For many people, breaking into the global market by offering your products or services internationally is a daunting prospect – and it is often for this reason that they never take the leap and go for it. However, opening up your business to a new international market reaps many benefits, including expanding your customer base and creating a name for your brand as one that is inclusive and accessible to as many cultures as possible.
But when is the best time to prepare to sell to new international customers and markets? Could it be now? Let’s take a look at the most important factors you should consider before breaking into international markets.
As a business, you need to be promoting your products across as many different channels as possible. This could be via email, across social media, or even through various news outlets. However, different countries have different social media and marketing channels; this is something you need to do your research on before you attempt to market any products internationally.
One of the biggest things to remember when it comes to opening up your business to international audiences is if and how international tax rules apply. For instance, you should always conduct research into whether or not a country’s cross-border eCommerce regulations and taxes will affect your business; this not only could affect your selling fees and prices but also negates the worry of incurring any hefty fines.
Before you go selling any products across the border, make sure that you have an established and easily accessible returns policy on your website. This should include the cost for any returns, the time period for which any returns can be processed, and any policies regarding refunds or exchanges. Also bear in mind any local and international return laws that could come into play.
Though payout portals such as PayPal and Stripe are significant here in the UK, the rest of the world does not pay through the same channels. If you want to open up to an international market, you need to research how the majority of shoppers in that country pay for their wares. For instance, Asian countries prefer payment upon delivery, while countries within Europe prefer card transactions such as Visa or Mastercard.
Of course…if you are planning to expand into foreign markets, a multilingual website is the starting point and will move your business forward much faster.