How To Take Your Business Abroad
The dream of every entrepreneur is have such an impact that people abroad also develop an interest in their products or services. The dream is world dominance — although, for most entrepreneurs, it is not the villainous world dominance type we see in Hollywood movies. So, when opportunities like the ongoing pandemic present themselves where consumer behavior is shifting more towards online shopping; the universe is telling you to go ahead. If you need more motivation to put your business out there, you should know that retail sites accumulated almost 22 billion visits by June 2020. Consumers across the globe tend to have an affinity for foreign products. However, once you take your business abroad, you will learn that consumer behaviors and e-commerce business cultures are not the same across the globe. Hence, you need to do things the right way to get your desired results.
Here is how.
Make It Local
To successfully take your business abroad, the first thing you must know and do is localize your content. Introduce your brand to the target local audience right away; what your brand is about, what products/services you sell, and how you operate your business generally. To connect with your new local audience, you must speak and understand their language so that you will be able to translate your website to their language. However, your knowledge of their language will be tested with how you communicate with them using their colloquial and contextual language imbibing their local terms rather than translating words verbatim. Additionally, you must pay attention to the local market, price range, custom offers, and policies designed for the local market’s shopping behavior.
Show Them You Care Using Their Language
I am sure you know the importance of customer satisfaction, retention, and support, so you will also have to provide customer support to your new target audience. However, do not just bring your current customer support team to the new market. Instead, establish a local customer support team to answer FAQs, as your new target audience can have unique concerns. Even if they share the same concerns with your current audience, you still have to address the concerns using an approach your new target audience will find relatable, and that means using their language. The ideal thing to do is hire someone who speaks their language, preferably a native speaker who understands their culture.
Partner with A Reliable International Delivery and Return Company
One of the things you must get right when taking your business abroad is shipping; you have to find a reliable method to ship your products to buyers. Most big companies such as CocaCola establish franchise branches all around the world so they do not have to bother about international shipping, but you have to cut your coat according to your cloth. Therefore, find an international shipping partner that is budget-friendly, reliable, fast, and provides quality services that ensure products remain in good condition. To ensure hassle-free shipments, use an international courier company with a wide network that provides extra services such as customs clearance.
Adapt Your Pricing to The Local Market
Even though you are selling the same products with the same quality, your pricing of the products will be different across different countries. So, do not just convert your current price lists to the local price of your new market, rather do your research of the pricing strategy that applies in the local market. Many factors will determine your pricing strategy, but the most important thing to do is to adapt your pricing to the local market.
Provide A Checkout Structure They Are Used To
This is the last page your new buyers will interact with in the purchase journey, and so you must make them feel at home. That means you must use font size and color they are used to, the design they are used to, date format, measurements, and generally make the page appear like other checkout pages in the local market. Simply put, make sure your checkout page has all the nitty-gritty of a typical checkout page in the local market.
Use the Right Local Payment Processing
This is also an important part of the checkout page, so you must make the buyers feel at home. Use the payment processing methods they are used to — do your research to find reliable local payment methods and partner with them. Using payment methods they are not used to will send your new buyers away and it won’t simply be because they are choosy. For example, if you use Apple Pay, WeChat Pay, CashApp, and you are planning to start selling to Nigerians, you will find that most buyers in Nigeria will not be able to buy from you because these payment companies don’t provide their services to people in Nigeria.
Learn More About Currency Exchange
Most buyers expect to make payments in their local currency, which means that they expect products to be priced in their currency as well. So, you will be limiting your sales if you carry your current market currency into your new target market. You can provide more than one currency pricing but make sure that the local buyers can find their local currency on your product and checkout pages.
Another thing to keep in mind is that currency exchange is not a straightforward process in business, as you will learn that some currencies are volatile. Yet you must provide your buyers with multiple currency options. How then do you reach a compromise on this? You can create a bank account in the currency of the local market and send money from sales and profits there, then convert the funds when the exchange rate is good enough for you. Another method is to use the services of an international card payment service processor.
Consider All Other Expenses
To conclude, we advise you to do things by the book, that is, do your research on the local market you are going into and follow market regulations, legislation, policies, and whatnot.