Entry into the global marketplace isn’t as difficult as it may seem when you’re operating an eCommerce business. It’s likely you already ship products worldwide so the concept isn’t too outlandish. There is, though, a difference in providing your products to the global marketplace and owning a presence in a foreign market.
Extending your business to reach foreign markets means you’re now up against foreign competitors. The competition isn’t the only obstacle; there are items that must be understood such as customs and just how you’ll handle customers as you do in your home country.
The following are just a sample of the major items you’ll need to cover when making an entry into the global marketplace…
Understanding Laws, Customs, and Etiquette
Each country will have different laws, customs, and etiquette which will dictate how you will handle your business in their marketplace.
First you must understand the laws of commerce in the country to ensure you’re in compliance (this can be done through a number of online searches for country-specific websites). The latter two are ones which are understood through proper research; it’s important that you understand these two as they will aid with forming your website & ad copy so they are accepted with the locals.
Removing the Language Barrier
Language is an obvious barrier for entry into a marketplace and the best way to demolish it is through translation services by native speakers.
Use translation services found on freelance marketplaces to develop alternative websites for specific regions of the world. Hire another individual, native speaking, to fact/spell check the first.
Once the website is available in an alternative language you will have greater access to the marketplace.
Handling International Logistics
Logistics (delivering your product to customers) poses difficulty when extending beyond your country. The major providers (USPS, UPS, FedEx) certainly handle international shipping but it would be difficult to convince an individual to purchase from your store if the shipping prices are outrageous.
Conversely, worldwide logistics offer your business the ability to have access to many different facilities across the world, so that you may ship from a location in (or close) to the new marketplace, thus greatly cutting the costs and improving your ability to offer competitive products in the marketplace.
Researching the Market Properly
A good deal of time needs to be spent in researching the marketplaces you want to enter.
- Wants & needs
… and more.
Perhaps the best way to do this research is by contacting a local business coach within the area so that they may provide accurate, real-world information about your audience rather than solely relying on research done online (though both should be mixed).
Once you’ve established a customer avatar you (and your business) will have a greater understanding of the important factors that will lead to conversions such as accurate ad copy to a realignment of the brand.
Scoping the Competition
The best way to reach new markets is, of course, scoping the competition and using their research and development for your own.
There are a number of ways to go about this:
- Examine their website for marketplace specifics
- Monitor their social feeds to understand their branding and service
- Read their blog posts to find their tone and direction
- Understand their joint ventures and associations
- Identify the main players within the market and who they work with
Scoping the competition will give you a large amount of data from the best practices in local SEO to understanding how to handle customer service. The competition has already done the leg-work so use it to your advantage for an ease in entry into that global marketplace you so desire.