At the same time, enterprise businesses need to maintain a superior customer experience, all while preventing new and unfamiliar fraud attacks.
That’s quite an undertaking.
It’s crucial that your business and team understand regulations, rules and messaging before you land and expand, or you’ll potentially sabotage any opportunity to earn trust.
Consider Your Cross-Border Ecommerce Strategy
You’ll need to have a strategy to approach cross-border ecommerce expansion, which should include these factors:
Language translation is a major barrier to customer experience and can create quite a bit of friction for customers. Not only will they struggle to understand what you offer, they can easily misinterpret essential policies – shipping, returns, etc. – which can lead to friendly fraud, chargebacks and a negative reputation in the market.
That’s not how you want to break into a new country.
Make sure your website has multi-language functionality and that the copy is reviewed by a human reviewer/translator (not just AI). The same goes for your chatbots. They need to speak and understand the language as well, taught by regionally representative native speakers who understand context and colloquialisms.
“Keep in mind that consumers in other countries may have language barriers and less access to credit. Enterprise businesses should view cross-border consumers similarly to novice customers. What will make their online experience easier and better?”
Some payment types span most countries. And you could just use those. But if your goal is to provide a customer experience that goes above and beyond, show customers in each country that you’ve done your research and know how they prefer to pay.
Here’s a regional breakdown:
- In Australia, focus on credit and debit cards – they account for nearly 50% of payments, as well as digital wallets, bank transfers and cash-on-delivery remaining popular as well.
- In Hong Kong and China, offer digital wallets, mobile payment apps, and PayPal. Credit cards are accepted, but Asian consumers are responsible for fraud, so they are reluctant to use them. If you’re expanding into Vietnam, cash-on-delivery is standard.
- French and Spanish consumers prefer credit cards, German and United Kingdom consumers prefer PayPal, as well as digital wallets and alternative payments. And in Greece, consumers pay with prepaid cash cards.
- The United States and Canada have high credit card penetration, while digital wallets and other alternative payments are becoming more popular.
- Most LATAM countries (Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Uruguay) prefer cash-on-delivery and some credit cards.
Regulations and other factors
Make sure to account for the logistics that can get in the way of making and fulfilling sales. How are local sales tax and value-added tax (VAT) calculated? Is there a preferred currency or multiple currencies?
“You need to determine which vendors can help you exchange into the local currency and then move it to your headquarters or where your operation or administration is located.”
Become familiar with shipping times and factors that can get in the way of delivery SLAs. Are there peak delivery charges, which are standard for UPS, FedEx and DHL Express? Lastly, put in place a mechanism for communicating total cost to customers so they know exactly how much will appear on their statements.
Data privacy and security
Data privacy and security have become hot button issues for enterprise ecommerce retailers. You need to know in advance how those requirements will impact your business.
In some countries, a “localization requirement” requires all collection, recording, storing and extracting of citizens’ personal data to be done using databases on servers in that country.
If you’re planning to sell into the European Union, you’ll need to have to be intimately familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is the most sweeping data privacy law in effect anywhere. It requires vigilance with consumer data — and the penalties for violating GDPR start at 20 million euros.
Another EU requirement is PSD2, or Payment Services Directive 2, which requires Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for all European Economic Area (EEA) electronic transactions. Essentially, this ups the ante on transaction authentication – such as two-factor authentication.
No matter where in the world your ecommerce reach extends, however, there will always be the risk of fraud. And enterprise ecommerce businesses need to know what that looks like today.