5 Technologies That Help Retailers Sell Globally

The internet has opened up a whole new world of shopping. With online stores, consumers are able to find items from around the world without the need for an international vacation. With the rise in e-commerce websites, consumers turn to the internet for their most essential goods when in-store shopping is not an option.

One of the most fascinating byproducts of the recession was how it affected shopping habits. Consumers would stop driving to the mall and start shopping on their laptops instead. This trend continued even after the pandemic, with many shoppers looking for new, eclectic pieces from niche brands online.

With economic recovery on the horizon, now is the time for brands to go global. However, it’s important for retailers to take note: cross-border transactions can be confusing and seem too expensive for both the customer and the store. The point of friction can vary by region, but regardless of location, consumers want to easily and pain-freely purchase products internationally.

The good news is that e-commerce merchants have a number of tools at their disposal that help them expand into new markets with ease.

1. Localized Pricing and Currency

Price localization is a vital tool for e-commerce sites who want to expand their customer base. It includes displaying the correct local currency for a global customer in a given market, and settling transactions in that local currency. This means that if a site is selling to an EU citizen, they would be displayed Euros instead of Yen in Japan, or GBP instead of Euros in the U.K.

In this new era, retailers must convey their kindness and support digitally. Excellent customer service online is just as important as a fast website or beautiful products. An incredibly useful tool for brands to use is instant messaging. It can immediately engage customers and resolve issues such as abandonment of shopper carts, high bounce rates, and general consumer frustration.

2. Localized Payment Options

Online payment methods are different from country to country. You should offer local payment methods to your customers, otherwise they might abandon their shopping carts.  

Technology can help both retailers and shoppers by making dozens of local payment methods available. Shoppers should be able to find the method that suits them best, and the retailer should be able to offer the appropriate one for the country of the shopper. A tech solution should also offer regional acquiring to avoid third-party fees related to cross-border payments and reduce any costs associated with foreign exchange rates.

3. Duties and taxes

One major issue for cross-border shoppers is that duties and taxes can be confusing. This makes it frustrating for the shopper, especially if the cost of those fees isn’t communicated up front. Furthermore, consumers don’t want to pay for any fees upon order delivery. This often happens if a brand doesn’t allow shoppers to cover those expenses prior to checkout. One of the most confusing aspects of an international purchase is duties and taxes. But, with technology solutions like this one, merchants can accurately calculate these rates and manage customs paperwork so that customers who order internationally still receive their purchase fast and hassle-free.

4. Seamless checkout

In this new era, a crucial step in the customer journey is the checkout experience. Shoppers tend to abandon their carts when they think something is being hidden from them. You can prevent that by localizing your checkout process and making clear what the cost of the purchase is, including all applicable fees. You can also offer a language option, list out any delivery windows and shipping rates, and make sure the customer pays in their preferred currency.

5. Fast, Cost-Effective Shipping.

International shipping can be a struggle for retailers. Customers have a higher expectation when it comes to receiving their goods, and they don’t want to pay for high shipping rates. They want their international orders to be delivered immediately and at a low cost. To make sure your customers are happy, you have to consider all the facets of shipping. For example, making sure you have the best carriers across the board and complying with international customs paperwork. Giving customers more than one shipping option can help them decide how they want their products delivered.

To offer the most convenient shipping options, brands must be flexible to the needs of different markets. The best way to do this, without having to guess at what your customers want, is using different technology. For example, you could have two versions of your website available to different countries or use a platform that conducts A/B testing for you.

These are the top five ways that technology can reduce friction in cross-border transactions. The list may be small, but it may grow as consumers continue to explore the possibilities of online shopping.