5 Opportunities and Challenges
As technology continues to advance, online businesses are slowly replacing traditional ones. Customers, on the other hand, are embracing online businesses more than ever before. They want to interact with businesses freely no matter where they are.
The growing popularity of online businesses has brought with it many opportunities for entrepreneurs. It has also given birth to new challenges that are threatening the very existence of online businesses.
Every entrepreneur understands that the business world keeps on evolving. The online business environment is also changing as technology advances.
Here are a few opportunities and challenges of building an international online business;
Numbers do not lie. According to Statista, over 2.14 billion people bought goods and services online in 2021, up from 1.92 billion in 2019. This number is expected to keep on growing in the next couple of years, opening an opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Technology has also continued to advance. Every day, we are seeing new solutions developed for the business world. These solutions are made to handle core business tasks and ease operations for online businesses.
Smart entrepreneurs understand what is happening. They are quickly investing in online businesses to exploit all these opportunities. Today, you can operate a business from Africa but target customers in America without any issues.
However, as much as entrepreneurs are exploiting these opportunities, they are also encountering new challenges that traditional businesses did not have before. Here are some of the most common challenges online businesses face;
Modern customers are more concerned about their privacy and how they share their personal information with online businesses. They need assurance that the businesses they are dealing with are secure and can protect their data.
In addition, you are likely going to encounter cultural differences when operating an international online business. Unlike local and traditional businesses that operate within a given location, you have to think about social, cultural, and linguistic differences.
These challenges are going to be a stumbling block when operating an international online business. You need to be prepared and look for ways through which you can overcome social challenges for your business to succeed.
Handling Payments — Especially Recurring Payments
Building an international online business means that you will be operating in different countries. You might find yourself in a situation where you have to make payments to local authorities, customers, or anyone else in a foreign country where you operate.
It might even get worse for you if you have to make these payments or have customers paying you frequently. This can prove to be challenging for those who lack an effective way of managing international recurring payments.
Fortunately, you can get a solution that ensures that you abide by transaction regulations and tax laws in foreign countries. Such a system also ensures that your customers can sign up easily for recurring payments no matter where they are.
International online businesses rely heavily on the internet for most of their operations. Some of the biggest challenges that they face include integrating different protocols, bandwidth availability, and cybersecurity.
International online businesses have become a target for cybercriminals. They (cybercriminals) are increasingly looking for ways to penetrate these businesses and steal data from them.
Even though these businesses can implement new security measures, cybercriminals are also getting new solutions to penetrate these measures. If you are an entrepreneur, you need to make sure that you are using modern and updated security measures to overcome this challenge.
Even though international online businesses have existed for a couple of years now, they are still facing legal challenges in some countries. This is still a new business model and some countries have not yet figured it out.
Some of the most common legal challenges include rights to intellectual property and taxation. For instance, some countries have not yet figured out how to collect taxes from online transactions.
Does that mean that an international online business has committed an offense if it does not pay taxes in these countries? Well, this is a problem that will take time to solve since different countries are embracing online businesses at different rates.
International online businesses are going to keep on growing despite the challenges that they are facing. Technology advancement and internet penetration across the globe are among the contributing factors to this growth.
However, online business entrepreneurs need to be prepared to encounter different challenges that can derail their operations. With the right tools, they can overcome most of these challenges and grow their businesses.