So, you want to delve your online store into the international market. It’s a great way to grow your business and find customers you never would have had the opportunity to reach before. However, it’s a tall order, and there are a few things to consider before venturing overseas. Consider these tips for how to reach an international market before you being your journey!
- Assess your business. Time for some self-reflection. Before you reach an international market, it’s important to consider your own business, and whether your team and your finances can handle the extra pressure from international expansion. Do you have the financial resources to expand? Is your workforce capable of taking on the extra labor? Will your product or service be easily accessible overseas? It’s a lot to take on, so make sure you’re ready before beginning your project.
- Research your potential marketplace. Consider the market you’re about to approach. Some questions to ask yourself: Is there a demand for your product or services? Can you easily make your way into their marketplace? Who are your competitors? Learn about the country’s regulations on products and advertising. Some countries may have different restrictions. You may have to employ new marketing strategies based on cultural differences, as well. The popular search engines and social media platforms may differ where you’re planning to market your product, or your customers may have different opinions and values than what you’re used to, which brings us to the next point.
- Get to know your new customers. You have to know who you’re marketing to. You probably already know your existing market, but this is an entirely different beast. Learn about the local culture, such as their values and customs. This will help you understand your new customers, how to sell effectively to them, and how to come up with an effective marketing strategy in this new cultural climate. It will also help you communicate with your new customers and business partners, without accidentally offending them or embarrassing yourself!
- Update your languages. Perhaps an obvious one, but important when trying to reach an international market, nonetheless. Don’t assume that everyone speaks English–make the effort to translate your site–and your product, if applicable– into the language of your new market. And don’t be lazy about it–create new pages on your site, with keywords to match, and if you can, hire a third-party translator who can translate your new pages properly. Incorrect translations can make you look unprofessional. These steps will help you connect with your customers more effectively, and will allow you a wider reach. For example, Oliver POS is available in eight languages, which allows it to have users in almost 70 countries, across six continents.
- Pricing. It’s smart to convert your prices on your online store into the local currency of whatever country you’re selling to. Additionally, consider things like shipping costs, exchange rate, taxes, and duties when pricing your items for a different country. Customers like to know what exactly they’re paying, and if your products are priced in foreign currency, with no estimation for shipping and extra charges, they probably won’t bother. Take the extra steps to make it easier on your customers. It’s worth it!