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Expanding into the global e-marketplace? Ask yourself these key questions.

The world marketplace is rife with possibilities: it’s an opportunity to reach untold customers while extending your brand across the globe. But the planet’s a big place. You’ll need to create specific tactics for each country—and re-structure your brand model to accommodate a worldwide customer base.

If you’re considering expanding into the global market, you’ll need to address the “Three P’s.” Namely, your people, processes, and platform. Here are four key questions that get at the heart of the matter.

1. Is now the right time?
It seems like a simple question—but the answer lies in the strength of your brand. If you’re already known overseas, or you’re strong enough at home to resonate abroad, you’re in a good position to enter the global market.

2. Will you open additional warehouses?
Maintaining a single warehouse allows you to store your goods closer to your manufacturing facility. On the other hand, opening additional warehouses expedites shipping. The single warehouse model is probably best if you have few brick-and-mortar shops abroad and solid relationships with local shippers. Otherwise, you should consider taking on the expense of opening additional warehouses abroad.

3. How will you start?
Many companies begin by opening stores in other countries. Others adopt a franchising model—an even quicker way to build a brick-and-mortar presence. Both methods are sure to gain recognition and broaden your customer base, but they ignore those customers shopping on the Internet. Which leads us to the next question.

4. Should you rely on a single website?
A single site is the easiest way to give your brand a clear “voice.” It’s also the simplest to maintain because it houses your data in one place. Plus, depending on functionality and content, it can provide a unique experience for each viewer. Then again, building multiple sites allows you to tailor your messaging to each country, currency, and language—a considerable advantage if you’re expecting heavy traffic from around the globe. Either way, the key to success is building your digital environment on a strong platform. It’s the platform, after all, that allows you to tailor the site to its geographic location, accept various currencies, implement fraud rules, and roll out new features.

So if you’re thinking of expanding your eCommerce into the global market, be sure to ask yourself whether you have addressed the Three Ps—that is, your people, processes, and platform. If you have, you’ll soon be adding the most important P of all: Profit.

Expanding into the global e-marketplace? Ask yourself these key questions.

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