Contemporary businesses have seen a tremendous shift from running a Brick and Mortar store to Brick and Click store to even establishing a Pure Play eBusiness. eBusiness has not just rendered higher monetary benefits but have also wide opened unprecedented international selling and delivery logistics. Let’s read about a lesser known concept of cross-border eCommerce and dropshipping and about the top five renowned marketplaces that offer best cross border selling and dropshipping facilities.
Pureplay is a business that is run exclusively online. It is different from Brick and Click store as in this, seller holds a physical store as well as a virtual store online.
Before hopping into the nuances of Cross-border eCommerce and cumbersome process of Dropshipping, lets first get the basics right.
What are eBusiness and eCommerce?
eBusiness – eBusiness is a broader term. It involves everything right from purchasing a domain name to handling the bulky process of the international delivery to the customer sitting on the other edge of the globe.
eCommerce – It is a subset of eBusiness that deals with placing orders and making payments online. It is limited to buying and selling products and services online on a daily basis by a business house.
Key perks of eBusiness are –
Global Expansion – eBusiness is not a subject to geographical boundations. With eBusiness, you can expand your business to every nook and corner of the world provided you know the relevant marketplace, selling and marketing strategies and lending best customer services.
Reduction in Excessive Cost – Apart from the small investment done in the initial stage of establishing online presence during purchasing a domain, Tech, and marketing solutions, etc, the cost is very minimal to succeed in online selling.
Whereas, to build and maintain a physical store and paying the bills irrespective of sales are more often than not a nightmare for sellers.
Global Online Visibility – World currently has 56.1% internet users, which means that more than half the globe is active on all digital media platform, and you have an opportunity to attract and expand your products to such a huge customer base by reaching their digital screens.
Presence on Multiple Site – Online selling can be done on multiple platforms and marketplaces depending upon your business needs and choices. For example, if you are an Australian seller and want to sell in Australia and globally, you might choose ‘Catch marketplace’ for Australia and ‘Amazon marketplace’ for global selling.
Easy Analytics – When you are selling on marketplaces, it becomes easy for you to keep an eye on your competitors and research into the reasons for their being better than you. Not only this, but you are also able to analyze your own growth, the best selling products, your customers and their preferences and countries that you should target and so on and so forth.
Convert your Customers into Advertisers – Your happy customers will happily advertise you. A satisfies customer has great potential to build a customer chain. They influence other potential buyers which directly impacts your conversion rate on marketplaces. Affiliate Marketing is one of the fine examples of it.
The concept of Cross-Border eCommerce and Dropshipping
Cross Border eCommerce
Cross-Border commerce refers to exceeding the geographical boundary of your country and reaching out to international consumers. When a person places orders outside his/her own country and makes payments online, it is called Cross-border eCommerce.
What Are The Perks of Cross Border eCommerce?
Global Reach Your reach is global. Sell your products to the entire world. Digital platforms give wings to your products to reach out to the potential buyer.
High Revenue Generation – More people bring more engagement and more engagement means more conversion rate leading to good revenue generation.
Building Brand Authority – Being an international seller, you build your Brand authority. Now, with more investment in the right strategies and tech solutions reach your customers with confidence.
Create Market for Low Valued Products – Cross-Border eCommerce is an opportunity to even create a market for your low-valued product. People generally tend to buy products online that is not available in their local markets. What is not valued in your domestic market, might be warmly greeted in international markets.
Rest assured for Business Sustainability – eCommerce is the future. With technical advancement and eCommerce trends, online selling is only going to increase. Perform better than your competitors and you will be earning more than expected.
Stepping Stones to Cross-Border eCommerce
Shipping and Delivery – Shipping and timely delivery are an essential part of customer service. More often sellers stuck in services of international shipping. To overcome this, many marketplaces have their own shipping services for sellers. Sellers can easily register for shipping service and never fail to impress the customer.
Import and Export Rules and Regulations – Each country that you think of selling in, practices specific import and export/ Trade policies and rules. You have to abide by them strictly to be eligible to be a part of their eCommerce.
Sustaining Cultural diversity of Customers – To rule the marketplace, you will have to rule the psychology and preferences of your buyers. Each country has its own set of choices and trends. Pitch the right products to the right audience and enjoy amazing results.
Relevant Product Description – Communication is all that you have to get the ball in your court. Work on Product display and product description. Use native languages, offers, and discounts on products, give a detailed description of the products and leave a very little space of doubts for buyers.
Adaptability to every marketplace– Every marketplace also works on the personal regulative and monetary framework. They vary in products, no. of listings, countries, and services for sellers. Know the nature of the marketplace completely before creating an account. Many marketplaces have limited their shipping facilities only to sellers from specific countries like eBay, therefore, don’t jump straightway rather do a SWOT analysis of every marketplace and make a decision.
