The business of commerce has become an increasingly difficult hurdle to overcome for most companies. Having just a physical presence alone is no longer sufficient, as customers want to check out your catalog online and compare prices with other platforms. But how do you go about establishing a powerful online presence for your brand? The only way forward is aiming for the stars and creating a global platform, with global payment methods.
In this day and age, retail has become a cutthroat market. Companies and brands try to undercut each other at every opportunity they get, and consumers are the ones to reap the benefits from this price war. But it’s not just about price, as most consumers will stick with a certain brand regardless of the cost.
Some companies and brands have more success in that regard because they can offer their products on a global scale. Contrary to the way most retailers handle business in a localized manner, the only way to grow is by attracting customers from outside of the comfort zone. Establishing a global presence is easier said than done, though.
One of the key elements to keep in mind is that localized markets are a positive manner, for e-commerce retailers that is. Sites such as Amazon offer various different local platforms spread over different continents. Not only will this reduce shipping times to certain groups of customers, but it also allows you to offer your goods and services in the local language. Despite the internet being English-dominated for the most part, not everyone speaks the language.
If there is one thing platforms such as Amazon and eBay have shown us, it is that there is a huge market for global e-commerce ripe for the taking. Even though both of these platforms have a near worldwide reach, there is still plenty of room for competitors. But in order to reach a global audience, there are matters of logistics and payment methods to take into account.
One does not simply become a global e-commerce giant overnight, as there are quite a few challenges up ahead. Perhaps the most interesting and worrisome hurdle is that of logistics. By attempting to establish a global presence, a brand or retailer will have to provide enough storage facility for a ton of goods. And these facilities will need to be spread all over the world, in order to reduce shipping and handling times to a bare minimum.
But there is a silver lining to this hurdle as well, as the logistics sector has evolved tremendously in recent years. Especially in terms of cross-border shipping, things have become a lot more convenient for both individuals and businesses alike. Whether packages are shipped through local post offices or couriers such as DHL or TNT, overseas shipping practices have been improved and sped up by quite a margin.
Granted, there will always be a threat from Chinese manufacturers, as they have access to far cheaper shipping options compared to most of the world. Sending items in bulk is one way for aspiring global e-commerce players to reduce shipping costs, especially when it comes to distributing goods to localized storage facilities.
Additionally, most postal services offer some sort of special shipping rates for entrepreneurs and small businesses, which might help reduce shipping costs as well. There is always a lot of figuring out involved while hatching a master plan to become an e-commerce player, but if done right, the reward can be quite substantial.
Once a retailer or brand has all of the logistics taken care of, there is one important matter to take into consideration. Attracting customers from all over the globe is an ambitious plan, especially when considering there are very few universal payment methods in existence, and mobile payments are becoming an ever increasing factor in e-commerce.
Accepting credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers and Paypal is a good start, but that will only get you so many customers. Not to mention, three out of four payment methods have a rather high chargeback and fraud risk associated with them. Plus, bank transfers take a few days to complete and are subject to hefty fees for international customers.
Additionally, most other “overarching” global payment methods rely on either credit cards or bank accounts in order to send funds around the world. However, a large portion of the population on this planet is unbanked or underbanked, which means they have no access to a financial infrastructure. And these markets present the biggest potential for future business, so leaving them out of your e-commerce plan is not an option.
There is one global payment options any self-respecting e-commerce player should accept sooner or later, and that is Bitcoin. Due to its transparent nature with no risk for fraud or chargebacks, low transaction fees and borderless aspect, anyone in the world can use Bitcoin to pay for anything they want, as long as it can be shipped to them.
And don’t be mistaken in thinking Bitcoin is only used by a handful of people either. Around the world, the monthly number of Bitcoin transactions is on the rise. Plus, there is no better time than now to become one of the frontrunners in terms of global e-commerce players to accept Bitcoin payments.
What makes an e-commerce successful in your opinion? And can Bitcoin play a factor in growing a customer base? Let us know in the comments below!
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