Setting up an e-commerce store is a pain to say the least. Starting a new business can be both exciting and damning in one stroke. Every solution you develop gives you the impetus to continue while simultaneously creating new problems to tackle. Going global is 100 times more difficult.
There are so many things to overcome—like getting paid. Below are some challenges people should overcome when starting their business:
The first thing considered when starting a transaction should be the last thing. However, payments can be tricky since you have to weigh both the mechanism the currency of the transaction. These lead to two inherent risks: exchange rate risk for the latter and business risk for the former. The easiest way is to keep payments in terms of your cost rather than your sales market.
- Delivering all-inclusive shipping and landing prices
Customers should know the final price. This means duties, taxes, and clearance fees should be integrated into the final price. Shipping, should be relatively stable since you’ll be dealing with forwarders on a constant basis.
- Fraud Protection
Zero fraud should be your objective; this means customer identities, device and payment credentials. Chargebacks occur when fraud is shown. These fees often kill merchants since they have already shipped the merchandise and typically incur the total loss unless proven otherwise.
- Rules and regulations
Applicable laws and regulations depend on the country to which you are selling. If it is in violation to sell it, you should stop. Obviously, however, most laws (especially in Developing Countries) aren’t so cut and dry. Customer destinations and varying product types add a new layer of complexity to your ecommerce.
Tracking parcels eliminates the “Where is it?” inquiry. Just do it to save time.
E-commerce in China Some Lessons
China’s e-commerce market is currently divided between two websites: Tmall and JD.com. These two websites hold 57% and 21% of the B2C market, respectively. These companies thrive because they fulfill the criteria above. More recently, Taobao, has started to actively verify suppliers in a move to promote the website as a safe alternative to the current market leaders.
JD.com recently joined with Tencent to sell via Wechat. This mode of e-commerce has direct advantages since it allows consumers to track their products, chat with customer representatives while providing an added layer of protection for the e-commerce shop. The top players are seizing control of the e-commerce market by enhancing their mobile investments and improving their customer experience.
One of the most important components are the logistics which is well developed in China’s eastern regions. Both Alibaba and JD.com have invested heavily in their logistics networks: Alibaba has spent $16.3 billion to build Cainiao—a smart logistics network aimed at delivering packages to any address in China within 24 hours. JD.com provides same-day delivery in 111 counties and districts.
I wrote a good chunk of my thesis on China’s logistics network and the need to develop their waterways. China’s governments are actively developing the shipping capacity along the Yangtze River and the rest of China. Their goal is to have waterways on par with that of the US and Europe.