It is easier than before to leverage global markets today. Social media scales geographic borders, highlighting brands in international markets more easily than ever. Although gaining visibility is comparatively easy, SMBs need to establish a strong foundation in place for long-term scalability in global ventures.
Merchandise Products for New Markets
Neglecting merchandising process is a huge mistake for those entering new markets. With local elements in creative visualization, customer service and order processing, merchandising needs to be accorded huge importance too. Investing in people and collaboration tools can help entrepreneurs strike good relationships with the new markets.
When merchandising, the top considerations should be:
- Climate – Be sure to account for the climate of the target market
- Competition – Look at how the competition has positioned itself with the products they are selling through different channels
- Consumer Trends – A product that is popular domestically doesn’t always succeed internationally. Do thorough consumer testing and surveys in the region before launching the product there. Most businesses target regions where they have witnessed sales before they launch the product, specifically in that region.
- Religious Affiliations– Religion in some markets play a huge role in using some products. The products should not be in way marketed to offend religious sentiments
A Sound Cross-Border Commerce Strategy for Success
Some factors need to be respected and aligned with, for consistent success in cross-border commerce for accessing certain geographies for business. Some of those factors include:
- Hire International Support
Hire high-value team members, in-house or freelance. Outsource the support work to them for competent international support services. Likewise you might need language support in some countries, especially if the local language is something else than English.
Support your lean business when it goes global, maintaining brand standards elsewhere too. Hire competent freelancers only for your business tasks.
- Double Check Product Restrictions in each Country
While most products are inherently safe to sell across borders, double-check to see if there are any product restrictions in any country.
Some verticals like apparel, beauty and cosmetics, consumer electronics and health goods have particular restrictions by country.
- Ensure the Technology is Scalable
Make sure that you have an e-store powered by technology that is scalable and not at all cost-prohibitive. One should select a platform that features out-of-the-box attributes required for standard processes in cross-border commerce without having to incur additional monthly costs.
The technology should be able to incorporate basic functionalities that can process discounts, coupons, emails for abandoned carts, analytics, customer groups, shipping, and payment etc. Going global without having the support of a strong technology platform is the onset of a huge disaster. You may be able to sell products, but rising costs, inefficiency in efforts and even result in lower margins would hinder you consistently.
- Divide Processes and Hire Resources
For SMBs, going global is a big step and as they grow, the workload grows too. SMBs are usually lean and managed by a handful of stakeholders.
One needs to take ownership of the business but one should also understand it is not a one-person job. Do not restrict bringing on help for scaling processes and one can use assistance where the internal team lacks in terms of skills and resources.
While exploring cross-border opportunities, the right manpower and resources in the local areas are extremely important in getting the business major visibility