In recent years, the e-commerce sector has experienced significant growth, both in online stores and the number of online shoppers. As the number of customers is still increasing enormously, it is no surprise that more and more e-tailers want to expand their online store beyond national borders and expand their customer base. This article will show you what you need to consider to sell abroad and be successful in a new market.
Start Selling Abroad: How To Find The Right Country/Target Market?
First, we recommend researching the most promising markets for your products or services.
- Where might your products or services be welcomed?
- In which countries is your target group most represented?
Our first advice in terms of internationalization is to proceed in stages. If possible, expand your activities in only one country at a time because each market has different characteristics and rules to respect. In terms of budget, you will need to plan for promotion on other channels such as Google, Facebook or Instagram, distribution and after-sales service. To choose the right market, in addition to carrying out a classic market study, many tools can provide you with relevant information on foreign markets.
Explore The International Market
A handy tool to get an idea of the different international markets is the Global Market Finder offered by Google. This free tool is based on an algorithm that shows you, based on your industry, the international markets that provide you with the most promising opportunities for expansion. What’s more, the Global Market Finder provides you with a lot of operational information that helps you identify potential new markets and plan your expansion strategy.
Do Competitive Analysis And Needs Analysis
Watching out for the opposition is dependably bright, particularly to distinguish the potential open doors and dangers of growing your business abroad ahead of time. Incidentally, on the off chance that you haven’t found out more about the market yet, it merits noticing the procedure of your rivals.
- Check if your costs are by the market you need.
- Check regardless of whether the designated market is exceptionally cutthroat.
By planning your entrance into the new nation based on what your rivals are doing, you can avoid excessive ventures and better objective new clients. On the off chance that you’re selling speciality items, you might utilize serious investigation to find markets where there aren’t numerous contenders yet. When your cutthroat analysis is done, it is fundamental to examine the requirements of expected clients in worldwide business sectors. To do this, you can utilize apparatuses like Facebook Business Suite Insights or Google’s ‘Rising Product Categories’ instrument.
Finding Out About The Legal Situation Of The New Market
It is fundamental for you to realize that clients from one more nation are safeguarded by the country’s laws wherein they live while buying your items. Therefore an inside and out examination of the online business regulation in force in the country you wish to foster your business is essential. You can collaborate with Law SB to figure out the implications of taking your business internationally, and the legal requirements of each country. Likewise, it is fundamental to compose the legally binding circumstances in the nation’s language. Here are some rules of the e-commerce directive:
- The online store must provide clear information on the price of the products and any additional costs.
- The online store must clearly and comprehensively indicate the contractual conditions on its website.
- The online store must respond without delay to orders received by providing the GCS applicable to the contract, information on the essential characteristics of the good or service, as well as on the price, the means of payment, the right of withdrawal and the costs of delivery.
- The online store must indicate in the T&Cs the information to conclude the online sales contract. The processing of personal data must also be displayed on the site.
How To Adapt Your Site And Your Product Pages?
Prepare Your Online Store In The National Language Of Your Target Country
Offering different languages on your website not only improves the shopping experience for your customers but also shows that you are listening to your customers’ needs and wishes. The most common e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, PrestaShop and Magento offer the possibility of localizing your website easily. Otherwise, we recommend hiring native-speaking experts or hiring a good translation and localization agency if your budget doesn’t allow it. The automatic translations of some free software often provide translations that lack quality, which native speakers notice directly.
Optimize The Natural Referencing Of Your Website
Translating and localizing your website improves not only your conversion rate but also helps your online store rank higher in search engine results. Google and other search engines recognize that a local language website provides a better shopping experience for customers and gives you better positioning in the SERPs.
Another factor that influences the ranking of your website in search engines is the domain. For this reason, we recommend that you create a specific part for each country. There are plenty of tools to find the right keywords for your products, for example, KWFinder, Sistrix or Google’s “Rising Product Categories”.
Display Prices In local Currency
Are you planning, for example, to sell in Sweden or Great Britain? In this case, your products’ prices must also be displayed in the Local Currency of your target country. New customers are probably not familiar with other money and therefore do not understand your prices in euros. This would encourage them not to buy from your online store but your competitor.
Offer The Most Common Payment Methods Of The Target Country
One of the reasons potential customers abandon their cart is because the online store doesn’t offer their preferred payment method. Keep in mind that country to country. These preferences may be different.
Offer The Most Popular Delivery Methods Of The Target Country
In addition to the most common payment methods, it is worth cooperating with well-known shipping providers in the target country. Choose shipping companies that can handle your returns. It’s often the detail that makes the difference between good and bad customer service. Consumers prefer online stores that offer free shipping. But for many customers, the price is not the only criterion – they are, for example, ready to pay between 5 € and 10 € if they are assured of being able to follow the progress of the order and the delivery.
Develop An International Marketing Strategy
Since you want to earn customers’ trust in a new market, you need to consider attracting new buyers’ attention to your products. In addition to a good SEO strategy that allows you to generate traffic for your website, there are several other marketing possibilities.
Showcase Your Products On The Most Important Social Networks
Find out which social networks your target group is present on and create a professional account there. Although Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are the most used platforms globally, others may be important for your target country. Regularly publish information about your products and create a network of users who are part of your target group.
Share your special offers and information about the daily life and values of your company with your community. In this way, you will gain the trust of your (potential) customers. Use hashtags to increase your brand visibility. As with improving your natural referencing, finding the most used hashtags in the country is necessary. Several tools can help you in your search, for example, Hashtagify and Trendsmap.
Cooperate With Influencers
Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular over the past few years. This type of marketing aims to harness the potential of influencing recommendations to reach potential new customers on social media. Start cooperating with an influencer known and appreciated in the country where you want to expand your business.
Social media is the best place to find local influencers who can promote your products and dramatically improve your brand awareness. Generally, the more followers an influencer has, the more expensive a collaboration is. Therefore, it might be more helpful to cooperate with a micro-influencer – someone who may not have a vast number of followers but who has a loyal target group tailored to your needs.
Showcase Your Products On Marketplaces Like Amazon
Perhaps the easiest way to start selling overseas would be to sell your products on a marketplace like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc. The advantages of large e-commerce companies compared to own online shops are, for example:
- more traffic and turnover in a short time
- less cost
- less risk
- you can reach a wider group of customers
But of course, there are also disadvantages :
- many competitors
- less control over your brand image
- the customers are not yours, but those of the marketplace
- marketplaces take commissions for each sale
As you see in this article, there are many things you need to think about before you can sell your products overseas. But once you take the plunge and a few weeks have passed, you’ll soon realize that the work was worth it. Be patient. Finding new customers may take time.