Together or separately? In Germany, a question that every waiter asks. In France, on the other hand, nobody would think of it. However, it is precisely these subtle differences that online retailers should be aware of if they want to sell successfully in foreign markets.
The top priority for online retailers who want to sell in foreign markets is simple: know your customers! However, it’s more complicated than it seems. Relevant questions need to be answered, such as: What are the needs of the customers? What differences in income are there between customers depending on the region of a country? And above all, which language do they speak – English or rather their native language?
Successful cross-border trading – know the differences!
A good example of this is the Latin American e-commerce market. Here companies have to deal with pitfalls that differ significantly from the German or European market. In Brazil, for example, there is a significant income gap between the north and south of the country. The language – Portuguese – can quickly develop into a faux pas. Because in the country, which is primarily known for dream beaches and boisterous carnival, Portuguese is not just Portuguese. Brazilians speak with their own accent. Online retailers who want to sell successfully via web shops should definitely take this into account. Otherwise, customer confidence dwindles and a positive business development can tip over.
Know the right payment methods!
Retailers should also pay particular attention to payment methods customary in the country. They are as diverse as the world markets. Every country has its own payment preferences that need to be known. Payment expert Torsten Bongartz from Computop emphasized during the webinar “Zooming In On Ecommerce – Latin America”: “Online merchants who are expanding into a foreign market should establish the payment methods in their shop that are the most proven and widespread – this can be card payment, cash payment or payment via smartphone. ”
In China, for example, live stream shopping is booming: traders present their goods live in front of the camera and answer customer questions directly. If the customer wants to buy the product presented, he clicks on a link provided for this purpose – a dusty form of teleshopping. Payment transactions are therefore largely made via mobile phones and social media platforms. This development is closely linked to the fact that the majority of the population has access to the 4G network. Live streaming and platforms like WeChat have helped the e-commerce sector grow and more people use digital payment methods. Anyone who has a bank account in the People’s Republic and uses such platforms can easily shop online and pay using mobile payment.
In South America, on the other hand, things are very different when it comes to payments than in the Far East, Europe or the USA. Here, PayPal and credit cards must be supplemented by additional payment methods. The reason: the number of people who do not have a bank account is significantly higher than in Europe. It is therefore crucial for success in Latin American markets to also implement an online payment method such as Boleto Bancário, which enables cash payment at designated pick-up stations. Otherwise, a sometimes affluent group of buyers will be excluded.
Cross-border trading: know your target market!
The right payment and knowledge of the country’s culture are therefore important factors in a cross-border trading strategy. If retailers are planning to expand across national borders, it is advisable to seek advice from an international Payment Service Provider (PSP) who knows the customs of the respective country. Tip: If you want to expand your business to South America, you would do well to work with the local acquirer banks. Otherwise, transaction fees may be high. Similar to Asia, people in Latin America like to shop via online marketplaces such as “mercardo libre” or “Alibaba”. This opens up many opportunities for retailers. Because Brazilians in particular are very open to foreign products. “Therefore,” stresses the President of the Brazilian E-Commerce Association, Mauricio Salvador, “as a foreign trader, whether you own a small, medium-sized or large company, you can be very successful in Latin America.”
Together or separately?
This question can be answered clearly with a view to payment and culture: Together!
If you want to establish yourself successfully in a foreign market, you should always know the local customs and design the checkout accordingly. We have known for a long time that the French pay their bills together. Now, with a view to cross-border trade and a successful entry into non-European markets, it is important to get to know their preferences when it comes to paying.
Also read: Thanks to cross-border e-commerce – take advantage of opportunities in the Chinese market.
As Head of Communication, Henning Brandt is responsible for the public relations work of the payment service provider Computop.