Top 5 e-commerce platforms to sell internationally

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As an online business owner in Pakistan looking to expand internationally, one of the most convenient ways to market your products to other markets is through platforms that specialise in e-commerce. E-commerce sites have opened opportunities for online sellers to reach out to a broader target market by providing them with a platform to sell their products internationally. 

The process may seem complex and challenging; however, these e-commerce platforms have built user-friendly content management systems (CMS) that make adding, updating, and maintaining their products and content convenient.

What is an e-commerce platform?

An e-commerce platform is a digital marketplace that enables individuals and businesses to buy and sell goods and services online. It serves as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, providing a platform for them to conduct transactions and communicate with each other. E-commerce platforms can take many forms, from large online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to smaller, specialised platforms that cater to specific industries or niches.

The primary purpose of an e-commerce platform is to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers. A secure and easy-to-use interface allows buyers to search for and purchase products. At the same time, intuitive back-end tools ensure sellers can list their products, manage their inventory, and process payments efficiently. 

In addition to these core features, e-commerce platforms may offer additional services, such as marketing and advertising tools, analytics and reporting features, and integrations with other software systems.

The rise of e-commerce has transformed how people shop and do business, with online sales accounting for an increasingly large portion of total retail sales worldwide. E-commerce platforms have played a key role in driving this growth, making it easier and more convenient than ever for consumers to shop online and for businesses to reach new customers. 

As e-commerce continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative platforms emerge, offering unique features and capabilities that make online shopping and selling even more seamless and efficient.

What are the three types of e-commerce platforms?

There are three primary types of e-commerce: Business-to-Business (B2B) e-commerce, Business-to-Consumer (B2C), and Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C). Each platform type has unique features, benefits, and target audience. 

Understanding the differences between these platforms can help sellers and consumers make informed decisions about which one to use for their specific needs. 

These are the types of e-commerce platforms and their functionalities:

  1. Business-to-Business (B2B) e-commerce platform facilitates transactions between businesses, such as manufacturers and wholesalers, or between different businesses. These platforms often offer features like bulk purchasing, customised pricing, and supply chain management tools.
  2. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce platform facilitates transactions between businesses and individual consumers. They generally offer a wide variety of products, features like product reviews and ratings, personalised recommendations, and secure payment processing.
  3. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) e-commerce platform facilitates transactions between individual consumers. They often function as online marketplaces where individuals can purchase from and sell their goods or services to each other

Why choosing the right e-commerce platform matters

A good e-commerce platform provides the tools and features to reach customers worldwide, manage inventory, and fulfil orders efficiently. Here are some reasons selling your products internationally through the right e-commerce platform could help your online business:

  • Global reach: A reliable platform of e-commerce will give you access to customers worldwide, allowing you to reach new markets and increase your revenue.
  • Product listing and management: An e-commerce platform simplifies how you add, manage, and even localise your product listings through its CMS. It makes it easier compared to navigating the complexities of setting up and maintaining your e-commerce site.
  • Seamless payment gateway integration: E-commerce platforms are integrated with popular payment gateways, making it effortless for customers to complete their purchases on such marketplace sites. This feature provides a smooth and reliable payment process, which can boost customer satisfaction and increase sales.

E-commerce platforms list for international businesses

When selecting a third-party e-commerce platform for your international business, there are many options to choose from. Here are some of the top e-commerce platforms you can use to sell products internationally from Pakistan:

1. Daraz

Daraz ranked first place in the top 10 e-commerce platforms list in Pakistan. It is an online marketplace that operates in several other countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar. The platform has become one of the largest e-commerce companies in the region, with millions of products and thousands of sellers. 

Daraz has a user-friendly interface and offers secure payment options, making it a popular choice for online shoppers in South Asia. The platform also provides features like easy returns and customer support, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for its users. 

Due to the ease of signing up, Daraz attracts high competition, making the platform very competitive. Sellers need to update their stocks regularly, as only available items are allowed to be listed. Visit the Daraz Help Center for more information on how to start selling on their e-commerce platform.

2. Amazon

Amazon is one of the top and most popular e-commerce platforms worldwide, with millions of customers from different parts of the globe. This international e-commerce website began as an online bookstore that expanded to selling various products, including electronics, household items, apparel, and more. 

