With how interconnected the world is nowadays, it is easy to understand why companies of all sizes are establishing operations in foreign markets and formulating strategies to attract international customers. International expansion is believed to be a crucial component to a company’s long-term growth as it provides several advantages, including but not limited to: access to new markets, talents, and greater opportunity for market growth and diversification. An article on Biz Journal explained that 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of America, and if companies want to achieve significant growth, it is obviously necessary for them to conquer new territories and reach more customers to drive sales. But how can companies effectively expand internationally and attract foreign customers? Here are some tips:
Utilize social media and digital marketing strategies
In 2018, Statista estimated the number of people using social media was 2.65 billion. Next year, the number is projected to increase to almost 3.1 billion. With people and companies slowly but surely shifting to the digital space, Maryville University explains that digital advertising has transformed the world of marketing, with social media strategists earning as much as $53,500 due to the adaptation of social media and its undeniable impact on businesses. In this digital revolution, having a specialist that can craft your digital marketing strategies has the potential to lead to a lot of benefits, which is why 39 percent of companies across the US have reportedly done so. Having a digital marketing strategy can help companies gain a powerful online presence, get to know customers better, and find cost-effective strategies that utilize modern advancements and technology.
Offer free international shipping
Last year, global e-commerce sales amounted to nearly $3.46 trillion and Forbes noted that by 2022 it could amount to $6 trillion. This goes to show how online retail is becoming more and more commonplace, and for online customers, there is no better deal than free shipping. While it initially seems like this policy can be rather costly, our post on ‘The Benefits of Free Shipping’ outlines how it outweighs the extra costs. A free shipping policy can effectively increase sales since 90 percent of users prefer a company that offers such a policy. It can also enhance and establish client loyalty as it rids them of the responsibility of hiring a reliable shipping company. Of course, before you offer free international shipping, the Entrepreneur suggests a few things worth keeping in mind: first, you should have a deep understanding of the international demand for your product and how it is regulated in your target countries. Second, it is imperative that you control your shipping costs through parcel consolidators and technology-based rate shopping. Lastly, look for an online shipping solution that could offer paperless invoices as well as Electronic Trade Documentation.
Determine your target countries and conduct market research
Going international is an extremely overwhelming but equally rewarding endeavor that starts with determining your target countries. It is best to start within the countries you already have connections to through your personal network. Seek the advice of friends and partners who have experience with internationalized businesses. You can also start by slowly entering the market of your neighboring countries since they are easy to reach and hence will involve lower costs. You can also take an active role in internationalizing your business by attending events attended by others in your industry, as they can help introduce you to the people you need to know to make your business known to international audiences. Determining your target countries also involves conducting thorough market research for each. Company Bug highlighted that the results of your market research will be the basis for making any business decisions. This will help you determine the demand for your product, as well as fully understanding the needs of your potential customers.
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