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4 Tips for Selling Abroad

4 Tips for Selling Abroad

Your online business is well established in France, do you want to think bigger? Why not let yourself be tempted by selling on the international market?

  4 Tips for Selling Abroad

Today, I decided to focus on the most important techniques when you want to go abroad. Here are my few tips for making your project a success.

Why sell abroad?

I will skip over this section fairly quickly because I imagine that if you have an e-commerce site, you already know why it is interesting for your online store to go international.


Increase your catchment area

It is important to consider that the turnover of global online sales has been growing steadily in double digits for several years. For example between 2016 and 2017, this growth was around 24%!

Thus, the first interest of selling abroad is of course to develop its commercial power. The world population is estimated at 7.55 billion people. Imagine the potential of buyers.

Make economies of scale

By selling abroad, once we realize the vast potential of buyers, we realize that sales can explode and therefore the production of goods too. By selling more, you produce more and you can do what are called economies of scale.

For example, the saving can be linked to expensive investments such as an automatic franking machine which would be widely used and mechanically increase its profitability.


How to sell abroad?

Have you made up your mind, do you want exoticism? Ok, but not just any old way!

Choosing the destination countries for your sales is the source of a real market study which will take into account the study of marketplaces, the legislation in force (NF-e in Brazil for example) and SEO adapted to each country.


1. Target the countries in which to sell

Do not choose the countries at random, it may seem obvious but a market study is essential before embarking on this project.

Even if the facility directs you to French-speaking countries, you must take into account several parameters: culture, local distribution for the delivery of goods and especially the interest or not of local consumers for your products.


Take an interest in the specificities of the countries

Study the manners and customs of the local population. Religion, climate, culinary habits, economy, local politics, online shopping habits are all things to take into account when targeting a country.

Take the example of payment (which remains essential anyway!), Paypal is not present in all countries. Likewise, some countries only accept bank transfer. Another example, the Germans love to pay in cash.

Poor knowledge of the market could undermine your credibility with your future customers. It seems obvious but it's up to you to adapt to the country and not the other way around.


Delivery capacity

Exporting abroad also means adapting your delivery logistics and this often comes at an additional cost.

You must guarantee the reliability of the carrier both in terms of quality and delivery times. A package that arrives damaged never looks good even if you are not responsible for the delivery.

You may also wonder about the need for a local warehouse to store and ship your products. This solution represents, of course, an investment at the outset but makes it possible to reduce costs and delivery times.

When we know that the longer the delivery time, the more the consumer is likely to abandon his basket that gives pause for thought…

2. Study the competition and the marketplaces present


Every country already has a market in place. Take a good look at the current competition in place. Positioning yourself in an already competitive market abroad can turn out to be a waste of time. Go where there is room.


Sell   on local marketplaces to test the market

To meet your future customers, nothing better than to test the local market via a marketplace.

In China, Wish and Aliexpress are widely used and reliable platforms while Galaxus is the most important marketplace in the Swiss market.


Identify the competitors and the keywords on which they are positioned

I highly recommend that you do a most commonly used keyword analysis. Tools like Keywordtool , SEMRush, or Yooda Insight will help you find relevant keywords.

3. Adapt your site and comply with the legislation in force

International sales must respect many rules and you must understand the disparities according to each country.

The standards for toys, for example, are not the same from country to country. To export abroad, several solutions are available to you: controlled export, subcontracting, concerted export, it's up to you to choose the one that best suits your business.


Translate your site

Speaking the same language as your customers is essential. You will not be able to escape the translation of your site. And of course English will be your first priority. Taking into account the specificities of each language is another.

The consumer should feel comfortable in your store and not be concerned about the language barrier. For example, a tea towel is said to be rag in Quebec and kitchen linen in Switzerland.

So do not hesitate to call on professionals for the translation: freelance translators (Hopwork or Textmaster) or site translation agencies such as TradOnline or Anyword.


Shipping abroad, a puzzle?

To deliver internationally, there are a large number of delivery companies and just as many prices! You must therefore be careful with the configuration of the delivery zones.

There are 7 main areas: Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Central America and South America. Then, each carrier has its tariffs. When you install the international carrier modules, the charges are automatically displayed for each target zone and country.

If you opt for a local warehouse, you will need to find out about the services and prices applied, they will necessarily be lower than if the product left France.

That said, e-consumers are very sensitive to free shipping costs, this can also be a strategy to consider, knowing that many abandon their cart before the amount of delivery costs.


4. Adapt your SEO

To gain visibility in a foreign market, developing an adapted SEO strategy is essential. You will therefore have to identify the most used search engines.

Internet users mainly do their research in their mother tongue. SEO must therefore be combined with the translation of the site. Knowledge of the semantic field and the evolution of local search engine algorithms are essential to make your place in the sun and generate traffic on your site.

However, some countries have their preferences: Yandex is used in Russia, Seznam in the Czech Republic while the Chinese use Baidu.

Make language errors and you run the risk of not showing up in local search engines!

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