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Taking your eCommerce business to an international audience

Which Markets

Finding a suitable market can be difficult and requires research and maybe some travel. Right now that is tough with covid restrictions.

  • China is a huge opportunity. But there are issues.

  • NZ, UK, EU and USA and Canada, are safe markets and well prepared for ecommerce.

  • India – huge market but developing

  • Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia etc)

  • South America / Mexico

TIP: Fraud is a greater risk in some countries, and you need to look at security and cyber insurance.

SEO & SEM – International Markets

There is no trick or shortcut to getting found online the key factor is the website content and quality.

Most modern website platforms do a good job of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Google is not worldwide and covers most developed markets. Some countries like China have local search engines for example;

  • China – Baidu, Sogou and others

  • India – Qmamu

  • Korea – Naver

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) generally means paying for higher results in search engines and social media.

TIP: If you are going to spend money on SEM I recommend finding a local digital marketing company or service provider to assist.

International Markets

If you are looking at international markets, then there are some issues to address:

  • Domain name and website

  • Multiple domains

  • Multiple websites single language, price and tax vs;

  • One website with multiple regions, prices, and taxes

  • Performance – slow delivery overseas if website hosted here and visa versa

  • Language – people want to see information in their own language

  • Payments and Prices – see prices in local currency or have a convertor.

  • Shipping costs can impact SEM results in some marketing platforms like Google Shopping, Amazon and eBay.

Payments and Foreign Exchange

All in one provider – i.e. Stripe, Square, PayPal

Aust – all in one – eWAY, Windcave, Klarna, SecurePay, most banks

BNPL – Afterpay, Zip Klarna

TIP: Ask about foreign currency accounts and cost with your bank.


  • Foreign currency exchange cost

  • Foreign bank account and tax issues

  • Foreign Exchange providers:- e.g. AFEX


  • Cost for O/Seas shipping can be expensive

  • Aggregator services e.g. Shippit

  • Shipping time can be slow

  • Shipping in bulk can reduce costs but you need a forwarder or freight service

Government controls and issues:

Dept of Agriculture, Water and Environment (AWE):

Commodities controlled by the department

Export commodities controlled by the department are listed or ‘prescribed’ in the legislation. Prescribed goods—or goods included in a class of prescribed goods—include:

  • milk and milk products

  • eggs and egg products

  • fish and fish products

  • live animals

  • meat and meat products

  • poultry meat and poultry meat products

  • rabbit and ratite meat and rabbit and ratite meat products

  • wild game meat and wild game meat products

  • organic products

  • plants and plant products

  • wood and woodchips.

International Taxes

GST / VAT generally focused online for B2C and small personal sales.

Building a Solution

  • International support

  • Hosting and Content delivery

  • Cost and location

  • Security

  • Domains

  • Multiple domains for different countries

  • Emails

  • Payment providers

  • Support for foreign currency transactions

  • Shipping calculations and Solutions

  • Shipping international

  • Customers and Tax

  • Insurance

  • Languages and translations

  • Google Translate

  • Multiple content pages with different languages.

  • Regions

  • Support for multiple countries / currencies / tax rates

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