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Mastering international payments and deliveries

How do you go from selling products in your local area to becoming a global brand, without moving your headquarters or opening more branches? You start selling to international markets through your eCommerce platform. In our previous blog, From local to global sales with eCommerce, we walk you through how to go about making this move. Today, we are honing in on two of the most challenging factors that one must consider when selling globally: payment processes and deliveries.

Payment and delivery for international eCommerce purchases

Let’s strip down payments and deliveries through a simple customer scenario that is common for international brands.

Two customers visit a South African based eCommerce website and decide they want to buy the same painting kit. One of the customers is Matthew, who is a 27-year-old in South Africa and the other customer is 27-year-old Moroccan, Mariam. Both are strangers who happen to be using the same website at the same time. However, they are doing this from different countries. So far, it seems like they have more in common than not, right? Then, why can’t you use the exact same payment and delivery processes for both customers?


Matthew (South Africa)

Mariam (Morocco)

Official Languages

8 (English is most common)

2 (Modern Standard Arabic is most common)


Rands (ZAR)

Dirhams (MAD)

Preferred Payment Method Online

Credit card (41% of eCommerce sales)

Cash (74% of eCommerce sales)

Delivery Options


Pick-up point

Door-to-door delivery

Door-to-door delivery

(business is based in RSA)

Delivery and payment challenges

There are many reasons why you cannot use identical payment options and deliveries for customers in different countries, including:

  • They use different currencies
  • Payment method preferences are not universal
  • Countries have differing delivery options available
  • Delivery locations are not the same, which affects final costs
  • National laws and regulations differ

In the end, every reason is routed to the same fact: no country is the same, and neither are their customers. You need to tailor every online sales process not only by your customer’s preferences, but also by their country’s best sales practices.

Tips on how to handle international payments

What makes a sale, a sale? The exchange of money for something else. With international consumers, the money is given through online transactions, but it works differently from online payments for local purchases. Here are tips to help you with international sales payments

1. Research, research, and more research

If you don’t know your market and the environment it resides in, you have already failed in business. To provide the most suitable payment processes for international customers, you need to know:

  • Their views on paying online
  • The most used payment methods
  • Payment behaviours and habits of locals

2. Accept more than one payment method

A payment gateway with various payment options will help you bag more successful online sales than one payment method. Payment gateways like Consnet’s Paygate, Peach Payments, Netcash, and PayPal are great solutions to assist you with this.

3. Use a global payment gateway

There is no point in offering products to other countries if their payments can’t be processed. So, choose a payment gateway that accepts international payments, for example, Paygate, Peach Payments, and Netcash. You can also opt for global payment gateways, such as PayPal, which can process any and all international eCommerce payments.

PayPal, in particular, is available in over 200 countries (in Africa, the Americas, Australia, Asia, and Europe) and supports 25 different currencies. This simplifies your processes as you then only need to use one payment gateway solution across the countries you sell to. 

Tips on how to handle international deliveries

Logistics can be tricky when it comes to international shipping and if you aren’t careful, it can cost you a good penny. A strategic plan needs to be put in place to help your business manage global deliveries as efficiently as local businesses. Here are a few things to consider when strategizing.

1. Did we mention research?

Do not underestimate the power of information when expanding. You need to know as much as you can about the markets you are entering so you can provide the sales experiences they want and need.

2. Find and partner with the right courier

A suitable courier service will ensure that the delivery of your products takes place without a hitch every time. You will need to compare service providers and weigh in your options while considering:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Lowest waiting time for delivery
  • The amount customers are willing to spend (especially on delivery)
  • How often you’ll be delivering in that country

3. Find smart ways to keep shipping costs low

Experiment with innovative ways to keep costs low when shipping. Something as simple as decreasing your packaging size and buying packaging material can make a huge difference. Also check and manage extra costs (e.g., import taxes, tariffs, and fees) so your pricing and shipping rates are always accurate and clear to customers.

Tips on mastering both

The above lessons will help you jumpstart your global sales journey effectively, but they are only effective when paired with the right eCommerce solution. We recommend Digitrade as it is configurable for international growth. You can customise this platform to deliver different experiences on various levels, including Global, Website, and Store levels. The most significant features of Digitrade for international expansion, however, is it’s ability to support different:

  • Customer accounts per country
  • Currencies
  • Payment options
  • Languages
  • Tax classes
  • Shipping/Delivery options


Digitrade is built with your business in mind, as it’s customisable and scalable enough to grow with your market. Let’s talk about your interest in expanding and how Digitrade can help your business grow. Book a demo with us to learn more today.

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