Regard the Baltics as an integrated market
All of the big names of worldwide e-commerce (Amazon, ASOS, About You, AliExpress, etc.) see the Baltics as a single market. As the Baltic states are often too small to be the object of focus separately, it is common practice to expand into the entire region simultaneously. Truth be told, local salesmen should follow the same principle.
There are practically no good reasons to limit one’s clientele. Smaller e-shops should not be afraid In recent years, there has been a boom in Estonian e-commerce as well, in light of the events that shocked the world. At the beginning of the pandemic, new e-businesses sprung up like mushrooms after rain. At first, the user experience of many of these new hurriedly set up e-shops was unsatisfactory. Now, the situation has significantly improved. To remove any limitations on the clientele of your e-shop, check out the following tips on how to expand to the Baltics with your e-businessof the shipment of their goods to Latvia or Lithuania being too complicated. For example, with the aid of Omniva, it is possible to ship goods across the Baltics the same way as when doing so within Estonia, because a dense, identical web of parcel machines covers all three Baltic states. In addition to that, Maksekeskus also offers pan-Baltic payment solutions.
As a big part of e-shoppers also speak English and the websites of Estonian-based e-shops are often also available in English, it is not even strictly necessary to translate the webpage of your e-shop into the language spoken in the country you are planning to expand into. In the future, it is, of course, a bonus, but it is absolutely possible to get started without it.
Once you have worked out the local delivery and payment solutions and the shop is open to consumers, then you should also take care of smart digital marketing to be noticed by potential new customers.
Make orders trackable
In order to steer the customer’s expectations as early on as in the basket process, share honest information about when they can expect the order to arrive. When doing so, you should take into account the shipping time, but also the processing, assembly, and delivery times.
In addition to that, inform the customer during each step of the supply chain. The customer wants to know where their order is, when it is to be shipped, and when it is due to arrive. If you proactively notify the customer during these steps, you offer them peace of mind and a transparent delivery experience. You will also likely spare yourself a few customer enquiries.
Offer a nearer and greener shopping experience
A good way to set yourself apart from others as well as offer a better shopping experience is packaging. In addition to the fact that the package should be suitable and not wasteful, the contents of it should also be environmentally friendly. If, at first, implementing fully environmentally friendly packaging is more than you can handle, you should at least offer different packaging solutions to the customer. This way, it is up to the customer to decide whether they agree to pay a bit more for environmentally friendly packaging or not. E-commerce studies show that 57% of consumers are willing to pay over 10% more for environmentally friendly shipping and packaging. In addition, it has been found out that 78% of consumers would rather buy products that have been clearly labelled to be environmentally friendly.
The same applies for shipping options – in the future, when shipping providers create such options, the customer should be allowed a choice regarding the extent of how environmentally friendly the shipping will be. The manner in which the economy of more environmentally friendly shipping is communicated to the customer is also extremely important. Often, the results of showcasing the amount of CO2 used are not nearly as good as those of showing the customer how many trees environmentally friendly shipping would save.
Thirdly, a local salesman also has the opportunity to offer nearness in the physical sense. Let the customer know that their order is being shipped from a neighbouring city or country, not from the other side of the world. Being economically conscious in this manner is also important to the clientele and will help bring them back to your e-shop.
Offer a convenient return policy
The area in which Estonian e-commerce still has room to grow is return policy. When looking at successful international e-shops, the popularity of which has grown in the Baltics (for example, ASOS and About You), it becomes apparent what they have in common – convenient return policies. The return form is often already pre-filled and the customer has the option to return their order through the same medium with which the package was originally sent. In addition, the timeframe during which an order is eligible for a refund is long enough in the customer’s opinion.
At first glance, it might seem that offering a convenient return policy might bring nothing but expense and needless risks for the e-shop. However, creating a good and coherent return policy encourages trust within the clientele and a guarantee that they will shop there again next time. The popular e-shops mentioned above emphasise their comfortable and free return policy even in their ad campaigns – certainly, this also influences their success.
If the customer’s experience is equally as good in returning the product as it was when purchasing the product, the customer will feel free. The more unrestrained a customer feels when shopping, the bigger their basket will be. Therefore, it is better to encourage customers to try out your return policy rather than scare them away with inconvenient conditions. Let the customers know about your return policy and its simplicity before they make their purchase.