The Guide to Cross-Border eCommerce: Operational Considerations & Logistical Challenges

As the digital world expanded throughout the world and became more widely available, selling products through e-commerce websites also became far more common. Before the last couple decades, people had to almost exclusively purchase goods from local sources (or order through the mail or on the telephone), but for the most part, you were limited to what was close at hand. No more, though; with e-commerce, and in particular cross border eCommerce in China, you can not only purchase goods from across the country, but also from almost anywhere in the world. This leads to new challenges for businesses, though. In order to open up their goods to being purchased from around the world, they have to start considering operational and logistical issues.


If your company is planning on selling within China when you are based outside of China, particularly your manufacturing and main offices, then cross border eCommerce in China is going to be a challenge you have to overcome. With help from companies like Westwin, you can have that foot in the door, and with this guide, you can better understand some of the obstacles that are in your way.



Operational Considerations


When it comes to operating an e-Commerce site, or when you are using an existing cross border eCommerce platform in China, you have to understand that you need to localize everything. While many people in China do know or understand English, you should be exclusively operating your e-commerce presence in China in Chinese. You need to put in the effort for translation as well. Get someone from within China who can accurately translate everything into a good quality translation for the local consumers. You also have to properly target your audience within China. They will have different values, trends, and sensibilities than a western country, so you need to adapt. Adjust your marketing material to the local trends of China, avoid sensitive topics to avoid censorship, and focus on the quality of your products rather than the price.


Another major consideration for your cross border eCommerce in China operation is the taxation and consumer policy that is set by the government. While your main business is operating in another country, if you house a satellite office in China, or are just selling products in China through e-commerce, you will have to ensure you are paying all the proper taxes on any goods that are entering or leaving China, as well as on other taxes you need to pay. Also, you need to make sure your products meet any government policy related to goods to ensure they are legal to sell within China.



Logistical Challenges


The logistics of being able to sell products through cross border eCommerce in China is always a complex task to understand. Each country has its own rules when it comes to importing and exporting goods, as well as which goods are legal to cross the border, etc. All your products need the necessary paperwork attached to their shipping box for every border and country that they are going to be officially traveling through. Understanding the taxes that need to be paid also helps your consumers avoid unexpected fees when they receive their package from the carrier. Furthermore, when you are shipping across the Chinese border, you may very well have to switch carriers “at the border,” so you need a way to be transparent with your consumers about the locations of products and a reporting system that can track multiple carriers easily.



Getting Your Start in Cross Border eCommerce in China


If you are considering selling your products through cross border eCommerce in China, then contact Westwin today and talk to them to get the process started with their expert assistance.


< Previous blog Next blog >