Having an eCommerce business has many benefits; for many owners, it is the simplest and easiest way to get a business off the ground. As it expands, however, it comes with its own share of headaches, especially if you are unsure how to go about it. These are probably nice problems to have, but at the same time, you want to find the answers to make sure any expansion plans you have go smoothly.
Looking at your business in detail is a very good starting point, but moving on from there is likely to take you in new directions, and which you choose to take will be up to you – although there is one that is often overlooked but could be very profitable.
Look to Sell On More Platforms and Territories
Regardless of the type of eCommerce business you have, you probably sell on your own website, as well as on eBay and Amazon. These platforms are the easiest place to expand, as you probably sell in just one region on those sites. You can then grow into selling in more regions, such as into the UK and European Union – or if you are outside the US, you should look to start selling there as the market is huge.
When you sell in other regions, you may need to have your current listings translated so they work for the new country and then read by a native speaker to make sure they make sense. The same will apply even if you think the same language is spoken, like the US and the UK, as there are still some major differences.
Setting Up in New Territories
Once you have decided where to expand, you need to look at that decision’s logistical and financial implications. Clearly, if you are based in Europe, shipping every single item over the Atlantic makes no sense and can put a massive dent in your profits. So, you need to think about setting up a satellite warehouse in this new territory to make it work.
Once you do this, there are also financial aspects to consider, especially if you are expanding to the US. You will also need to learn more about SOX compliance and if it is a requirement for your business if you make the move. This will involve changing how you run your business slightly and making it more robust in areas like security, but the potential benefits of trading in the US would almost certainly outweigh the cost of these changes.
Sourcing New Products
Once you have a presence in other countries, you also have a new supply chain to consider. You need to work out how to get products from your suppliers to these new locations, but you will also have new countries to source products from. You can also research what sells locally in these new locations to get a foothold in those markets and experiment with selling those lines in your other territories as well.
To Wrap Everything Up
Expanding your eCommerce business is not just about developing locally; you could consider expanding globally as well. While this is probably easier for an eCommerce business, there are still some logistical and financial factors to consider, but once these have been addressed, you have a much larger number of potential customers to put your products in front of.