Develop your store internationally – ValueWalk

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Your company has performed in front of the crowds in its hometown and received great reviews. You are now looking to expand your repertoire by reaching the international scene.

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COVID-19 has triggered a huge increase in the number of consumers purchasing from brands based outside their home country. Between 80% and 90% of buyers worldwide have purchased from an international seller in the past year.

And the global e-commerce market is expected to total $ 4.89 trillion in 2021. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage?

But international audiences can be a tough crowd.

Are you ready to take your show on the road?

Cross without borders

Managing and growing a business is difficult. When you do it internationally, the challenges increase exponentially – increased by factors such as language, distance, cultural norms, and legal systems.

You will be faced with high marketing and shipping costs, and you will be faced with logistical challenges such as customs issues and long distance returns.

So be realistic in assessing what it will take to achieve your business goals. Be careful with cautious expectations: give yourself a generous schedule and keep your short-term forecasts modest.

Questions to consider:

  • Is there a need for your product in your target area?
  • Are buyers in this region likely to buy from you?
  • Are you familiar with the unique consumption patterns, marketing practices and business laws of your target area?
  • Can you put enough boots on the ground to ensure proper operation?
  • Will international expansion really benefit your business – or hurt your core business in your country?

If you answer “yes” to all of the above, pack your bags.

Take the road

But first, do your homework.

Use tools like the Google Analytics location report to see if you’re on the right track. Look at international traffic by continent, country, region or city.

Test the waters in potential markets by prioritizing your online advertising or social media presence abroad. Invest in a social media management tool to promote your online presence in other countries, even if you’re just tracking engagement. It’s a great way to assess whether your business is at risk of bankruptcy or theft.

If you find that you have a strong fit with the product market, move on to the nuts and bolts. You will need to define:

  1. Market segment.
  2. Geographical limits.
  3. Local competition.
  4. Monetary size of the market.
  5. Realistic market share.
  6. Average annual consumption.
  7. Estimated average selling price.

Research your potential customers and the current market conditions in which you will be operating. Use this information to develop your Go-to-Market Strategy (GTM), a comprehensive action plan outlining the specific steps you will take to gain customers in your new market.

You have three GTM options:

  • Partner with local suppliers and connect with supply chain companies in the destination country so you can handle returns at a lower cost.
  • Build a field team that can cover marketing, logistics, sales, customer support, engineering, etc.
  • Establish an online presence through third-party marketplaces or a branded e-commerce site, which offers more data and better customer connections.

Go the distance

If you are going internationally, your time will be precious. You cannot clone yourself, but you can take measures to ensure the smooth running of operations both at home and abroad. Use automation tools to automate manual tasks, analyze data, find new optimization opportunities, and send alerts when you need them. This allows you to stay focused on growing your business.

Efficient and timely contact with consumers is important for any type of business. For international traders, this is crucial. But that’s tricky, given that international customers live in different time zones.

Send the right message at the right time by segmenting your audience and sending emails or posting to social media at specific times of the day based on geographic location. You want your potential customers to keep your business in mind. So use email sequencing to connect with potential customers at different stages of their journey through the sales funnel.

Once these browsers become buyers, you want to give them a smooth finish. Connect with parcel shipping companies that allow customers to buy from online retailers that don’t ship internationally. From the buyer’s perspective, it pays a nominal charge based on dimensional weight. However, the additional costs are more than offset by the ease of having the products delivered to their country of origin.

Location, location, location

Learn about the community and the interests of your target audience – and meet them there.

  • Buyers are naturally drawn to marketplaces where they can have a comfortable and familiar shopping experience. So prioritize localized features, including currencies and payment options.
  • Get advice from your local employees to help you refine your marketing strategies and better understand the cultural differences that will tell you how you approach the market – and by what means.
  • Focus on potential customers both geographically and psychologically. If you operate a store in India, for example, expand to migration hubs like Canada, the United States, or Australia. You will have a ready-made audience. Target Specific Interests: If you’re a sports store, expand to countries where a particular sport is popular.
  • If you already have a strong organic presence in your home market, consider shifting your paid acquisition efforts to the international market, as you don’t (yet) have an organic presence.
  • Familiarize yourself with the compliance and regulatory issues in your new market. Learn about trade regulations and packaging standards. Hire a local tax advisor to help you with tax matters
  • Make sure Google can “find” you in the local language. You won’t get traction if you don’t show up in searches, so choose the appropriate HREflang tags and URLs to get noticed.

When you stand out in the highly competitive international marketplace, you know you are on the right track. Cross-border scaling certainly has its challenges – but they are outweighed by the potential rewards.

An effective borderless business strategy introduces you to a new audience who can grow your business in ways that would not be possible if you were just playing in front of the local crowd.

Do your research to determine what your target audience wants – and if you can deliver it to them.

If you can, get ready for your international debut. And greet.

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