Selling abroad via the web


The eCommerce, a very widespread tool of online sales and marketing (B2B and B2C markets), is also used for penetration in foreign markets.

Although the export and establishment of a branch office in another state are the most common options to make your products available abroad and promote internationalisation, they are not the only one options. If before the internet market was not as widespread and explored, today there are many economic players who rely on the online market to sell and make their products known globally.

What are the strengths of this market? And which factors favoured its diffusion?

The eCommerce guarantees the entrepreneur to sell their products at a much lower cost than the normal sale. The web also serves as a showcase as a real virtual shop, allowing a potential flow of visitors much wider than physical stores/warehouses. The reduction of costs related to the storage of goods is also no less important, since the electronic market allows you to get the product to your customer directly from the manufacturer (if the entrepreneur produces on behalf of a third party or is only a retailer).

Like any efficient business model, it has its disadvantages, which can be used as strengths and differentiation if the entrepreneur has capable employees in the field of tech and social media. The first concerns competition, since it is true that entry barriers to the web market are almost non-existent, this will also be achieved by a large number of competitors. A second point of weakness could be the lack of relationships between the company and the customer, which could blossom into a lack of trust and therefore, poor loyalty.

It is understood that the entrepreneur will still have to make investments, for example to ensure what is called a "positioning" on search engines or undertake advertising campaigns through the web or social networks.

However, selling abroad does not allow you to circumvent customs barriers (if any), evade obligations to comply with the regulations in force in the country of destination or be exempted from product liability.

Internet sale requires even greater caution and compliance with numerous additional obligations regarding the use of the website, such as, for example, the insertion of disclaimers, privacy policies, conditions of use in accordance with the applicable law in the State(s) of destination, creation of filters and barriers to the use of the site for certain types of recipients (e.g. minors), as well as the mention of any intellectual property rights acquired.

Please note that in accordance with the law applicable in each State, the owner of a website may be sued in the courts of the State of destination in certain circumstances and may also be subject to taxation there. Appropriate preliminary investigations should be carried out in order to avoid these possibilities.

Updated on 28/07/2020