Why you MUST adapt your products if you want to succeed in international ecommerce


This week’s guest blog comes from Thrive Digital who provide a full solution to internationalising your ecommerce through a process called The Mix. The Mix helps to inform development of an effective strategy for growth in international ecommerce.

Companies that are prepared to make adjustments to their products and services to meet the needs of their overseas customers, will be those most likely to succeed in international ecommerce.

Business like yours are increasingly looking to international markets and online marketplaces to provide new revenue streams. At Thrive Digital we help companies with a three-stage process to help you achieve success with online retail in overseas markets – firstly undertaking specialist market research to uncover any cultural differences that might be a barrier to sales.

The second step is acting on the market intelligence to identify changes that are required to your products to ensure that they are aligned with the culture and buying behavioural values of your target markets. The third step is to build or realign digital platforms to deliver on the strategy.

Of these, market research underpins the entire feasibility and helps dictate the approach that is required for ecommerce success, but it is essential that you take action and make the necessary changes that may be required to align your products with the buying needs of your target markets.

We call this ‘Brand Editing’ or ‘Localisation’ but in essence, it is the process of evolving or altering your current offering so that it is adapted for international ecommerce.

Often this is relatively simple and may be a change of product name or packaging design. We are working at the moment with a client whose brand name does not translate well into overseas markets and they understand that we need to rename their flagship product if it is to have a chance of selling abroad.

More often localisation includes the need to develop new messaging to help to align the product with the buying behaviour and cultural values of the territory.

Sometimes it may be necessary to look at your advertising strategy and messaging – for instance in China, parents are the ones who buy toys and not children – so traditional UK messaging and advertising aimed at the children would not be successful in this market.

In our experience, some localisation is always necessary if you want to be truly successful in international ecommerce.

For more information on winning international ecommerce strategy, you can now download our latest guide: Is Export Led E-commerce Growth Right for My Business?

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