A digital strategy addresses the basic needs of a business to succeed in cross-border ecommerce sales channels, and is part of a business's digital transformation- the act of positioning your company for long term success in the online virtual environment.
Last Published: 10/2/2018
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Creating a cross-border ecommerce digital strategy for your business is very important in that it clearly outlines areas requiring your attention and resources in order to succeed selling through the cross-border ecommerce sales channels.

Here are the 4 main areas of a digital strategy:

  1. Your eCommerce Business Strategy- More specific than a digital strategy, your tactical approach to your website and content specifics.
    1. Objectives: What do you want your website to achieve? Information or sales?
    2. Resources: What are your contingency options? ROI may be a while off.
    3. Target Market and Audience: Key audiences that would like to visit your site or online marketplace.
    4. Competitor Analysis: List your closest competitors, what makes their digital presence successful?
    5. Feature List: Simple sketches to mock up what you want from your site, list requirements.
  2. Identify Market Opportunities- Where are the products selling, who is buying them, and how are they being sold?
    1. Keyword translate, and search overseas online marketplaces.
    2. Conduct market research using market intelligence reports to determine location and size of demand.
  3. Choosing eCommerce Channel Mix- Determine how your will allocate resources across the ecommerce sales channels
    1. Website sales- have you optimized your website through search engine optimization (SEO) best practices so foreign buyers can find your products first when searched?
    2. Online marketplaces- are you aware of the options and services?
    3. 3rd party in-country distributor- how does your partner sell in-country? Likely online- are they doing it correctly/optimized?
    4. Social media- local representation is recommended, visit the eCommerce Business Service Providers Directory for lists of vetted service providers.
  4. Feedback Loop- Your online/ecommerce sales metrics will drive your digital strategy, and will let you refine and improve your online sales process while saving marketing spend and increasing site sales conversions.
    1. Website analytics- collect website visitor statistics for search engine optimization (SEO) to understand consumer behavior
    2. Internal roles- identify roles and responsibilities for product information management (PIM).
    3. Feedback schedule- routine reports to inform management, sales, and marketing decisions.

Creating a digital strategy for your business to capitalize on the ecommerce sales channels will take some time and consideration to ensure your abide all international trade laws while building your product/brand reputation and overseas consumer confidence.  You may want to consider the free taxpayer business counselling assistance provided to you in creating and implementing a digital strategy by contacting an International Trade Specialist near you.

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 http://export.gov/usoffices.

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