We’re living in a globalised world. Countries are now more connected than ever, and state boundaries are starting to mean less when it comes to business. Around 25% of total global production is exported. This includes both tangible goods and services. And, with more sophisticated technology, there’s no reason your businesses should be excluded from a lucrative global market.
Exporting might seem unachievable at first if you don’t know where to begin. But that’s why we’ve come up with this simple guide to help you tap into customers across seas.
Benefits of selling overseas
Being able to take your products and distribute them across borders takes a lot of planning, but the benefits make it worth the effort. By exporting, you can:
- Reach a wider audience
- Become more competitive in the global market
- Improve your economies of scale
- Promote growth
- Boost resilience to sudden changes
- Give products longer commercial lives by introducing them to new locations
It’s an attractive deal, but before you send your first shipment across borders, there are several things you need to consider to protect your company.
Things to consider before exporting
During periods of change, your company can be vulnerable if you don’t have the right team and knowledge behind your decisions. Before you export, think about:
- Protecting your intellectual property – Standardise your ideas with a standards association, get strong non-disclosure agreements, file patents, or complete other methods of protection.
- Evaluating potential risks – Protect your intellectual property and ensure your products are appropriate for other cultures and countries.
- Is this the right move for you – Consider whether you have the time, resources, and skills for international success.
- Whether you would benefit from an overseas partnership – Sometimes this may be more cost-effective and beneficial, especially if you’re working with a reputable partner overseas.
- Seeking legal advice – Are there any laws and regulations you need to abide by according to the type of product or service you’re exporting? Sometimes regulations change according to the country of import.
- Who will lead the project in your company – You need a strong team behind a big change like international sales.
- Language and it’s subtle connotations are important to get right – as our partner Peak Translations explains in their Insights blog
If you have all the answers to these questions, and your plans have been given the green light, it’s time to plan your expansion.
Creating a plan
Most eCommerce companies make exporting seem effortless. That’s the way it should be for your customers. But there’s a lot of hard work that goes into making international shipments seamless. You’ll need to:
- Create a marketing plan and carry out market research – Marketing a new change is critical to its success. But, when exporting, you can’t always use the same marketing plan for every country. Different cultures and demographics respond to different attitudes. You’ll need to carry out extensive market research in all countries if you want to make sure your marketing is in line with your customer’s values.
- Modify your products – With fragile goods, you may need to change their packaging or design materials to ensure they stay fresh and intact during long journeys. Also, particularly with health and beauty products, there are different regulations that determine which ingredients are acceptable. You may have to alter your ingredients in line with FDA, EMA, or other regulatory bodies.
- Assess your business model – Would it be better to sell your products overseas under a new brand? Or will you stick to your main brand?
- Hire the right team – Make sure new employees share your values and have the right experience.
Once you’ve thought through your plan of action, all that’s left to do is find a good international courier. This is the easy part. You can compare rates, services, and testimonials online so your customers will get a brilliant service, no matter where they are.
Shopit helps you tap into a global market by making the transition to multiple brands and multi-location stock management simple and easy. On the front-end, our websites will automatically translate to fit the language of your audience so brilliant customer experiences just happen. Take a look at our other fantastic features on our site.