Available to Individuals! How to start cross-border e-commerce and key points!

Have you ever used cross-border EC?The business method of selling domestic products to overseas customers via the Internet is called cross-border EC.

Japanese products quickly became popular as foreign visitors to Japan purchased products made by Japanese manufacturers and word-of-mouth spread from users.

The popularity of cross-border EC is growing rapidly as a way to purchase high-quality Japanese products without having to go to the trouble of coming to Japan, and the market for cross-border EC is expanding rapidly in countries around the world, especially in China and the United States.

Cross-border e-commerce is a service that is now attracting attention as a business trend, but did you know that it can also be used by individuals?

In this issue, we will introduce the means and procedures for individuals to start cross-border EC, as well as the key points for success, for those who are considering using cross-border EC as an individual.

If you are considering using cross-border EC in the future, please check it out.

Even individuals can use cross-border ecommerce!

Asian girl sitting in living room with laptop. woman watching videos on computer at home, relaxing

Isn’t cross-border e-commerce only for large corporations? Isn’t it impossible for individuals to use cross-border EC? However, as a conclusion, individuals can also use cross-border EC.

As I mentioned at the beginning, it does not matter if you are an individual or a company, it is fully possible to use cross-border EC if you follow the procedures. However, the difficulty level increases because they have smaller budgets and fewer personnel than large companies.

Therefore, it is important to have a solid plan in place.

How to start cross-border EC as an individual

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Cross-border EC is available to individuals, and there are several ways to start cross-border EC. In this issue, we will introduce each of these methods one by one, so if you are interested, please check them out.

How to open a website in Japan

One way for individuals to start cross-border EC is to open a website in Japan.

The process involves renting a server in Japan and building an e-commerce site, but it must be designed for foreigners, not Japanese, as well as setting up the language for foreign countries.

How to open a site abroad

One way for individuals to start cross-border EC is to open a site overseas. The difference from the above is that you rent a server and build an EC site in the target country, not in Japan.

The language, as well as rules and regulations, must conform to the standards of the country, making it more difficult than setting up a site in Japan.

How to open a store in a Japanese e-commerce mall that supports overseas sales

One way for individuals to start cross-border EC is to open a store in a Japanese EC mall that supports overseas sales.

Since the site is in Japan, it is easy to understand because it is written in Japanese, and this method can be cited as a simple and easy way to get started.

However, it is not generally recommended because of the cost of exporting goods from Japan to overseas and the disadvantage that local customers in the target country are not familiar with the site.

How to open a store in an overseas e-commerce mall

One way for individuals to start cross-border EC is to open a store in an overseas EC mall.

The advantage of this method is that it is easier to attract customers than other methods because you will be opening a store in an e-commerce mall that is already popular in your target country.

Although there are some difficulties, such as the need to respond in the language of the target country, this is a highly recommended method because it may result in purchases without attracting customers.

How to start cross-border EC as an individual

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Having introduced the means by which an individual can start cross-border EC, we will now discuss the steps that an individual should follow to start cross-border EC.

We will be breaking this article down into six easy-to-understand steps to introduce the details, so if you are interested, please check them out.

Step 1] Decide on the products to sell and the countries in which to sell them.

First, decide “where and what you will sell.

It is not always possible to sell what you like in the country of your choice, for example, ‘popular in Japan but unpopular overseas’ or ‘can be sold without problems in Japan but banned overseas.

This is a very important item that requires checking various things, such as what kind of items are in demand in the target country and can be exported from Japan.

Step 2] Check customs duties and export regulations.

When goods are exported from Japan to foreign countries, customs duties are charged. Customs duties are subject to different rules in each target country, and also vary depending on the goods to be sold.

This is a matter directly related to the price of the product, so be sure to check it carefully at this point.

Step 3] Decide how to open a store.

Next, decide how you would like to open your store. Choose one of the four means described above that you think you can do.

You cannot open a store in an overseas e-commerce mall if you do not understand foreign languages, and you will lack the ability to attract customers if you open a site in Japan if you are not confident in your ability to attract customers.

We recommend that you carefully consider and decide how to open a store that is suitable for your size.

Step 4] Decide on the payment method.

Once you have decided on a method of opening a store, next decide on a payment method.

Regarding payment methods, it is also necessary to research payment services that are commonly used by customers in the target countries.

Step 5] Build a website and prepare to open a store.

Once all of the above preparations are in place, we can finally start building the site and preparing to open a store in an e-commerce mall.

If you do not speak the language of the target country, you will need to hire an interpreter or hire a firm that can do it for you.

Step 6] Don’t forget to ask questions and provide support.

Cross-border e-commerce cannot be completed once the product is sold.

When an individual conducts cross-border e-commerce, he or she must decide on all processes by him/herself, and must also deal with complaints and inquiries from customers who have purchased products.

There are various methods such as chat, telephone, etc. However, if you do not speak the local language, you will need to hire an interpreter or use an agency, as you did when preparing for the meeting.

Key Points for Individuals to Succeed in Cross-border EC

Woman smiling at her laptop

Next, we will introduce the key points for successful cross-border EC by individuals. If you are considering starting your own cross-border EC business, please check them out.

Starting in China or the U.S.

For individual cross-border e-commerce success, we recommend setting the target as China or the U.S.

In China, in particular, the market is more than 10 times larger than in Japan, which means that there are more customers. Chinese people love Japanese products, as evidenced by the “Bakuhai” phenomenon, in which Chinese tourists who come to Japan buy all Japanese products.

If you want to sell more products, choose a country with a large market size as your target, such as China or the United States.

Research the best-selling products in your target country.

One key to successful cross-border EC for individuals is to research the best-selling products in the target country.

In most cases, easy thinking such as, “It sells well in Japan, so it should sell well overseas as well,” will result in failure.

It is necessary to research in detail what customers in the target countries usually shop for using cross-border EC , and what overseas customers are looking for in Japanese products.

Promote the quality of Japanese products in all aspects.

One of the keys to success in cross-border EC for individuals is to fully promote the advantages of Japanese products.

After all, “high quality,” “safety,” and “security” are the main selling points of Japanese products.

Therefore, by fully promoting the fact that the products are of high quality and safe and secure, they are more likely to catch the attention of overseas customers.

Choose an e-commerce mall that is easy to sell.

One key to successful cross-border e-commerce for individuals is to choose a mall that is easy to sell in.

While there are advantages to building your own site overseas or in Japan, customers tend to be more likely to buy and repeat their purchases if you open a store in an overseas e-commerce mall.

To give a concrete example, the “Tian Cat” e-commerce mall is very popular in China, and more than half of the people who use e-commerce malls in China use Tian Cat.

If you are new to cross-border EC and unfamiliar with it, try to open a store in an EC mall that already has a good reputation overseas.

Have a support system in place.

One of the key points to successful cross-border EC for individuals is to have a support system in place. As mentioned above, the key to cross-border EC does not end with the sale of products.

Japanese products are expected to include aftercare and other support.

Hire staff who can speak the local language and install software that can handle foreign languages to ensure that your overseas customers are satisfied with your services even after they have purchased your products.

summary

We introduced the means and procedures for individuals to start cross-border EC, as well as the key points for success.High quality, safe and secure products manufactured by Japanese companies are very popular with customers in China and other countries.

This is a good opportunity for individuals to start a new business using cross-border EC. If you are considering using cross-border EC in the future, please refer to this article.

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