Online payment solution provider PayPal
has announced the launch of PassPort
, a web resource designed to help small businesses - especially those that have a heavy reliance on online commerce - by providing them advice and free tools to expand their global sales.
By providing country-specific guidance on seasonal sales peaks (including sales fluctuations based on special holidays and events), advice on cultural customs, taboos and trends, local shipping and distribution logistics, up-to-date currency exchange and fees; as well as customs procedures and taxes, PaylPal is hoping that PassPort
becomes the defacto resource for small businesses.
For example, when it comes to seasonal trends it's not just Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or Black Friday a global retailer should be concerned with; consider Singles Day, the November 11
Chinese holiday that dwarfs Black Friday
in e-commerce revenue and is "expected to easily exceed US$10 billion
" this year, according to a USDA report. Then there's also Golden Week in Japan, as well as Click Frenzy in Australia.
"Small business owners know that reaching a global market can exponentially increase their sales, but many aren't sure where to start," explains Carey Kolaja, Vice President, Global Product Solutions, PayPal. "In 2013, global trade accounted for approximately 25 percent of PayPal's Total Payment Volume - so we understand the challenges and opportunities of international trade. We designed PassPort with our international insights to help small businesses tap into global sales opportunities as simply and seamlessly as possible."
"PassPort removes perceived barriers by revealing cultural gift-giving traditions and taboos and helps to ease the complexity of shipping and customs," explains Kolaja. "By helping businesses understand when and how to best engage with international shoppers, we go far beyond the secure and simple payments our customers expect from us and enable them to tap into new revenue potential."
"Realizing many of my customers live outside the US is what prompted me to shift almost entirely to PayPal's trusted and streamlined online payment process and I haven't looked back," says Jenn Crowder, owner of Boston Fashion House
. "Twenty percent of my sales have come from cross border this year, and having access to PassPort will certainly help that number grow."
"Learning more about the holidays, buying patterns and gift-giving traditions of huge emerging economies like Brazil and China is a fantastic shortcut for me as I work to further expand sales of my luxury goods," Crowder adds.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.