Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sell your products internationally? When you consider that the global e-commerce market is worth about $6.3 trillion, it’s natural to want a slice of that cake. However, a lot of business owners never bother with the international market.
They might feel that it’s not worth the effort or that only large companies have the resources to play the global market game. However, with the resources and options available today, it is indeed possible for even smaller businesses to dream big.
In this article, let us look at three key steps that will be essential on your journey to finding an international customer base.
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1. Focus on Local Marketing
It goes without saying that if you want to expand your products and services to other countries, local marketing will be key. Naturally, a big part of this depends on the type of business you run. For instance, online services can get by a little easier than traditional businesses because of the reach that modern digital marketing has.
If you are a business that wants to create new customer bases in foreign countries, your best bet will be local partnerships. Yes, it’s natural to feel apprehensive about such relationships. There’s always the worry about quality control, brand representation, and intellectual property theft.
That said, finding local partners can be achieved in unique ways. As you might expect, one extremely popular method is reaching out to local influencers. You will still have to find partners to stock and distribute your products, but the marketing becomes a good deal more straightforward.
Some businesses try to piggyback off a non-competing business to sell products under their own inventory. You could call it a type of channel sale, but trust is going to be critical.
Of course, you will still need to find a distributor and deal with exports, but that’s a topic for another day.
2. Offer Multilingual Support
For many business owners, it’s easy to forget that for a lot of countries, English isn’t the de facto language. When businesses limit their language to English, they essentially cut out a significant portion of their potential customers.
These days, there are so many professional translation services out there that ensure your website is multilingual. Sure, the auto-translation feature works fine, but it ruins a lot of the effort that your copywriters put in.
Using legitimate translation services retains the core message that is trying to be conveyed. According to OneSky, content localization is super important because 56% of international customers want product information in their own language.
The benefits of localized content are obvious. You unlock new revenue, an expanded customer base, and the possibility of capturing market share from your rivals.
If you offer digital services in the form of software or SaaS solutions, it is a no-brainer to include multilingual support. These are areas where auto-translate hasn’t really reached yet, and until it does, you can’t expect people to be holding up their phones with a translator app open.
3. Consider a Regional Pricing Strategy
Purchasing power is a factor that many businesses tend to overlook when trying to win over an international audience. Not all businesses want to follow this model, though. One reason is that it often ends up creating a gray market where the lower-priced products are sold for profit elsewhere.
That said, many businesses enforce geo-restrictions, especially for digital products. This means that local consumers can enjoy the product at reasonable rates without having scalpers resell it.
When it comes to pricing strategy, regional-based rates are shown to be extremely popular for certain industries. One instance would be gaming, where many publishers offer more appropriate rates for lower-income countries. After all, a $60 AAA game is often a significant portion of a person’s monthly salary in many parts of the world.
Offering regional pricing can help you gain a foothold in a market where you don’t have to face tough competition. For instance, companies like IKEA keep prices with the local audience in mind to good effect. Many countries lack the kind of furniture solutions that IKEA offers, making them a dominant presence, quickly.
Expanding your business is always a worthy endeavor. Yes, there will be a number of challenges that you encounter, however, this is simply part and parcel of entrepreneurship. Even large companies will have to deal with their fair share of challenges when trying to attract a global market.
As long as you set clear goals and find realistic steps to achieve them, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find international success.