click Merchant Integration
Merchants can now get an end-to-end cross-border sales solution with just a single click. Our merchant integration can be completed via GoDataFeed. It is as easy and seamless as mapping any other template.
Start Selling Cross-Border Today
GoDataFeed merchants can now access all the benefits of cross-border selling with American Outlets and finally overcome the hurdles of reaching, selling, and shipping to international customers. With millions of built-in customers who crave US products, tens of millions of dollars in marketing spend, and an end-to-end solution that takes global shipping out of the equation, what’s left stopping you from taking your products cross-border? Take your business to a global marketplace with profitability and zero cost to you.