This article provides considerations and best practices on cross-border ecommerce for startups.
Last Published: 11/10/2016

Are you accepting international backers for your crowdsourcing campaign? Are you a startup with an eCommerce site that is receiving international orders?

Whether you enter global markets strategically or you are wondering what to do with an international order, there are several preliminary steps that all companies should take to ensure they are operationalized for success in order to make the global marketplace work for their business.  The resources listed below are intended to walk eCommerce startups through the necessary preliminary steps of an export transaction and outline how to prepare your company to go global. 

Preparing Your Startup for Global eCommerce: Operationalizing for Success

 Cross-border eCommerce differs greatly from selling domestically. Companies engaging in cross-border eCommerce need to know how to calculate the landed cost of their goods in a foreign market taking into account duties, taxes, and tariffs as well as international legal and regulatory considerations and a host of other issues that can turn a market opportunity into a business loss.  

The objective of this presentation is to help startups operationalize for exporting by breaking down the transaction into manageable steps from building your digital brand internationally to shipping your product and getting paid.  Additional resources are provided for more information on the topics that are covered in the presentation. 


Global eCommerce Marketplaces and Platforms for Startups

Coming soon.

Cross-Border eCommerce Resources for Startups :

  • ShipCenter: Provides Kickstarter creators with reward fulfillment solutions for domestic and international shipping.  For more see this YouTube video

  • Amazon Launchpad: Leverages Amazon’s marketplaces around the world to help funded startups go global.

International Trade Administration Resources for Startups

  • International Trade Administration Startup Global Initiative
  • Global IGNITION is a primer on how the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) can help Connect Startup Companies to the Next 2 Billion Customers. The culmination of extensive research and engagement with stakeholders throughout the startup economy, IGNITION provides a strategic framework for assessing the export potential, or global-readiness, of startup tech companies and innovative entrepreneurs. The Global IGNITION primer proposes analysis guidelines, product and service models, and an assistance framework for accelerating startup companies to international markets at earlier stages of development than ITA export assistance models currently envisage. 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

eCommerce Industry eCommerce Entrepreneurship