Things to consider when expanding globally
The electronic commerce world, or more commonly know as E-commerce, is the selling or trading of products and services over the Internet. The great thing about the Internet and the E-commerce Industry is that it can be taken globally. Typically, companies start local and when sales begin to increase, consider moving their operations into other countries. This is not something that a company should just jump into. There are many things to consider when expanding internationally, and we will discuss some considerations here today.
One thing that people may forget, even though it is very important, is to learn about the region that they would like to expand into. Not every culture is alike and it is important to know and understand the culture in which you are about to begin selling. You want to understand how they respond to advertising, typical business practices, etc. There are plenty of channels that you can use to research, including reaching out to a native or traveling to the country yourself
Communication is the next topic to discuss. Communication across cultures can be both linguistic and extra-linguistic: one, direct, aspect of communication is of course to transmit your message in the target language, the language that is spoken in the region where you are trying to expand. Although there are many online translation engines, we do not suggest that you use them. They are very inaccurate and will not relay the proper message to your consumers. It is best to get an internal or local translator. If that is not an option, there are companies to whom you can outsource the work. Your website or advertisement may be the first impression you give to potential consumers and you do not want to offend them initially by improper translations. Even when you have translated your message into the target language in a way that is grammatically and linguistically proper, the extra-linguistic, more culturally defined, communication is of importance in order to not offend your target audience: it is not only a matter of knowing what to say (and to be able to say it in the other language), it is equally important to know how to say it. In many cultures, for instance, a more formal approach may be preferred, where in others it is perfectly fine, even in business communications, to take a more informal approach. It is important to know and respect the traditions and mores of the target audience, which go way beyond, although they can be viewed in, the words and linguistic formulations that you may want to use. Just because you would be able to say the same thing, by translation, in the target language, it doesn’t mean that the marketing will work unless you take into account such differences on what is important to people overall.
There are many things to consider when thinking about how to transact business with companies in countries beyond your own. You can either have pricing in each respective countries currency and convert the currency to your own or you can set up an account and accept the countries currency. The second option can get complicated, so you want to make sure when you learn about the culture, you learn about their banking system. It is typically easiest to use a reliable company such as BMT Micro to handle the International transactions for you. This goes hand in hand with different laws and government regulations abroad. International laws can vary, some may be very lenient with international consumerism, but others may be very strict. When selling internationally you need to be able to adjust quickly for varying exchange rates and adhere to international taxes, tariffs and fees. Payment processing companies, such as BMT Micro, can handle all of this for you.
Lastly, make sure you have a plan in place. Lay out a time line of how quickly you want to expand, who will do research, etc. You also want to make sure you have enough resources in place and that you do not expand too quickly. This can cause your company to become less efficient and lose customers. There are many small things to consider when expanding globally, and not having a proper plan in place before expanding will impede on your success.
Going global with your business is a high risk, high rewards type of expansion. The more you plan and the better prepared you are when going global, the better off you will be.