We export motorcycle components overseas and are being pulled into new countries but need help

Question posted by Elaine Haines

We are being held back from providing access to three countries who want to buy our products because we cannot get country specific websites ready for them. We need funding for either the original (prohibitively expensive) software providers to work on developing the new sites for us, or support finding and overseeing the appointment of an appropriately skills PHP developer we can trust to work on our e-commerce system, which is critical to the business supporting our current exports to 13 countries.

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Sarah Carroll, on behalf of Grow Global Limited in BN1.

Elaine -

We specialise in giving advice on how to structure your website and e-commerce system for international sales. Although there are hundreds of e-commerce systems out there, and many that are custom-built, there are only a few that will do the multicurrency and multilingual thing fully.

Please email me on hello@growglobal.com with the name of the website and I will take a look and give you a quick call later on today.

Look forward to speaking to you later
Sarah

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Elaine - you haven't mentioned which countries you are talking about, but in case it is one of them we work setting up e-commerce websites in China, inside of the firewall and providing a platform for sales within the PRC. Check our website (just in the middle of re-newing) at www.meridian-mkt.com and you can also see some client websites we have manage in China such as www.toles.com.cn which is for Legal English and Cambridge Legal training products.
If China is one of your markets then do call me, or email to brian.mclean@meridian-mkt.com
Direct - 0208 399 2112 or 07802 665616

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Mike Hunter, on behalf of betterlanguages.com Ltd. in Nottingham.

Hi Elaine,
We are a translation company and have 4 separate versions of our own site, with separate in-country hosting. When we tendered for web developers, several wanted to sell us bespoke content management systems, and then sell us 4 licences, so 4 x the cost. We were able to get round this by building our site in WordPress, as it's open source we were then only paying for our developer's time, and not for multiple licences. I realise this is more tricky with an e-commerce site. It strikes me that you have four main options:
1) swallow hard and pay your current developers, if you like the current site and it works well for you this may be your only long term option.
2) You haven't specified, but if the new sites need to be in different languages, you could examine the cost effectiveness of adding them to your current site. You will lose out in terms of geo-targeting, but the plus side is you benefit from your current domain authority. Its important that all key tags are translated, not just content, this is vital for SEO, and avoids the risk of being penalised for duplicate content. We are happy to quote on any aspect of translating your site.
3) Treat the new countries as completely separate to your current site, so you could then look at developing 1 - 3 new sites, and are not tied to your current developers.
4) You could consider other routes to market, e.g. can you try selling on Amazon, ebay, or another existing e-commerce platform in the target country? This can be a cheaper way to test the market, and trial a few products. Whether it will work for you will depend on your individual business, and buyer behaviour in the target countries.

Hope this helps

Kindest regards
Mike

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Darren Thomas, on behalf of Simpex Freight Management in LS15.

Hi Elaine.

If you require any Ocean Freight rates or excellent FULL/PART load trailer rates or have any questions with regards to Freight Forwarding, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Darren Thomas Business Development Manager
Tel: 0113 3970 461
Mob: 07979140007
Email: darren.thomas@simpexfm.com

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Julian Hucker, on behalf of Open to Export in PE2.

Hi Elaine,

Can you post up the website that you want to internationalise. It's not clear whether it's the "brochure" sites or the underlying commerce platform that needs to be developed. Very different skill sets for the 2 areas - and the former is perhaps more immediate

Regards
Julian

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Thank you all for taking time to look at and answer my question, which was specifically about funding, full grant, or match funding for web development which facilitates export. So anyone with anthything to add specifically about FUNDING, please do. Thanks again.

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Mike Hunter, on behalf of betterlanguages.com Ltd. in Nottingham.

Hi Elaine, specifically on funding, depending on where you are located there may be European money available. However there is a catch, our understanding is that EU funding can't be used specifically for E-commerce purposes, this would mean that e.g. it might be used for market research, or developing a web strategy, but not specifically for e-commerce solutions which include payment processing. Best first ports of call are likely to be your local UKTI advisors, or your local chamber of commerce. A lot of EU funding is area based, e.g. there is local EU funding available currently in Nottingham where we are based, but only for businesses located within the City of Nottingham. Hope this helps, Mike

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