When are you ready to sell online abroad?

Updated: May 27, 2019

Sometimes we meet clients who make this decision way too complicated. In other situations we meet web shops that launch abroad without checking if they can actually sell with a positive income per order.


As we see it, there are only 3 things you need to be “on top” of before you start localising your web shop.


1. Will you be able to sell your products to competitive prices and still make money?


2. Are you able to pick and pack products in an effective way – and without mistakes?


3. Are your web shop and other back-office systems capable of handling several currencies?


If you can answer yes to the questions above, our claim is that you are capable of successfully launching in a new country.


How do you answer the questions?


I will try to go a little deeper into each question, making it easier for you to find the correct answers for your web shop.


1. Will you be able to sell your products to competitive prices?


To answer this question you need to look inside your own business and also get some input from the target country(ies). Our approach is a thorough calculation of the income per order in the home market.


Income per order should be calculated based on actual results over a period of time (3 months) like this:


When you have done the calculation for your home market you can begin adjusting the different elements to the level that fits the new country. Maybe the shipping cost is a little higher, maybe you have to add import taxes and maybe you can expect a higher average order (typically in Norway).


When this part is done, you will have a good indication of the income per order in the new countries you consider.


The other part is to understand the price level in the new market as well as the marketing cost. Our local specialists can help you with this, providing you with a Market scan, or you can collect the data your self.


Holding all this information together gives you an understanding of your ability to compete in the new market and tells you if the answer to the question above is “yes”.


2. Are you able to pick and pack products in an effective way – and without mistakes?


When you are launching in new countries it becomes even more important that your warehouse is effective. The volume and complexity will increase, making an efficient warehouse with clear processes is an important factor for keeping the costs low.


At the same time the quality is important. Handling international returns are very expensive and time consuming, but at the same time it is an important part of the customers experience. To handle the returns in a seamless way for the customer is expensive, therefore you don’t wan’t to have too many returns due to pick and pack mistakes.


3. Are your web shop and other back-office systems capable of handling several currencies?


IT challenges often delay international projects. Therefore it is a good idea to do a thorough check of the IT systems. Most web shops can work with different currencies and languages, the challenges often appears when the shop is integrated to an ERP system and to payment methods.


We recommend to describe different scenarios including price changes, setting up campaigns using different discount methods, order flows, return flows etc. Go through the scenarios in detail and make sure your IT setup is capable of handling this without too many works arounds or manual processes.


If you can answer yes to these questions you are good to go. If you need input on the different elements, please send us an email and let us see if we can send you in the right direction.

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