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How to grow your global e-commerce business from Sri Lanka

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E-commerce has become a global phenomenon, reshaping the way consumers shop and businesses sell. With worldwide retail purchases projected to skyrocket to an impressive US$8.15 trillion by 2026, notes Insider Intelligence, the digital marketplace is more significant than ever. Intriguingly, a whopping 24% of these purchases will transpire online. This statistic is a clear testament to the meteoric rise of e-commerce industry growth.

For the visionary entrepreneur in Sri Lanka, such global trends underline the vast potential waiting to be tapped. It’s not merely about setting up an e-commerce website in Sri Lanka; it's about understanding and navigating the global market intricacies. As the online shopping growth surges, it’s essential to have a grip on international market shifts, ensuring your e-commerce business doesn’t just survive, but thrives in this burgeoning landscape. 

Reaping the benefits of e-commerce platforms as a growing business is only the next step forward.

How to start an e-commerce business in Sri Lanka?

1. Establish a strong website

In today's digital age, your website is the storefront of your e-commerce business. Having a well-designed, user-friendly website isn't just a good-to-have; it's an absolute necessity. 

Key elements to ensure your e-commerce website stands out include easy navigation for a smooth user experience, visually appealing designs that resonate with your target audience, and quick loading times to retain potential buyers. 

Remember, the best e-commerce sites are those that make the online shopping process seamless, ensuring customers can easily find and purchase the products they desire.

While you work on your commerce site, register your online business in Sri Lanka with our detailed guide.

2. Develop effective e-commerce marketing strategies

Once your website is up and running, how will you drive traffic to it? Enter e-commerce marketing strategies. 

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube hold immense potential for targeting the Sri Lankan audience. Social media marketing can help weave stories that resonate with local sentiments on platforms your customers are always engaging on. This lets you establish an emotional connection with them. On the other hand, effective search engine optimisation (SEO) practices can catapult your site to the top of search results and beat the competition against other online players in the same industry. 

Additionally, email marketing can keep your clientele engaged with regular updates, offers, and news. 

Tailor your strategies to resonate with the local pulse. You can do this by understanding the e-commerce trends and curating content that speaks to the heart of the island's vibrant culture. And when it’s time to look beyond the shores, adapt and refine your strategies to captivate international audience

3. Plan your customer service strategy

An excellent product line and stellar site are foundational, but the magic truly lies in top-notch customer service. Building trust is paramount in the world of online commerce. Offering timely responses to inquiries, understanding and addressing customer concerns, and providing after-sales support are all crucial aspects. 

Equally important is offering customer service in the local language. By understanding cultural nuances and incorporating them into your e-commerce service strategy, you're setting your business up for greater trust and long-term customer loyalty.

4. Choose a reliable logistics partner

Now, you've got a brilliant website, a buzz-worthy marketing strategy, and impeccable customer service. But how do you get your products into the hands of your customers, both locally and internationally? 

This is where a steadfast logistics partner comes in. Ensuring timely, efficient, and safe delivery is at the heart of a successful e-commerce business. This also includes more competitive international shipping rates that let you rise above the noise, especially in a digital landscape that is saturated with choices and vendors vying for customer attention.

Partnering with a reliable entity not only ensures your products reach their destinations but also impacts customer satisfaction and trust. After all, in the world of e-commerce, your business reputation is only as good as your last delivery.

How to widen the global reach of your e-commerce business?

1. Research target markets

Embarking on an international journey with your e-commerce business isn’t as simple as just translating your website. It involves delving deep into the intricacies of local consumer behaviour, preferences, and cultural dynamics. 

Understanding these nuances can be the differentiating factor between success and failure. Kickstart your overseas venture by conducting market research: utilise online surveys, study competitor strategies, and tap into analytics tools to gauge market potential. 

Remember, the more tailored your approach to a specific market, the better your chances of resonating with the local audience.

2. Build relationships with local partners

No one knows a market better than those who live and breathe it daily. As you venture overseas, fostering relationships with local partners can be your secret weapon. These alliances can help you navigate the business environment, providing insights into regulations, local e-commerce trends, and potential pitfalls. 

How to find the right partners? Attend international trade shows, join business networking groups, and research potential collaborators with a strong local footprint. Together, with shared insights and resources, your e-commerce business can seamlessly adapt and flourish in new territories.

3. Plan ahead for challenges

Every market comes with its own set of challenges – and operating an e-commerce platform from a developing country is no exception. Issues can range from infrastructural and technical limitations and internet accessibility to fluctuating exchange rates impacting the economy.

But, with foresight and planning, these hurdles can be effectively addressed. 

Firstly, ensure your website is optimised for mobile access, considering the predominant use of smartphones for online shopping in many regions. 

Secondly, consider offering multiple payment options to cater to varied financial systems. 

Next, always keep abreast of local regulations and customs duties in the target markets. By staying informed and agile, you can preemptively tackle challenges, ensuring your global e-commerce venture remains robust and resilient.

Finally, consider a trustworthy direct international shipping company for consistently reliable service.

How we can help

In the e-commerce realm, efficient deliveries and trustworthiness are paramount. DHL Express, a global logistics leader, is adeptly positioned to elevate your e-commerce operations with top-notch international shipping services. 

With the capability to ship to over 220 countries and territories swiftly, even by the next business day, your customers are assured of express deliveries. Our intuitive MyDHL+ platform streamlines shipment preparation, pick-up, and tracking, offering unmatched productivity and transparency. With DHL Express, you're not just shipping goods internationally; you're delivering customer satisfaction and business growth.