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Entering into ecommerce Abroad
With a huge domestic market, a world-famous business reputations,
and offering internet access to almost the entire population, the majority of young American entrepreneurs are perfectly happy to sit tight and set up their business on home soil and not have to concern themselves with things like international payments. However, plenty still travel abroad to start up overseas. This could be for a variety of reasons: cheaper rent, markets that have more interest in a certain product or service, or perhaps simply for a change of lifestyle.
For whatever reason, as the internet brings the world closer together and English tightens its grasp as the international business language, setting up a company abroad has never been easier. With domain hosting services found at 1&1, who offer unlimited webspace for less than $1, establishing an ecommerce site as an American can be as easily done abroad as it can back home in the States.
That said, there are things to look out for. Below, we have laid out the three most relevant points to consider before entering into ecommerce abroad.
The domain name for your online store will likely be one of the first things to be considered. Donít rush this process, as it is a more delicate matter than it might appear at first. If you are operating from a foreign country, ensure that the name you choose does not contain any faux pas hidden from your eyes. When you come to choose your top-level domain name, (TLD) think carefully before opting for a .au or .de TLD. Note that these webpages will then only show up in Google Australia and Google Deutschland respectively. Similarly, although a .sydney or .berlin TLD sounds fancy and allows site visitors to locate you instantly, .com domains are still the most trusted by both Google and the general public.
Establishing a secure payment gateway is likely the most important (and risk-fraught) aspect to setting up a website that processes monetary transactions. There are a variety of options available and the best depends upon many factors, such as which payment methods are to be offered and how much traffic is expected. Many ecommerce startups are considering gateways such as Stripe. With Stripe, the customerís card details are entered into a page served from your site but then sent straight to the Stripe server, therefore never actually being stored on your server. This can save you a headache in terms of data security. That being said, even if you have software like Stripe, you will still need to ensure that your site complies with the PCI data security standards, no matter where your company is operating.
After recent high-profile hacks, online shoppers are naturally wary about where they take their custom on the internet. If an anxious site-visitor can see that you are based abroad, this may only further fuel their nerves. An EV SSL certificate will help qualm these. To gain an EV SSL certificate, the entire website and business is evaluated by a third party to ensure that it is safe and legitimate. As a result, the payment pages of your site will appear in the URL bar in a light green and with the padlock icon, assuring potential customers that despite being abroad, you are validated and trustworthy.