Most e-retailers know by now that it’s very difficult to sell internationally. Your company will have to significantly invest in advertising and legal experts to become an international online retailer. Most e-businesses make money targeting local customers. However, you can still expand to an international market profitably by extending services to countries in your region.
For example, if you are a business based in Bangkok, you can easily extend offers to Southeast Asia. This region has a growing number of internet users without access to local e-retailers. You can hire an online marketing Thailand firm to cater to local as well as regional clients. Here are some tips for expanding your business regionally:
Use Local Keywords
The so-called generic “international” keywords are largely ineffective. They do not target users like location-specific keywords do. Therefore, your best bet at capturing regional online customers is by using local keywords. Use local keywords specific to other countries you hope to target in addition to your own. Using local keywords will increase your chance of being visible on search results generated in other countries.
Offer Language Translations
If you are catering to a specific region like Southeast Asia, offer translations of your webpage and social media pages for all the major languages spoken in the region. This will help you attract customers from other countries. Don’t let language be a barrier between your products and potential customers.
Reconsider Your Domain Extension
Most companies that offer services locally use country-specific domain extensions like .uk or .th. If you hope to attract customers in other countries, you might want to consider getting a domain extension like .com. Search engines proactively rank local domain extensions higher on search results. If a customer is searching for digital businesses in Singapore, and your domain extension is .th, the potential customer may never even see your website listed anywhere. Therefore, consider launching a sub page or a mirror of your website with an “international” extension.
Build an E-Mail List
E-mail marketing is still the best to reach and retain existing customers. This includes customers from other countries. So, don’t ignore your foreign customers when you send e-business emails. Expand your current e-mail marketing campaign by adding addresses of regional buyers as well.
Partner with Other Regional Businesses
If you are an international company, the best way to connect with local audiences is to be associated with a beloved local brand. Customers can be weary of buying from small companies located overseas. Therefore, you can build a rapport with regional customer bases by partnering up with brands popular in the area or country.
Offer Free International Shipping
The best way to attract regional customers is to ship for free. You can arrange a parcel forwarding service or partner with a shipping line to facilitate shipping free of charge. You can also include shipping fees in product prices without driving up costs. One of the biggest worries international customers have is shipping charges. Eliminate this worry and customers will flock to you.
Also, you can offer travel rewards for customers who like visiting other countries. This will foster better inter-regional understanding and attract customers who are willing to be your long-time buyers. In addition to the internet business website you launch, consider getting a mobile app as well. Mobile phones are surpassing desktop users in many parts of the world. So, your company may have a better chance at conquering a regional market on mobile than online.