With the digital revolution and the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people shopping online is higher than ever. This has increased opportunities for companies to expand beyond their local markets through e-commerce. Follow these five simple guidelines to launch your company into an international domain.
Find your Target Market
First, identify which regions are most likely to be interested in your product. The ideal is an existing market that is growing but not saturated. You can use analytic data to see if your website has higher traffic from certain countries, and make small changes such as adding international shipping options to see if this gains any traction.
When you have identified your target region, ensure you have researched taxes and tariffs, and clearly communicate any additional costs to your consumer.
Start small, then scale up. Once you have an international foothold, you can aim at bigger markets and continue expanding.
Make it Local
There is a unanimous consensus that people prefer buying products displayed in their native language. A crucial piece of advice is to localise your website, maintaining a professional appearance through exact translations. Even if you are approaching a market which operates in the same language, such as the US from the UK, be careful to use correct terminology to avoid confusion.
Utilise knowledge of the country’s national holidays and buying patterns (e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chinese New Year) to tailor deals and offers.
Logistics and Marketing
Explore the most commonly used marketplace in your target region. Is it Amazon? Walmart? Alibaba? Start with a known and trusted site, and include multiple payment means to satisfy a range of users. While credit or debit cards are preferred in the UK and US, PayPal is more popular in Spain and Alipay in China.
Research your target consumer’s most commonly used media for purchases. If most purchases are made through tablets, optimise the tablet form of your website. If you are appealing to countries with a high level of app use, develop your mobile app. You can also increase your social media presence in the popular media used in your goal region.
Some governments offer grants to expanding businesses who wish to test the waters with exporting abroad. This page lists some of the grant funding opportunities for businesses and bodies seeking to develop UK exports and international trade links. It is worth spending some time researching whether you are eligible for extra help.
How OneTimePIM Can Help
Flexible and multilingual, OneTime PIM can translate your data through our unique feature of channels with the capacity to switch data to different languages. The PIM can be used to store different currencies and sort the appropriate information for each country in an easy and efficient interface. These features, alongside our eCommerce connectors, make it easier to scale your eCommerce business, streamlining the process of expanding your company.
Good luck with your international venture!