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How to go global with your eCommerce website

A half-day workshop in the heart of London for merchants looking to expand globally.

Bright and early on Wednesday 19th February, the Screen Pages team was joined by Adyen, Avalara and Brightpearl at dotdigital’s offices.

Our joint event, sponsored by our long-standing stellar hosting provider Aptum, was intended to give best-practice information and advice to merchants wanting to expand globally.

The topics covered:

Screen Pages – Best-practice technical advice for globalising your eCommerce website

Our Lead Project Manager, Rob Peterkin, kicked off the day by breaking down the key features and functionality that an eCommerce platform should have for successful global growth.

Some of these include the ability to create several websites on one instance, integrate well with third-party extensions, be scalable and be able to adapt to your business requirements as they evolve.

Screen Pages recommends Magento as it meets the above requirements and more. We have worked on over 400 eCommerce websites and currently have several clients with international websites – we’ve come to know what works best.

If you want to have a no-obligation chat with us about your requirements and get best-practice advice, call us on 01932 359 160 or email us at info@screenpages.com

Key platform considerations:

  • How much control do you want to have over your website?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you want a template or custom design?
  • Will your platform be able to adapt to business growth?
  • How does your platform enable you to manage your customers’ experience before, during and after a visit or sale?
  • How will your platform integrate with back-office and other existing systems?

Key considerations for going global:

  • Which countries and how will you successfully translate your content?
  • How will your customer service adapt to different languages and cultures?
  • Which currencies and payment methods are popular in your target regions and how will you provide them?
  • What is the real cost of landed goods?
  • How will you adapt your digital marketing?
  • How will you fulfil internationally?
  • What about returns?  

Today, two in three businesses (66%) that sell online are already selling cross-border.

(Source: Magento)

Brightpearl – Evaluating your readiness to scale globally and the key implications on your back-office processes

Next, Nick Shaw covered how to know when you’re ready to expand globally, how to maintain high levels of customer service and what considerations you need to make beforehand to ensure your international expansion is a success. 

Brightpearl's motto, "Automate the Ordinary, Act on the Exceptional" is based on the idea that automating repetitive and time-consuming operational tasks will allow you to allocate your resources to growth activities that require input and creativity, such as marketing and retention strategies.

Questions to ask:

  • Are you making the most of the market you’re already in?
  • Have you automated repetitive and time consuming tasks?
  • How do you know you’re ready for international growth?
  • Is your product right for the new market?
  • Can your business adapt to a different logistics and distribution infrastructure?
  • Do you need to consider additional costs or tax variations?
  • How Brightpearl can help:
  • Automation to route orders around the world
  • Plug into 3PLs so you can expand without putting people on the ground
  • Multi currency ordering and bank accounting
  • Integration to couriers across the world
  • International sales channel ready to plug in
  • Tax rules based on the destination of the goods to assist with tax reporting
  • Integration to Avalara for US Sales Tax management
  • Inventory forecasting across multiple locations

Book a demo now and find out how Brightpearl can help you grow.

Global online retail sales will reach $4.2 trillion in 2020.

(Source: eMarketer)

Dotdigital - Increasing customer engagement in a global market

Head of Insight and Strategy at dotdigital, Gavin Laugenie shared the impact customer engagement can have on sales and how to focus on the following key attributes of a great global strategy:

Data - How to capture important data, segement and make your content relevant and how to use it right to build your customer's trust

  • Content - How to tailor your marketing content and design to your customers
  • Automation - Consider how and when you are targeting your customers and prospects with messages in triggered campaigns (take note to align your calendar with each region or country's holidays or important days)
  • Omnichannel - Simply using several channels isn't enough: consider what is useful to customers, when and in what format

Take a 3-minute tour of the platform and see for yourself how you could improve your global customer engagement.

Adyen - Get ready to go global with Adyen

Fred Potter and Greg Cockroft took to the podium next to illustrate how Adyen is the ideal payments platform for international merchants.

As buyers, nowadays we want full control of how we shop and have become accustomed to fast service, easy delivery and using our payment of choice.

Adyen is a single platform that allows merchants to take payments online, on mobile and at the point of sale. Most importantly, by removing the amount of suppliers in the value chain (e.g. the payment gateway, risk management, processing and acquiring), it also removes any potential obstacles standing between your business and a customer payment.

From region to region, local payment methods can range from card and bank-based models to voucher and cash ones.

By offering hundreds of full-service payment methods across the globe, Adyen reduces friction wherever possible, optimising shopper flows and helping your business grow.

Adyen offers:

  • Frictionless checkout experiences everywhere
  • All popular payment methods
  • Language and currency recognition
  • Same payments setup across all sales channels and regions

Create a test account now and find out how Adyen can help your business scale globally.

US eCommerce sales currently average out at 10.5% of total sales.

(Source: Smart Insights)

Avalara - Expanding your business across new borders – key tax considerations for international retailers

Colin Stansbury wrapped the day up by analysing Avalara's Tax Suite and sharing some compelling reasons why you should use it if you are thinking of selling in the US. Not all merchants selling into the US need to pay sales tax, only those with either:

  • $100,000 in sales
  • 200 separate transactions into a state

If you do meet either of those criteria, you trigger NEXUS and have to start calculating taxes for 45 states with over 12,000 different tax jurisdictions.

The rules don't always quite make sense and are not easy to follow but, if you don't, you risk tax fraud and massive fines. With over 800 pre-built integrations to CRM, eCommerce and POS technologies and an "Obsessively up-to-date" team dedicated to tracking the changes in item classification in each jurisdiction daily, you will never risk being unwittingly fraudulent.

Now with Brexit, new VAT structures in the EU have to be respected by British merchants: from individual country rules, distance-selling thresholds, product taxabilities, languages, registration and returns layouts and more.

With less than a year until a customs border comes into effect, cost of compliance could sky rocket. Avalara can help you stay on top of all the changes - Find a solution that meets your business needs today.

Sponsored by Aptum

We want to give special thanks to our hosting partner, Aptum, for sponsoring this event. In a world where businesses are constantly faced with exponentially expanding volumes of information, punctuated by fast-evolving customer requirements, Aptum help their customers maximise the value of their data.

Adaptability is key to their success in meeting the evolving needs of their customers, leveraging the potential of technology to solve their complex business challenges. Aptum provide true hybrid infrastructure solutions with secure data centers, cloud, connectivity and managed services globally.

They have a 20-year history of helping over 4,500 customers maximise new technologies to store, manage, move and secure their critical data.

Contact them today and see how their hosting solutions will give you the confidence to expand globally.

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Screen Pages is a full-service digital marketing agency specialising in integrated ecommerce solutions
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