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: 6/18/2019
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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.

It is important that just like your business strategy, you work to develop a digital strategy for your business to effectively navigate the various business processes involved in a producing overseas ecommerce sales channel.

Cited as the #1 business consideration for growing online overseas sales, developing an ecommerce/digital strategy will be something that companies will find that they need to do in order to continue. We encourage you to work with your local International Trade Specialist on a free process and approach to developing a digital strategy. Don't look at the process as a technology project; this is a customer acquisition tool and is what your customers want online.

Here are the 5 steps of a digital strategy:

  1. Define Digital Objectives

    • Objectives: What do you want your website to achieve? Information or sales?
    • Resources: What are your contingency options? ROI may be a while off.
    • Target Market and Audience: Key audiences that would like to visit your site or online marketplace.
    • Competitor Analysis: List your closest competitors, what makes their digital presence successful?
    • Feature List: Simple sketches to mock up what you want from your site, list requirements.
  2. Website Optimization and SEO

    • Understand your current site performance through a Website Globalization Review Gap Analysis, fixing errors will quickly improve search engine result page (SERP) ranking
    • Focus on keywords in content and link building as a part of your search engine optimization (SEO), and hire a professional for all of the metadata issues
  3. Back-End Digital Infrastructure Needs

    • Understand that the ecommerce sales channel is an investment in your business' future sales; your overall strategy will dictate what your needs are
    • eCommerce Service Providers are recommended for a more professional, therefore trustworthy site for overseas consumers
  4. Choosing an eCommerce Sales Channel Mix

    • Conduct ecommerce market research to determine where products are being bought/imported
    • Understand online purchasing habits in your target market- are marketplaces or website sales preferred by consumers?
  5. eCommerce Key Performance Indicators 

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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