In a foreign market there are certain factors that must be taken into account to optimise the relationship with the client, such as:
- study consumer expectations
- adapt the business strategy to the destination country
- launch local logistics solutions,
- break the language barrier,
- conduct market surveys, and finally,
- collect and process user data.
The expectations of consumers in the online market:
In online sales, consumer behaviour varies from one person to anther and from one country to another. Different trends and expectations arise according to different criteria, such as geographical environment, purchasing power, local trends, culture, etc. Implementing an e-commerce business in a foreign market should not be taken lightly; the local environment should be known; the market should be able to meet the needs of consumers.
The expectations and online consumption patterns differs from one country to another. English, Scandinavians and Germans are big users of online commerce, while Spaniards and Italians are more reticent, although the market is growing. An analysis of the different markets that are adapted to your product by the experts of Global Trading, will allow you to select the country with the most potential for your business and to generate the maximum profit.
Another determining factor is to understand the buying patterns of local consumers: why they buy, what are their demographic, geographical, social and psychological characteristics and what the common interests are. In this way, you can define the customer profile that searches for your products and/or services and select, based on this, the country with the maximum number of matching profiles.
Once the client profile is determined, it is necessary to carry out a business strategy that responds to the needs of the local market and optimizes the profitability of your business.
The adaption of the business strategy to the local market
The business strategy is to implement a marketing plan to achieve the objectives previously set for a particular product or for your business in general, such as: the choice of distribution channels or those related to the pricing policy. Like any strategy, the commercial strategy must be considered in the medium or long term.
There are concrete levers to convert visitors of your online business into potential buyers:
- Generate good online and website communication: it must be designed to reflect the cultural and functional expectations of local users. The website should be intuitive, welcoming and adapted to the channels used by local consumers. The communication must be in tune with the culture of the environment. For example in England, it is advisable to design messages with humor in the communication in social networks. In general it is important to make specific cultural references regarding the target country in communication campaigns.
- Adjust the price of products and/or services to local market prices. It is not the same to sell in Russia as in Switzerland, where the purchasing power of the average population is very different. Establishing lower prices in less prosperous countries increases the potential of electronic commerce. It is also necessary to take into account the exchange rates of the different currencies.
- Offer payment methods available in the local market. Multiplying the payment methods (CB, Google Wallet, Paypal, ApplePay, PayPass, etc …) increases the number of potential customers.
- Analyze the competition to have a clear vision of its potential market share and consumer expectations. It is advisable to know the offers and promotions of competitors to identify trends in the target market.The importance of logistics
Costs and delivery times are often the main factor of abandonment of the shopping basket in electronic commerce. To address this problem, it is necessary to optimize the delivery methods, without the price being increased by the shipment, and to get the customer to receive the product as quickly as possible.Once your activity prospers in the target country, you should consider the option of investing in storage solutions locally. This will allow you to optimize your logistics by reducing delivery times and costs. The solution can also be sought by expanding the delivery options (home delivery, click & Collect, delivery at collection points, free shipping from minimum purchases…). This alternative allows customers to offer more solutions to receive their products, expanding their sales possibilities.
The language barrier
The network offers a market open to the whole world but the content is not accessible to all users due to language barriers. Despite online translations of different browsers, the quality is not good and users are not satisfied with its use. If your e-commerce is not adapted to the local language, the internet user will not consult your offer and will go to a competitor. The advantage of electronic commerce is to be able to create closeness with the client without being geographically close, so it is necessary to make him feel this proximity, breaking the language barrier.
In this area, two possible solutions are presented:
- Sell the same products and/or services in several countries through a multilingual website.
- Create a local page if your offer is adapted to the target country, in order to better adapt its catalogue and prices in each country.
In our next blog we will continue with the advice to internationalize your e-commerce business.