Marketplaces with Tremendous Cross-Border eCommerce opportunity
- Amazon is a leading giant. It operates around 10 online marketplaces (websites) online. Each of these websites is continent and country-specific.
- The top key markets for Amazon are North America, Germany, United Kingdom, China, and Japan. North America accounts for about $55.5 billion in sales. Germany stands second in being the leading international market for Amazon by generating $11.9 billion in revenue.
- Germany, Japan, and the UK together account for 85% of Amazon’s revenue generation. Amazon operates over 12 key markets namely China, Spain, India, and Australia.
How to be an international seller on Amazon
- Create a new seller account for a marketplace that you want to sell on. For example, if you sell in the US but want to expand business in Germany, then you will have to create a Europe marketplace account on Amazon.
If you are already a seller in Germany and want to sell in Spain, then you can do it from your existing seller account as Amazon practices unified account for European marketplaces.
- There are registration requirements like a Credit card, phone number, tax information and bank account details in one of the countries supported by Amazon. These registration requirements may differ for the different marketplace.
- For payments using a bank account in the marketplace for which you want to list your product, You can use ‘Amazon Currency Converter For sellers Tool’ or a third party currency conversion service in order to get your currency in your pocket.
- After creating a seller account, focus on product listings. The requirements may differ from one country to another. The key components on Amazon product listing are – Product ID, product title, product description, product images, and SEO friendly keywords.
- For shipping and delivery purpose, you have two choices to choose from. FBM and FBA. The former stands for Fulfillment By Merchant and latter for Fulfillment By Amazon. If you are a new seller and have a low financial backbone, opt for FBA, which means that Amazon will take care of the packaging and shipping of your product. It reduces the delivery time, shipping and customs charges and provides easy return policies.
- eBay has around 180 active buyers as of 2019 accommodating around 1 billion product.
- eBay operates on around 17 markets with more than 25 million sellers and 1.2 billion listings.
- No. of sellers eBay has in the US counts for 6.7 million. The total revenue earned by eBay in 2018 was $10.7 billion.
- Percentage of revenue generated by eBay outside the US account for 58%.
If you have yet not started selling on eBay, here is the complete guide for you to start your eCommerce business on eBay.
How to be an international seller on eBay ?
- There are certain eligibility criteria that you have to conquer before you are allowed to expand your business to international customers. The eligibility criteria are as follows-
- Create an eBay seller account with a verified Paypal account.
- Earn 10 feedback points
- Post in an eligible category and have made the first sale 90 days ago.
- Specifying shipping services is essential for top search results.
- After fulfilling eligibility criteria, add International Shipping options to your listings which will make international buyers see your location and facility of delivery offered by you.
- You can choose an item and specifically select an international shipping option for worldwide or particular regions depending upon your discretion.
- You can also specify regions that you don’t want to ship to and this detail will be carry forwarded in your next listing.
- eBay runs the Global Shipping Program to assist US and UK sellers to reach out to 100 countries without bothering about the hustle and bustle of custom duties, packaging, and timely delivery. Any damage is done or late delivery lies within the jurisdiction of logistic partners of eBay under Global Shipping Program. Click Here to explore more about the eBay Global Shipping Program.
- MercadoLibre is one of the best marketplaces in South America. It is operating over 19 South American Countries.
- Offers a wide range of products to sell ranging from Household and appliances, technology, Automobile, fashion, jewelry to books, etc. MercadoLibre has currently 170 million items listed on it.
- MercadoLibre is the 7th most visited eCommerce website in the world. It is the second fastest growing eCommerce marketplace in the world.
How to be an international seller on MercadoLibre
- MercadoLibre operates in 19 countries. It runs a program called Cross Border YTrade Program, registering into which international sellers can sell their products in four major countries of Latin America namely Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile.
- MercadoLibre allows a very simple process for registration as a seller with basic details of country, currency, name, and address. After filling up seller account form and little verification, you are given a unique seller name.
- You can separately register under the option of international seller or CBT Program without any extra listing fee.
- After registering once in the program, you will be eligible to sell in all the countries falling under the program without creating a separate seller account for each of the country.
Apart from these marketplaces, there are many US, European and Australian marketplaces (Catch marketplace) that offer similar Cross-border eCommerce facilities.
Fruugo is an emerging European marketplace. Allowing cross-border across 32 countries to its potential buyers, Fruugo takes care of your international shipping and cost. Look at some of the special acts about Fruugo-
- Established network across 32 countries.
- Has more than 100,000 customers around the world.
- Features about 1000 brands.
- As many as 100s of retailers sell on Fruugo.
- in 17 languages and 21 currencies.
If you are planning to sell in these countries on Fruugo but clueless about how to go about it. Read this article to get clarity about why and how can enroll to sell on Fruugo.
