The potential market for your website spans the globe, but are you ready to serve it? To sell globally, your ecommerce system needs to allow you to “go global” by supporting local currencies, languages and taxes of nations around the world.
Your ecommerce engine should be able to accept foreign currencies and convert them to the currency of your home country on the fly, based on up-to-the minute conversion rates. Your website should enable visitors to shop in their preferred language, while your warehouse and support teams view the information they need in English, or their language of choice—critical if you have operations and employees in multiple countries.
Local taxes and value-added tax (VAT) charges should be calculated accurately in every locality, and tracked correctly in your financial system. Customs documentation should be automatically generated for international shipments to ensure your packages arrive at their intended destinations.
If you physically operate in foreign countries, you may want to set up a separate website, subsidiary or warehouse location. Your ecommerce platform should recognize where international orders should be shipped from, and how much to charge accordingly. Separate websites per region should still pull from the same inventory, feed orders into the same order management system, and populate a single customer relationship management (CRM) system. Subsidiaries may require separate reporting by region and distinct taxation rules.
And importantly, your ecommerce engine needs to link to back-office financials so you can easily roll up data at the subsidiary, country, regional or global level to monitor performance by locales and make adjustments.
As you grow, make sure the ecommerce platform you select can grow with you.
Posted on Tue, December 28, 2010
by Baruch Goldwasser filed under