The rise of international online trade is a huge global trend. If you remain unconvinced, then bear in mind that in a six-month period in 2017, 57% of online shoppers made a purchase from another country. In the same year, B2B e-commerce sales exceeded those of B2C by 234.7%.
This is great news. It means people are looking for businesses like yours, and they don’t mind if you’re located on the other side of the world. It shows that consumers know great quality products can be found in other countries, and they’re willing to go online to get them. It means distributors are using the internet to find great products, which will sell well in their home markets.
The internet makes it easier than ever to take your business global. Still not convinced? Check out these seven reasons why you should use the tools and services of the digital age to enter new markets. We’re sure they’ll change your mind.
(1) Reach more customers
A larger customer base is one of the biggest benefits of international online trade. What’s the population of your town or city? 30,000? 100,000? Half a million? If you own a physical shop, how many of those people will walk through the door? A fraction, no doubt.
Compare that to the more than four billion internet users at the start of 2018. That’s 53% of the world’s population that can view your website, browse your products and buy what you’re selling.
Of course, not every country represents an equally lucrative market for your business, but online selling still takes your customer base from modest to the enormous in the blink of an eye.
(2) Reduce overheads
The cost of overseas staff, infrastructure and travel used to mean only large companies could afford to trade internationally. Thankfully, for small-business owners, things have changed.
International online trade allows you to enter new markets with comparatively little investment. Sure, there are costs associated with creating and maintaining a web presence, but they can be far smaller than those required by the traditional export model.
You can reduce costs further by marketing your products on an existing multilingual platform that helps you enter new markets without the hassle of building your own international sites.
(3) Target multiple markets
Because international online trade can be more affordable, you can target multiple languages simultaneously. In fact, the latest neural translation engines and hybrid techniques, which combine a translation engine with a human editor, are so cost-effective that there’s almost no limit to the languages in which you can generate content.
You increase your customer base and spread risk because success doesn’t depend on the health of any one market.
Multilingual publishing platforms are a cost-effective route to foreign language content creation. They allow you to reach a global audience and generate international data that helps you to find the best markets for your products.
(4) Identify your ideal markets
Never before have business owners had so much information to inform their global marketing.
With the right online tools, you can observe the countries that account for most of your traffic and leads, see which content is the most effective, analyse how people behave on your site and much more.
By taking the time to understand the trends in your online trading, you remove a lot of the guesswork from your future marketing, making your business more profitable in the long run.
(5) Gain a competitive advantage
It’s easier to rank highly in foreign language search results than it is in English. That’s because the majority of web content is targeted to English speakers. This is despite the fact that 72.4% of customers are more likely to buy from a site in their own language, according to research published in Harvard Business Review.
By publishing optimised, multilingual content, your pages appear above those of your English competitors in foreign search results.
(6) Stay in control
By conducting international trade via the internet, you can choose to reduce your reliance on overseas agents, partners and third parties.
Your brand, reputation and profits remain firmly in your hands.
(7)Practice sustainable business
The relationship between international trade and the environment is complicated. However, at the very least, online trade allows you to reduce the carbon emissions produced by overseas staff, travel, offices and agents.
With 66% of consumers willing to pay more for products from companies which are committed to a positive environmental impact, international online trade can be good for the planet and for business.
It’s easier than ever for businesses to enter new markets without the cost and risk required by traditional export models.
Thanks to online tools and platforms, you can start your journey to international brand awareness, increased revenue and a more stable business, today.
This article comes courtesy of Export Worldwide, a multilingual content platform that promotes products and brands in 20 languages to new international markets.