Small business owners in Australia are expanding their operations beyond the local market. These retailers’ commercial engagements through the international eCommerce space have surged lately. OFX confirmed this latest trend, with its recent data indicating the response of entrepreneurs to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds transfer provider relayed that plenty of its online seller clients had ramped up their ventures after their decisions to dim their lights earlier this year due to COVID-19. These small business owners believe that they can get back on their feet by reaching out to more overseas customers and selling their products and services online.
Points to Consider for Retailers Migrating to the Global eCommerce Realm
Many Australian small business owners are considering what the coronavirus crisis mean for their enterprises. They are wondering how consumer demand will get altered with the COVID-19 restrictions getting relaxed as well. These retailers are evaluating their cash flow. Also, they are thinking about the best techniques to boost their revenue and decrease their expenses in the coming months.
Besides these latest realities, small business operators in the country are wondering how they can better sell their offerings. Based on OFX’s latest information, plenty of these retailers are migrating in the eCommerce space to resume their operations and profitability.
On a practical level, operators of small businesses in Australia interested to sell their products online and reach foreign clients may wonder about the appearance of their overseas expansion. Also, they may think about how they can get ready to sell globally amid the present times.
Depending on their enterprise, small business owners looking to market their offerings internationally may need to take advantage of various online platforms. In this way, they can break into the markets abroad successfully. Plus, these entrepreneurs will have to think about shipping arrangements and exchange rates.
It is, indeed, challenging to shift one’s business operations from local into global eCommerce. Nevertheless, following some pieces of advice can make this change a little bit easier for a small business proprietor.
6 Suggestions for Entrepreneurs Expanding Their Reach Abroad via Online Selling
Plenty of small business owners in Australia today are migrating their enterprises into international eCommerce. The following are six helpful recommendations on how they can kick-start their ventures in the online realm seamlessly and reach more customers abroad fast.
1. Consider securing a business loan.
Operators of small businesses desiring to boost their online sales may need to upgrade their official website. Moreover, they may require to avail of more supplies. These costs demand additional financing. Hence, taking out a business loan is a suitable measure for small business owners. This borrowed funding can also assist in covering staff salaries and inventory.
As of June 2020, entrepreneurs can take advantage of many business loans offered in the market. These bank products feature a fast-tracked application and quick approval times. Furthermore, the Government of Australia is offering the Loan Guarantee Scheme for small and medium enterprises. This special financing offer guarantees 50 per cent of all unsecured business loans of up to $250,000 from participating loan providers.
2. Communicate with one’s customers.
The customers of small businesses are not just the people who purchase the enterprise’s products and services. They are also the community of the proprietor. Hence, entrepreneurs considering migrating to the eCommerce space should keep their consumers updated. They can connect with their patrons via e-mail or the venture’s official social media page.
Small business operators should inform their clients about the changes in their operations, as well as their policies and offerings. The act of staying connected sends a clear message that the entrepreneur has his customers’ best interests at his and his venture’s heart. Also, consumers would feel delighted to continue supporting the business as it undergoes modifications.
3. Identify one’s target market.
Australian retailers can benefit from picking the particular regions that they want to serve in the short, medium, and long run. It is a more realistic measure for entrepreneurs to cast off their net narrower in the short term. Also, this step is more favourable at first, even if they may be dreaming of having their business branches in each corner of the world.
For eCommerce sellers who want to trade in the global markets, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada are traditionally the advantageous beginning points. Today, these three territories possess some of the largest online selling markets. Furthermore, they are predominantly English-speaking.
Thus, the transition can be seamless for Australian small business owners since they may find it less difficult to apply the business practices they have utilised in the Australian and New Zealand markets. Retailers just have to keep in mind the variations in colloquial terms and pronunciation. For instance, in the United States, what consumers refer to as “grill” is what Australians refer to as “barbecue.”
4. Invest in one’s website or use an online selling platform.
Operators of small businesses may find it smart to invest in their official portal. Some retailers, like those selling skincare and fashion merchandise, typically emphasise more on the appearance, feel, trust, and experience that their offering involves. They prefer this scenario than attracting new clients with unique products. Investing in one’s website facilitates the boosting of the enterprise’s point of difference.
Meanwhile, some retailers expanding abroad can opt to utilise an online selling platform that adds to their competitive advantage. eCommerce marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon may be advantageous in attempting and infusing a different spin on a specific product. These platforms allow merchandise to stand out among the thousands of similar services or offerings listed there.
5. Widen one’s demand and reach abroad.
Shipping costs are unavoidable in eCommerce since all purchases would get dispatched to clients via mail, instead of for pick-up in-store. At the moment when the coronavirus crisis is underway, the cost of shipping through air freight has surged considerably since few planes are travelling. Hence, the price of global delivery could be higher, especially with travel prohibitions still implemented around the globe.
Creating scale through broadening one’s demand and reach is one solution in combating increased shipping costs. Entrepreneurs can tap into multiple markets, not just the Australian market. This technique helps overall costs to dwindle per product as they sell more.
6. Use local currency accounts to get better value.
Small business operators can benefit from the solution called local currency accounts that international money transfer specialists offer. Among these companies are WorldFirst and OFX. Domestic currency accounts facilitate funds transfer in multiple currencies. Also, they are available in territories where a retailer is selling. For example, the entrepreneur is marketing his merchandise online to customers based in the United States.
With a local currency account, he will, hence, be able to keep his US-based sales in US Dollars rather than merely in Australian Dollars. This arrangement is also dissimilar to the multi-currency accounts that local banks issue. Plus, moving money abroad through an international money transfer provider rather than Australia’s Big Four banks could provide better value to entrepreneurs.
Utilising local currency accounts facilitates the avoidance of reduced exchange rates. eCommerce platforms like Amazon and payment gateways such as PayPal only allow retailers to get paid only in US Dollars if they have a domestic United States-based account.
Thus, retailers possessing Australian bank accounts will find any US sales they make automatically converted back to Australian Dollars regularly. This disadvantageous scenario could leave a considerable dent on entrepreneurs’ revenues. It is because, with every conversion, transfer fees and exchange rate mark-ups get charged.
The six tips above can undoubtedly assist small business operators in getting back on their feet as they await the COVID-19 crisis to conclude. Despite the impacts of the global healthcare emergency, these small business owners can carry on with their operations through their decision to enter the international eCommerce space.
This auspicious measure facilitates the delivery of tremendous choices to Australian consumers and overseas clients. Also, engaging in the global eCommerce space assists in the survival of small business owners’ enterprises.