Want A New eCommerce Market? Find Success Across The Pond

Want to know one of the best things about eCommerce?

We will never run out of potential markets.

Why would we ever stop at the United States border when countries like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom all speak the same language? There are no borders online! Of course, countries do have cultural differences but the vast majority of businesses can increase profits by targeting areas across the pond. While it will take a little more planning than my humble post, here are a few ideas about how the United Kingdom would be an easy place to start our global eCommerce domination plan.

Know the Laws

Even though England is leaving the European Union (EU), other countries in the UK are still part of the EU. And EU laws may be craziest on the planet (and you should be complying with them already!).

Don’t try to make sense of any of this. Just know there is help available.

In early 2015, I wrote: Will the EU VAT Nightmare Close Your Business in 2015? Free Solutions that Can Help and shared some tools that can help digital business comply with the insanity of the EU’s VAT laws. I still think it’s crazy to create a tax based on the customer’s location, not the seller’s location. Now add in the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and compliance can seem overwhelming.

Even though England is leaving the European Union (EU), other countries in the UK are still part of the EU. And EU laws may be craziest on the planet (and you should be complying with them already!).

But the law is the law…

Before we freak out before we even started, all the major eCommerce players like Shopify and WooCommerce have created simple tools to help small businesses comply with EU laws. Remember, it’s their job to help online sellers sell. They don’t money unless we make money! So contact their customer support to find out what they offer. And if our eCommerce solution doesn’t have the right tools to help our business grow globally, it’s time to find a new service.

Choose a Country-Code Top-level Domain

This may seem complicated, but it really isn’t. A country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) is simply a domain that looks like this: example.com.uk. The “.uk” part is the ccTLD.

In The International SEO Checklist, Aleyda Solis suggests acquiring a ccTLD for the country we are targeting is an important part of any SEO strategy. It also helps improve trustworthiness and credibility for smaller sites.  Try a service like LCN, that specializes in UK domain names and they can show what ccTLD’s are available. And remember the UK contains England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, so there is no need to buy any other ccTLD other than .uk for these countries.

Start Creating Local Content

Now for the fun stuff!

Because each business is unique, marketing strategies will all be different. Yet, their content should all have a local flair. In How to Create Local Content for Local SEO John Jantsch explains:

“You don’t necessarily need to develop all the content on your own. Having local guest bloggers and contributors post on your site is a great way to add content, while also expanding your audience to the contributor’s audience.”

Check out what’s going on in London, Manchester, and Liverpool. Create content that will engage readers from those areas. Invite local writers to guest post or contribute. For example, an outdoor or travel site could write articles on the Best Walks in London or a pet-related site could write The Most Popular Dog Breed in England (apparently it’s the French Bulldog – go figure!). The idea is to connect on a local level and share content that will engage readers on a personal level. And it won’t hurt if local writers are sharing their posts all over their local social media pages either!

Finding Success Across the Pond and Beyond

We all want more sales and it’s not always easy to find a new market. Yet, many online businesses can easily branch out into other English-speaking countries. Some may have to figure out shipping issues, but digital businesses don’t have that problem so there is no reason not to try to expand into as many countries as possible.

This article was to show a glimpse into how to create a global domination strategy and it will take a lot of planning to pull it off. Yet, consider a strategy that starts in the UK, increases profits and then branches into Canada, India or Australia. This is the same strategy large corporations use to become global powerhouses.

And it can work for us too.

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Liesha Petrovich
LIESHA is a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. A late-blooming academic, she's happiest teaching business at UoPeople. Liesha is the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks business at Microbusiness Essentials and everything else at Liesha Petrovich.com
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