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In an era where the digital marketplace has transcended borders, international sales have become more than just an option; they are a critical avenue for growth. The global ecommerce market is predicted to hit $6.3 trillion in 2023 and keep growing over the next few years. In fact, the forecast says 21.2% of retail sales will happen online in 2024, highlighting the burgeoning opportunities in the borderless ecommerce sector.

Yet, the success of such a venture heavily relies on the ecommerce solution you’ve chosen. An optimized ecommerce store not only simplifies cross-border transactions but also streamlines the customer experience, directly influencing sales and brand loyalty.

So the question arises: how to choose the ecommerce platform that will equip your business for international success? Join me as I explore the essential features and top choices, aiming to support and supercharge your global adventures.

Understand Your Needs And Goals

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when choosing the best ecommerce platform for your international sales.

Always start with your target audiences. It's like matchmaking—you want to find the perfect partner who understands and appreciates your product as much as you do. So, take a moment to picture your ideal customer—their preferences, their shopping habits, and their needs. This will inform your choice of what platform is right for you. 

Moving on, the focal point shifts to your financial blueprint. It's smart to meticulously weigh your budget options, making sure to pick a platform that not only meets your current business needs but also can grow with you without straining your financial resources.

Ecommerce Platform For International Sales: Key Features

Every business has its own priorities. But the following elements are essential to make a successful foray into the global markets and nurture continual growth:

  1. Multilingual and Multi-currency Support: The platform should have the capability to automatically detect and adjust to local currencies and languages. This ensures that international customers receive a tailored online shopping experience, irrespective of their location.
  2. Payment Processors: While credit cards might be common in the U.S and Canada, other countries might prefer digital wallets or bank transfers. The ecommerce platform of your choice should support a wide range of payment gateways to ensure your online store provides a smooth checkout process for your international customers.
  3. Tax and Duty Automation: Ah, taxes, everyone's favorite subject (said no one ever). Still, these are crucial to consider when choosing your ecommerce platform. Look for a platform that offers automated calculations for international taxes and duties. This ensures accuracy, compliance, and hassle-free transactions across borders.
  4. Shipping and Logistics: The platform should help ecommerce businesses navigate the maze of local regulations and options, integrate with major international couriers, provide shipping rate calculators, and offer tracking functionalities to both businesses and customers.
  5. Customer Support: Just like any new adventure, expanding your business internationally can have its bumps in the road. Whether it's a small issue or a major snag, having reliable and available customer support can make all the difference. Look for platforms with top-notch customer support, including 24/7 support and multiple contact options like live chat, email, or phone support.
  6. Search Engine Optimization: SEO is as important as your passport when traveling internationally. It’s what makes your business findable on the Internet. Choose a platform with solid SEO capabilities, like customizable H1, title, and meta tags, and the ability to automatically generate XML sitemaps.
  7. Localization Functionality: Beyond just language, an ecommerce platform should allow businesses to adapt content, products, and marketing strategies to resonate with local cultures, customs, and consumer behaviors.
  8. Robust Security Protocols: Given the diverse range of cyber laws and data protection regulations worldwide, the platform must prioritize security. This includes ensuring secure transactions, data encryption, and compliance with international data protection mandates.
  9. Scalability and Performance: As businesses grow, the platform should be able to handle increased traffic from different regions without compromising speed or performance. This guarantees a consistent online shopping experience for all users.

By prioritizing these features, online businesses can ensure they're equipped to harness the full potential of international sales, translating to increased customer satisfaction and, ultimately, higher revenue.

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Top International Ecommerce Platforms to Consider

Here are some of the best ecommerce platform for international sales. 

Shopify

shopify screenshot
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to create and manage their own online stores.

Shopify has been a go-to ecommerce solution for business owners aiming for an international presence, thanks to features like diverse shipping zones, multi-currency, and multi-language support. The newly introduced Shopify Markets further propels its capabilities, offering a toolkit that navigates the intricacies of cross-border sales with ease, including localized storefronts and simplified shipping processes. Its centralized admin console aids in streamlining operations, reducing overheads, and fostering a localized customer experience, making it a power player in the realm of international ecommerce.

BigCommerce

bigcommerce screenshot
BigCommerce is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that provides businesses with a comprehensive set of tools to build and operate online stores.

BigCommerce is quickly becoming a popular choice for international ecommerce, boasting a plethora of features to amplify the global shopping experience. Its standout Multi-Storefront technology, together with region-specific content and extensive customization options, positions businesses well to cater to diverse regions effectively. Additionally, collaborations with regional tech partners offer businesses local expertise and vital networking opportunities, establishing strong ties with local carriers and payment providers, fortifying its position as a potent tool in global strategy implementation.

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)

adobe commerce
Adobe Commerce is a flexible ecommerce platform offering a range of customizable options, extensive third-party integrations, and advanced reporting.

Adobe Commerce, previously known as Magento, is a perfect choice for seasoned Adobe users, seamlessly integrating with other Adobe suites like InDesign, Dreamweaver, and the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Primarily geared towards large-scale businesses, small businesses can benefit from its robust reporting and analytics toolkit too, to gain insightful data analysis and visualization tools that unlock pivotal customer behavior patterns and sales trends.

WooCommerce

woocommerce screenshot
WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source ecommerce plugin for WordPress, allowing users to manage online stores with a wide range of extensions and integrations.

WooCommerce leverages its open-source nature to offer a host of free apps, plugins and extensive customization options, giving businesses the freedom to create a unique online presence with the integration of WordPress. Moreover, it nurtures a vibrant community where entrepreneurs can share insights, exchange ideas, and receive peer support, making the venture into the international market not only collaborative but also enriching.

Wix eCommerce

wixecommerce screenshot
Wix eCommerce offers tools for building and managing online stores with customizable templates, payment options, and various marketing features.

Wix eCommerce is steadily carving a niche in the global ecommerce scene, offering essential features for ecommerce businesses aiming to go global. Particularly beneficial for beginners with limited graphic design experience, it offers an array of customizable design options, including over 900 templates and user-friendly drag-and-drop tools for your ecommerce site. This allows for the crafting of an ecommerce store that resonates well with diverse international audiences, making it an excellent choice for the online businesses taking their first steps into the global market arena.

Conclusion

In the ever-evolving landscape of global ecommerce, choosing the right platform can be a pivotal decision for any business aiming to scale internationally. Different platforms bring their own set of distinctive features to the table. It is imperative for businesses to closely evaluate these features in alignment with their unique needs, target audience, and strategic goals. 

By selecting a platform that resonates well with their specific business model and market demands, companies can not only enhance their global reach but also optimize their operations for success in the international arena. Remember, the best platform for your business will be the one that aligns most harmoniously with your unique vision and operational demands.

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By Lin Yin

Lin Yin is a communications consultant and freelance writer specializing in connecting brands and organizations with Chinese-speaking audiences. With a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of British Columbia, her expertise stems from 20+ years of experience in writing and editing, media relations, marketing consulting and execution. In 2015, she founded linQreative and has worked with a diverse range of clients to deliver tailored solutions for effective communications in Chinese and empower businesses to thrive in the dynamic global ecommerce landscape.