Read Write Web, July 23rd, 2012
Every online startup has a global presence, whether that’s its goal or not. For e-commerce startups the question then becomes, “Do you really want to turn down a sale just because the order comes from overseas?”
To Laurel Delaney, founder and president of Chicago-based GlobeTrade.com and creator of The Global Small Business Blog that’s like asking, “Are you really going to turn down the opportunity to go skydiving because you don’t know what precautions to take when diving out of a plane?”
Brands vs. Retailers
For some companies, however, going overseas from the start can work. “There is a difference between selling overseas as the owner of a product brand and as a retailer of other brands,” says Nate Gilmore, vice president of Shipwire, an ecommerce order fulfillment company. “Retailers have a wider variety of products, so they need to focus on their top sellers and be more margin-conscious. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t enter overseas markets, just that they need to look at the market differently.
“Brands, on the other hand, can likely go overseas much faster to support direct sales [or] and distributors,” Gilmore explains. “They have fewer products and typically higher margins than a retailer. With a marketing plan and a fulfillment partner, there are few reasons why a brand shouldn’t look overseas right away.”
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