Any e-Commerce enthusiast understands full well how crucial international expansion is. In one of our past blogs, Jana spoke on the Amazing FBA podcast, where she and Michael go into the importance of asset allocation – that is, international expansion. The same holds true, nearly a year later. The Wharton Magazine suggests reasons for expanding globally: diversification, financial growth, and, of course, learning new ways of doing business from other cultures and countries. Let’s talk about embracing international expansion, and what it can do for your business.
Benefits of International Expansion
Expanding your e-commerce business globally offers an array of benefits that can propel your enterprise to new heights. Check out some of the key advantages that await you on this transformative path:
- Increased Sales Opportunities: By venturing into international markets, you open doors to a multitude of sales opportunities. The potential to tap into a broader customer base translates into amplified revenue streams and remarkable business growth. Check out this article from Business Journals – surprisingly, 96% of the world’s consumers live outside of America. If you’re just selling on amazon.com, think of all the missed opportunities you’re letting fly by.
- Broader Customer Base: Embracing international expansion allows you to connect with customers from diverse corners of the world. This invaluable exposure enables you to forge strong brand presence, foster customer loyalty, and expand your reach in an unprecedented manner. This insightful article from CustomerService.ae talks about how brand relationships are strengthened when you learn – and respect – different cultural norms: “Respecting the cultural norms and treating customers according to their cultural values would enhance your image as a brand that cares.”
- Exposure to New Ideas and Trends: Venturing into global markets introduces your business to fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and emerging trends. By embracing these influences, you can position your enterprise at the forefront of industry advancements, continuously evolving your offerings to meet evolving customer demands.
They say travel is the best educator. So, therefore, expansion is the best way to further your business horizons. You can only improve by expanding internationally.
Key Factors for Achieving Success
While the allure of international expansion may be compelling, achieving success in this endeavor requires meticulous planning and impeccable execution. We talked about the necessity of thorough due diligence before expanding in this blog. Let us delve into three key factors that will pave the way for your triumph:
- Localization: To cater to the preferences of local customers, it is imperative to adapt your website, language, currency, and payment options accordingly. By tailoring your offerings to suit specific markets, you can create a seamless and personalized shopping experience that resonates with customers across the globe. Lilt, the AI solutions provider, talks a little about why it’s important to localize, so your content is relatable to your target audience.
- Shipping: Timely and cost-effective delivery forms the cornerstone of customer satisfaction and retention. Partnering with reliable shipping providers ensures smooth logistics and efficient order fulfillment, irrespective of geographical boundaries, fostering trust and loyalty among your valued clientele. SellerApp identifies 3 reasons why on-time delivery is important for sellers:
- Late shipment consequences such as negative feedback, low ratings, and lost customers
- Amazon FBA policy: sellers must ship products to fulfillment centers within a specific time frame
- Suspension: your account might be suspended, or even closed, if you have consistent late shipment rates
- Networking: Establishing a robust presence in international markets necessitates forging connections with local suppliers, partners, and influencers. By cultivating these strategic relationships, you can navigate the intricate nuances of the local landscape, gaining invaluable insights and propelling your business forward.
Navigating Cultural Differences
Cultural disparities play a pivotal role in shaping consumer behavior. EduBirdie published a fascinating essay using Coca-Cola as an example. The essay posits that a company on the brink of international expansion must first determine the characteristics of the culture of its target market. It’s crucial to identify the factors that influence consumer behavior in order to predict the level of consumer spending – which, of course, comes in handy when forecasting inventory, and planning marketing strategies.To successfully navigate these differences during international expansion, consider the following factors:
- Design: Colors, symbols, and imagery hold diverse meanings in different cultures. It is essential to exercise mindfulness and adapt your visual elements accordingly, ensuring that your brand resonates harmoniously with the aesthetic preferences of your target audience. In our Ultimate Guide to Amazon Infographics, our translators at YLT weigh in on some of the best practices for Amazon images. In fact, in her talks at conferences and webinars, Jana sometimes recalls a brand that couldn’t make an impact on its German customers, because its imagery was so off-putting to the German people. The product sold well in other markets all over the world, just not in Germany.
- Language: Effective communication rests upon accurate translations. Consider engaging native speakers to ensure the highest quality translations that resonate authentically with the local audience. Moreover, localize your content to align with the cultural context and incorporate idiomatic expressions that establish a genuine connection. We talk about the Optimization Triumvirate in this blog – it’s essential to hire a native speaker, who understands Amazon, and can do a bit of copywriting as well. The end result will resonate with your target market much better with that level of fluency and cultural understanding.
- Etiquette: Every culture possesses its own unique set of customs and practices. Extensive research into these cultural norms is indispensable, as it helps you avoid inadvertent missteps, fostering positive relationships with customers, partners, and stakeholders alike. Buying habits are different – imagine the case of British vs. American customers, so alike in their spoken language, but so different in their expectations with the buying journey and sales and marketing communications.
Embracing international expansion unlocks a realm of boundless possibilities. By harnessing the benefits of going global, focusing on crucial success factors such as localization, shipping, and networking, and navigating cultural differences with astuteness and respect, we pave the path towards global triumph. International expansion can be an extraordinary and rewarding experience for all involved – once handled with finesse, grace, sensitivity, and the proper knowledge.
Wondering which market to expand to? Check out AMOR – we remove the guesswork for you. Identify which markets are the most feasible ones for your business goals, and start your international expansion in no time at all.