Steps to be a cross-border seller on Fruugo
- A simple registration process with some essential requirements that are mentioned below –
GTINs for all products
Able to supply internationally
Integration Channel partners
automated product feed
- Once you fill the registration details, the Fruugo customer support center will discuss regarding some points of listing, other marketplaces (where the seller is selling other than Fruugo), VAT/sales Tax registered, etc, and if found eligible, the signup on Fruugo is granted to the sellers.
- Fruugo provides a multi-country, multicurrency, multi-language platform for “Buyers” (shoppers) and “Retailers” to transact with each other.
- There are easy shipping and cost calculation methods and also templates are available for sellers to select specific products, price, and orders in accordance with the terms of these countries. There is an easy to understand use excel sheet that helps you figure out the way of listing.
- With easy management of products, language and currency offered by Fruugo have really made cross-border selling a piece of cake for the potentials online sellers globally.
Watch this Video to know what Mr. Ted Heddich, Chief Sales Officer, Fruugo has to say about this emerging marketplace.
- Dropshipping is another way of Cross- Border eCommerce and even more than that. This method of selling is generally done in two cases –
- When a new seller wants to sell online but does not have a stock or warehouse of his own.
- To get ease in shipping or delivery services to international customers.
In case you are a new seller and want to how is it done, continue reading-
- First, get in contact with a marketplace or manufacturing/ wholesale that offers dropshipping services.
- Build your own website or get a seller account on marketplaces that offer dropshipping and list the products with your profit margin.
- When an order is placed on your website, you place a similar order to your supplier and forward the customer details to the manufacturer or the marketplace. The customer pays you with your added margin and you pay only the actual amount of the product.
- The process of packaging and delivery are maintained by the manufacturer and logistic partnership countries of the marketplaces.
Perks of Dropshipping
- You don’t have to maintain your warehouse. It reduces a lot of maintenance cost.
- Since you don’t have an Excess Inventory, your business is prevented from any loss with change in taste and preferences of people.
- You can add up all the trending and new products without actually owning them. All you have to do id to get the orders on your website.
- The hassle of packaging and timely delivery does not bother you.
- Access to better shipping rates and low possibility of products getting damaged.
Challenges of Dropshipping
- As a seller, you have to remain informed about the stock of the products you sell on your website. Orders placed for items out of stock are bounced or canceled leaving a bad impression on the customer.
- Since you are not directly handling the delivery process, sometimes it may get late in delivery processing.
- There is always a possibility for products being shipped/delivered at the wrong address.
- Not generally, but sometimes loading and downloading or other uncertainties might damage the products with your customers lending up to the damaged products.
Marketplaces That Offer DropShipping:
Very few marketplaces actually offer Dropshipping facilities. Some of the famous marketplaces that offer dropshipping facilities are –
- It is a retailer branch of Alibaba. There are numerous categories at incredibly cheap prices to which you can add good margins and earn well.
- Aliexpress allows seller account building for free.
- All you have to do is to maintain a good website and list the most trending and highest sold product in the market.
- Alibaba is the leading international whole selling and buying platform.
- This marketplace is suitable for the experienced and big sellers who have carved their niche in products and targeted audience.
- Sellers can easily choose the best suppliers as Alibaba allows sellers to read the feedbacks and reviews on different supplier companies.
- With services like Trade Assurance and Secure Payment, Alibaba protects the interest of Buyers and sellers.
- Alibaba is more lucrative in countries that have good suppliers. In areas like Latin America, Brazil is the only country with suppliers. Thus, choosing the right country with good suppliers can be a game changer.
- Etsy is a unique marketplace selling handmade and handicraft products, easily customizable products.
- Etsy is a unique marketplace not only for the products but also as a business platform for pro dropshipping sellers. Many sellers purchase small units or products in bulk from AliExpress and Alibaba and with their own creativity sell it on Etsy with their added margin.
- If as a seller you want Etsy to act as your supplier then you just have to follow a simple procedure of creating an account, choosing a location, currency, select a form of payment and billing.
- Most of the sellers on Etsy are not very good with digital marketing thus by creating an order for them through your store can benefit the actual seller and you mutually.
- One thing that you need to take care while availing dropshipping services on Etsy is that Etsy is quite an expensive marketplace because of the unique theme that it works on. Thus, you might not end up adding high margins to the products as you would do on Alibaba or Aliexpress.
Cross-Border eCommerce and Dropshipping are two different concepts but have a common objective of reaching out to the international sellers. If you feel yourself to be a potential seller and have the right plans to expand the business globally, do look out for the appropriate marketplaces. Fulfill the eligibility criteria, adhere to the rules of each marketplace and its operating countries, pitch the right products, sell strategically and enjoy the incredible profit that comes your way.
To explore more, click on the links below-