Global E-Commerce: Turn Your Website Into a Money-Making Machine

4 ways to turn your website into a global e-commerce money-making machine

So, you have a website. Good for you! Have you attracted any interest from overseas customers? Great! That’s a first step. Considering that 95 percent of the world’s population resides outside the United States, you’re on your way to selling to the world. Have you had a sale yet? No? Then this article will help you understand why. Here are four ways to turn your website into a global e-commerce money-making machine.

1. Language. Are you selling online primarily to an English-speaking customer base? If so, keep your site in English. But if you wish to expand your business internationally, say to Brazil and France, you'd better adapt your site to accommodate Portuguese- and French-speaking visitors. They won’t stay long at your site if they cannot understand the language you use! And I am assuming you have the online platform working efficiently enough to accommodate English-speaking shoppers in such places as Australia, the UK and Canada, for example. If not, thoroughly review my next point.

2. Online platform. Let’s say I am located in Australia and wish to buy 10,000 widgets off your United States website. How do you make it easy for me to do business with your company? Can I put 10,000 units in the order quantity box, click a button and wait for my goods to arrive? The whole point of a great global e-commerce site is to make the visitor experience feel like it’s local!

Think Amazon, eBay and Barnes & Noble — perhaps more the exception than the rule for good e-commerce sites.

To guarantee success, install an appropriate online e-commerce platform that can automatically detect who your visitors are and where they are located. This, in turn, will trigger automatic adjustments that are specifically tailored to the visitor concerning the international payment process (including a currency converter), global logistics and even trade compliance, to name just a few.

A couple of places to explore are: Vine Global Solutions, Digital River, and GXS

3. Customer service. You may have a spiffy website translated into every language in the world along with the most sophisticated online global e-commerce platform on the planet, but what happens when visitors click on the “Contact Us” button? Will they get assistance in their language in a reasonable amount of time? How about “Live” help? Is that an option in their language, too? For every minute a visitor waits to get assistance from you at your website, it’s a minute they’re free to look elsewhere for the same offering. In many instances, they don’t wait. They close out and move on.

4.  Currency converter.  You may think conducting business in your own currency is easiest but is it limiting your export potential?  Put yourself in the shoes of your customer.  What currency are they used to transacting business in?  Offer it.  The more comfortable you make your customer feel during the checkout process, the more likely they will buy from you.   

You don’t have to put all these practices into place at once. If you are a small operation, you can test the waters by selling to a specific country, translating your site to accommodate that market and handling the international business transaction the old fashioned way: by telephone, e-mail, Skype or fax.

Once business builds up in that market, consider setting up an online e-commerce platform, which will allow you to automate orders, achieve economies of scale within a manufacturing facility and continue to grow online.

As for the third point, no matter what, you should always offer flawless customer service to your online visitors. The more personalized and tailored it is, the better your chance for success in the global e-marketplace.

Website features and functions such as language translation, e-commerce platform, good customer service, and currency converters, matter to international shoppers. The ultimate goal is to drive online global sales for your business and at the same time make it easy for shoppers to browse, buy (= spend more) and return to your website often.

Photo © ilco