As an online business owner in Pakistan, selling on Amazon gives you access to a broad purchase-ready consumer base. This advantage enables you to expand your business globally. With this e-commerce platform, you can start selling your products internationally within 24 hours, depending on how prepared you are. 

Because Amazon can attract many potential customers online, it also attracts high competition. If you are an online business in Pakistan, you must find a creative way to stand out and make a significant impact. Selling on Amazon may include startup costs, such as referral fees, FBA/fulfilment fees, and monthly/individual plans. Factoring these into your operational costs will allow you to better plan your finances. For more information on how to sell on Amazon, you can visit their FAQ Page.

3. AliExpress

AliExpress is a global e-commerce platform within the Alibaba Group, serving as an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers worldwide. It offers a convenient and secure online shopping experience with an extensive range of products spanning diverse categories. From electronics and fashion to home essentials and beyond, customers can access a vast selection at competitive prices.

Selling on AliExpress brings several advantages for merchants. The platform for e-commerce provides access to a massive customer base worldwide, facilitating global expansion. AliExpress offers robust marketing tools and resources to help sellers promote their products effectively. The e-commerce platform’s secure payment system and buyer protection policies instil trust in customers, ensuring smooth transactions. Lastly, AliExpress provides a streamlined fulfilment process, including warehousing and shipping solutions, easing the logistical burden for sellers.

AliExpress has a broad global market reach, which means it is home to countless merchants vying for customers’ attention. To stay on top of the game, thinking of ways to market your products to potential buyers effectively is essential. Additionally, shipping times may take longer, especially for international orders, so providing an estimate of the delivery time and keeping open communication with your buyers is crucial to ensure customer satisfaction. Sellers from Pakistan may also encounter language barriers, as AliExpress caters to a global market. Effective translation and communication strategies are critical to overcoming it. Read more about the AliExpress selling guidelines on their FAQ Page.

4. eBay

eBay is an e-commerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to buy and sell various goods and services, ranging from electronics and fashion to cars and real estate. eBay operates internationally and has become one of the world's largest online marketplaces, with millions of registered users and billions of dollars in yearly transactions. 

eBay has also evolved to include new features, such as eBay auctions and eBay Stores, which provide additional opportunities for sellers to reach buyers and build their businesses. With its broad reach and a vast selection of products, eBay has become a go-to destination for shoppers worldwide. Sellers can sell almost any type of product and service, regardless of their niche.

eBay allows sellers to capture new customers through strategic marketing and promotion. Sellers can entice them to visit and purchase directly from your eBay store, earning a repeat client

Like Amazon, eBay may attract a wide range of global customers but also entices many international sellers. If you are a Pakistani online seller who wants to utilise the benefits of this platform for e-commerce, you must think of creative ways to get ahead of the competition. eBay promotes high trust between buyers and sellers; therefore, you must brush up on your skills in handling customer queries, bargains, and problems to ensure customer satisfaction. You can find other useful resources you may need before you become an eBay seller on their Customer Service Page.

5. Carousell

Carousell is an online shopping platform that allows users to quickly buy and sell any type of goods, from preloved items to your business’ products. It operates on a mobile-first approach and has become one of the biggest online marketplaces in Southeast Asia, with a presence in several countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan

The platform's user-friendly interface and community-driven approach have made it a favourite among buyers and sellers. Once you have registered your account, you can instantly post your listings, interact with your customers, respond to enquiries, and fulfil your orders effortlessly.

Carousell is relatively new; it may not have as extensive a customer base or reach as other e-commerce platforms. However, according to their Help Centre, the platform is still developing and has plans to expand its reach to other countries, not just in Asia but also in different parts of the world.

Convenient international shipping through DHL Express

We hope this e-commerce platforms list has helped you decide which one to use for your international business. Now that you have selected a platform, ensuring that your products are shipped to customers reliably and efficiently is essential. As a leading logistics provider, DHL Express offers a range of shipping solutions to help you reach your customers worldwide. 

Choose DHL Express overseas shipping and easily send your products anywhere in the world. With our extensive global network, advanced tracking capabilities, and customs clearance expertise, you can be confident that your shipments will arrive on time and in excellent condition.  Open a DHL Express account for your business today.