Expanding your business into new markets means your brand has to be ready with all the requirements of the destination market. Amidst the backdrop of a rapidly growing digital commerce space across Asia, businesses across the region are looking at opportunities further afield. In this article, we’ll look at what it takes for a brand to enter a new market, strategies for various challenges, and ways to optimize cross-border e-commerce operations.
Cross-border commerce, also known as cross-border e-commerce or international e-commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods and services across national borders through online platforms. It has gained significant traction in recent years due to advances in technology, a rapidly expanding logistics ecosystem, and changing consumer behavior.
Unlocking new value from cross-border commerce
Cross-border commerce is a significant driver of the global e-commerce market – and this is expected, by Juniper Research, to grow by 108% between 2023 and 2028. As more consumers gain access to the internet and experience the convenience of online shopping, the potential customer base for cross-border commerce continues to expand.
Going cross-border allows brands to tap into new customer segments and markets. This expansion is especially vital if the brand’s domestic market is saturated or experiencing slow growth. By targeting international consumers, brands can increase their customer base significantly.
Other than market expansion, the rapid growth of infrastructure such as e-commerce platforms, both global and regional, has made it easier for brands to set up online shops in foreign markets and reach overseas consumers. These platforms provide the necessary infrastructure for online sales, including payment gateways and shopping carts. Brands can leverage these platforms to reach customers worldwide without needing a physical presence.
However, despite the market growth and opportunities, it is vital that brands also look at ways to manage disparate channels and cross-border logistics, look for local expertise and talent, and define the right go-to-market strategy.
In addition, the logistics and supply chain industry has evolved to support cross-border trade efficiently. This ecosystem is supported through international courier services, cross-border fulfillment centers, and shipping companies specializing in global deliveries. This robust logistics ecosystem ensures that products can be shipped quickly and cost-effectively to customers in different countries.
Tapping into a new market will need the right expertise and talent. Leveraging an e-commerce management platform will help brands to connect with local expertise. Aside from that, brands can leverage data analytics and market research tools to identify promising international markets. These tools provide insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends in different regions, helping brands make informed decisions about expansion.
Optimizing go-to-market strategy
As part of your market entry strategy, it is important to select the right e-commerce channels for your cross-border operations. As channels have varied user segments, it is important to understand which are the best channels to start with and which are the channels that can be expanded into further down the line.
Creating a localized marketing and advertising strategy for each target market involving social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, and influencer marketing would help to understand customers’ behaviors to make purchasing decisions.
As an example, AnyMind Group’s e-commerce management platform, AnyX is integrated with marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada, Amazon, Qoo10, Rakuten, Tokopedia, Shopify, TikTok Shop, and more. The platform is also connected to ad platforms including Google, Facebook, and TikTok to support the centralized management and analysis of advertising data, ultimately enabling the calculation of ROAS and spend to product SKU attribution.
Brands also can adapt products or services to suit local preferences and needs of each target market. This may involve translating product information, modifying packaging, messaging, or making product adjustments.
Analyzing the competitive landscape of sales channels is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions about where to sell products or services. Start by identifying your direct and indirect competitors. Direct competitors are those offering similar products or services, while indirect competitors might offer alternatives that could potentially draw customers away.
Then, identify the sales channels that your competitors are using, including marketplaces, physical retail stores, and even social media platforms, and then evaluate your strategy in the market.
Learn more about our suite of technology that powers the business supply chain, and unlock new growth opportunities for your business today through cross-border commerce.