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How to sell Goods on International Markets using eCommerce From India | Be Local - Sell Global.

Updated: Sep 7, 2020



The name Cross Border eCommerce itself signifies the fact that any eCommerce transaction or activity happening beyond the international boundary of your country is known as Cross Border eCommerce. As majority of eCommerce shipments are through courier and mostly in one or two products are shipped per order, it is also called Online retail export or international eCommerce or export through eCommerce.


eCommerce is applicable across various industries and verticals. It could be goods or services. In this blog, we will focus eCommerce transaction of goods and products from country of origin to country of destination.


Although in eCommerce, Travel is the biggest marketshare, however here we will focus on eTail that is retail goods like Apparels, Clothing, Fashion accessories, footwear, jewellery, handicrafts, home furnishing, Indian handloom products, home decor, business and industrial goods etc. Also these are the categories which are fast moving in international eCommerce.


This blog will be long as I am trying to feed in as much information as possible about selling international from India through international eCommerce channels. Would appreciate your patience.


You need to consider several things before you plan to sell global. You need to understand the goods or products you want to sell and it should have demand in that country, what price points would you consider. Also while selling good online to global markets you need to understand that each country has it's own buying behaviour and purchase power. Hence a same pricing for all countries will not work. Then you have Logistics and Supply Chain. Logistics is the biggest component of Landing price of your product. You need to consider the best logistics carrier for different countries and evaluate the best rates to fulfil the orders. Then you need to consider best OPGSP (online payment gateway service providers) to remit your money to from international currencies to local currency. Apart from all these there are customs regulations for eCommerce products that you need to consider. We will cover them all with respect to selling global in the article.


Going global and that too through eCommerce channels has its own sets of opportunities and Challenges. Let's understand why you need to Go Global?



Cross Border eCommerce global market will cross over USD 5000 Billion by 2027.


According to Zion market research, the B2C eCommerce market was over USD 600 Billion in 2019 and expected to grow at a rate of 27% till 2026. Hence this is a channel that you cannot ignore.


Moreover 60% of this trade is dominated by China and India contributes less than 0.8% in Global eCommerce sales. Thus Indian merchants have a long way to go and speed up to match the Global demand of online products.


Let us understand now the step by step process that you need to consider in becoming an eCommerce Global Brand.


Market Research


It is obvious that brand owners are very emotional with their products and why not. There had been several years of hard work that has gone in creating that product. Right from product design, procurement or in house manufacturing, investment, local market validation etc. Hence there is always a gut feel that a brand owner carries that their product will do well anytime.


However, while going to sell your products to an international buyer, you need to understand your buyer persona extremely well, else inspite of all your efforts you will not succeed. You need to apply a data based approach instead of gut and assumptions.


You need to understand trend and demand of similar product that you want to sell in a particular market, Identify the demand for last 2-3 years. Observe the peak seasons when the demand had been high. Then you need to check the price points and see if you have competitive advantage with. your competitors or not. Do a reverse calculation of product pricing and see if bottom line justify your pricing. Then look at quality of material, do you have an advantage here. You will also need to see at reviews to understand the need of the buyers. Once done,


Now that you have done research on Product, Place and Price you need to understand the kind of promotion your competitors are doing. Best would be to see if there are sponsored ads within an online marketplace in that country. Also find out how your competitors are promoting externally in that region. Thus apply 4Ps of marketing to understand your brand positioning in that market.



Wait, was that too much. Take it easy, there are plenty of tools and services that will help you with that research at a low cost.

(You may discuss with EximScouts market research team to help you with this basic market research and sometimes they don't charge you anything for this service)



Now, once you are done with the market research, you need to consider the Marketing or Sales Channels. Let's see what are the international online sales or marketing channels to promote your products.


Sales and Marketing Channels to consider to grow Online Sales.


  1. International Online Marketplaces

  2. Own WebStore

  3. Social Media Channels

  4. Online Local Distributors


1. International Online Marketplaces:


This is a a low cost sales channel to create your Marketing funnel (awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty and advocacy). As you have Amazon.in, flipkart.com, myntra.com, in India, thus most countries have multiple online marketplaces of their own.



For Example,

In USA or North America you would focus on amazon.com, ebay.com, bonanza.com, wish.com, newegg.com, jet.com and several others.


In Europe apart from several Amazon and Ebay Channels you may look at zalando.com, laredoute.com, asos.com, bol.com, cdiscount.com, priceminister.com, and more.


In Middle East / MENA region it would be Amazon.ae, Noon.com, Namshi.com, wadi.com, and more.


In SEA (South East Asia) region you may consider Lazada.com, Shoppee.com, Q10.com, zalora.com, zilingo.com, and several others.


Australia and Far east region you may look at rakuten.com, cupang.com, amazon.au, ebay.au, iconic.com etc


Latin America or South America sites like Mercadelibre.com, Linio.com etc.


In B2B you may consider Amazon Business or Alibaba.



Advantages of selling through International Online Marketplaces:


  1. Number of Channels to showcase your products increase by 5X. In India you are dependant on only one or two channels namely Amazon and Flipkart, but by doing international eCommerce you may reach to 15-30 Online Channels at one go.

  2. Use the traffic generated by these marketplaces to showcase your products. Understand the Marketplace functionalities and best practices to engage your customers.

  3. Create ad budgets based on trends and run your campaigns to maximise your growth in that sales channel. Build your ROI calculations and optimise your ad spend returns.

  4. Keep a tap of several festivals and retail seasons in those markets, like you have Big Billion Day Sale in Flipkart in India, you will have several promotional events in other marketplaces also. Try to promote your products aggressively during those times.


Disadvantages of selling through international online channels :


  1. Low margins as you need to pay commission per sale to the marketplace.

  2. Lot of dependancy on the Marketplace and you cannot take complete ownership of selling your products.

  3. Adhere to the return policy of the marketplace.(Although the return percentage is extremely less compared to India as most orders are prepaid in nature)

  4. Comply with regulations that the marketplace will not interfere like customs, last mile and duties and taxes, warehousing, payments through OPGSP etc.


But advantages out weigh the disadvantages. Isn't it? ( Let me know your thoughts in comments section).


OK, so if you got it, then let's see the other sales channel.


2. Selling to international buyers through your own WebStore or eCommerce Website.


Alright now you have your online marketplaces set and a channel of sale. However, buyers are well informed these days and would like to do some preliminary research sometimes. Here you need to showcase your exclusive presence over the web. And that can be done best through your own online Web-store.


Store Set Up: Setting up you own eCommerce web-store is very easy these days. You need not know a line of code to actually build your own web-store. All you need is to use a DIY platform like Shopify.com or Magento.com and start building your eCommerce web-store from scratch.

Else you may hire an expert Web designer or developer to get it developed for you. You may also discuss with EximScouts web design team.


The advantage of using such platforms is that you can use several plugins and apps to boost the performance of your web store. Moreover certain times when buyers see the site is built on Shopify or other such platforms, it adds credibility to the site as well.


3. Social Media Channels: