During the ongoing pandemic, cross-border payments have increased significantly, as trade across national borders helps fulfill local demand. This boom has been equally beneficial for consumers and sellers alike. For sellers who’ve been able to reach these overseas markets and expand into cross-border selling, substantial sales growth has followed.
To kick-start and maintain growth today as we near a less volatile, endemic COVID era , sellers must ensure they are positioned for continued expansion into new overseas markets and territories. Looking at the longer-term perspective, having a solid cross-border strategy is widely seen as an essential component of a sustained growth plan. Myriad businesses utilize this strategy, achieving greater sales and increase in the overall resilience of their business-model.
The reasons for expanding your sales into new markets are compelling; by extending your reach to new customers, you gain a rapid expansion of sales volumes and a fresh source of loyal customers. E-commerce sales in the APAC region alone are expected to double by 2025 (reaching some $2,000 billion USD), and marketplaces are taking a growing share of the total online spend. For retailers and brands, this means marketplaces are the most strategically relevant place to target expansion efforts.
Marketplaces are a critical ingredient in successful cross-border expansion because they make new markets much more accessible. This is true of both established brands in new markets, and new brands looking to launch internationally. These brands get to stand alongside established merchants in an environment (including sales terms, delivery and payment methods, etc.) that shoppers already trust. This substantially lowers the bar to new market entrants in new overseas markets, a far easier and more successful option than establishing the same trust with their own webshop. There is also less risk involved, as sellers can try out and perfect their product offering, service provision, assortment and content, before scaling-up.
The question is, how can you make your cross-border expansion as efficient and successful as possible, be it at launch or expanding an existing business in a post-pandemic world from day one?
While there are incredible opportunities, considerable challenges await those making cross-border sales a success. These include setting-up provisions for customer service, returns, shipping, logistics, and issues like sales tax and import duties, amongst others. This can be a steep learning curve for brands considering cross-border sales for the first time. Once the above systems are established, and the wrinkles ironed out, it becomes a much more manageable endeavor.
For this reason, it's recommended (and more effective) to begin cross-border sales with a strategic 'pilot scheme' – choosing one country within a new geographic area and utilizing one or two marketplaces. After you have established the parameters for success, the way is clear to duplicate that successful model across new marketplaces, and subsequently, new overseas markets.
Selecting just one 'similar' market to begin your expansion reduces the work required, with l refining needed for your product offerings, descriptions, and sales terms. This translates to a greater opportunity for success.
Similar trading requirements between countries also means administration and legal compliance are less of a concern than more dissimilar markets. Singapore and Australia are well-matched in this respect; both countries have well-developed and cosmopolitan societies and a global outlook.
This has benefits for selling in both markets:
Singapore and Australia boast well-developed economies and use English as a primary language, making both countries well-suited as trading partners. Numerous other similarities make Australia and Singapore attractive markets for marketplace sellers to expand into, and these features contribute to stronger odds for success.
Selling to the Singapore market
Selling to the Australian market
Once you've dipped your toe into your new market of eager customers, you will have a clear picture of how it can boost sales. You'll also have gained a clear vision of how to overcome the challenges involved in making this a success. By starting your market expansion in a country that has a lower threshold to entry, you gain the experience and knowledge you need to plan further development and make it more successful with minimal risk.
Does this sound like a great opportunity for your business? ChannelEngine’s complete e-commerce and marketplace management suite, strong partner ecosystem, and the local team will help you rapidly grow your customer base and sales. Request a demo and learn how to make a smooth connection to some of the most promising global marketplaces.