Selling digital products internationally can bring many benefits to an entrepreneur. First of all, the seller reaches more potential customers, so their business grows. Nevertheless, not all sellers decide to take this step, primarily because they don’t know where to start. So we have gathered the most important information you need to consider before you start selling your digital products abroad. Read on.
Selling digital products internationally – table of contents:
This step is inevitable if you really want to succeed internationally. First of all, you need to test global demand for your product. You can verify it in several ways:
- Look for information on the Internet – use the search engines popular in a given country to do this. Remember that different search engines are popular in each country, so take into account not only the one you use every day. Using paid tools, such as Ahrefs, you can also check what phrases are frequently typed by users in a given country.
- Use social media and internet forums – on such platforms, you can directly ask your target audience whether the product you offer is really what they need. If you don’t want to engage in discussions, just follow the existing threads and draw conclusions, based on what users say. You can also ask them to fill out a short survey, prepared, for example, in Google Forms.
- Ask friends/family – consider whether you know anyone who lives in a country where you want to start selling your product. If so, you can gain a direct answer whether your offer will find customers in that particular market.
- Check out your competition – if a similar product is already offered in the market you are targeting, it may mean that there is a demand for it. However, think about what sets you apart and how you will be able to attract potential customers to choose your offer.
Going straight into an international market can be a great burden for your business, as well as for you (a lot of work and stress can be bad for your mental health and well-being). So it’s worth taking small steps and choosing one market where you see the greatest sales potential. Next, get familiar with all the legal requirements and rules in a given country. Remember that you will need to adapt your store policy to them.
The next step that will let you sell your digital products abroad is to properly prepare your website. Is your online store ready for such a step? Let’s check what you should take care of.
- Language – the language barrier is one of the obstacles you need to consider when preparing your site to sell products abroad. Once you know what language your future customers speak, it’s time to translate your ecommerce website. The worst solution you can take is to use Google translator for this task, or any other translator available online. Your website is your business card, which has a huge impact on sales and customer satisfaction. So it is worthwhile to translate it well. Use the services of professional companies or freelancers who are fluent in the given language.
- Currency – foreign customers like to have prices listed in their local currency. As a site owner, you can set fixed rates or use an automatic currency calculator.
- Payments – People may have their favorite payment methods. Sometimes, these may be solutions that are unfamiliar to you, e.g. in Poland a popular payment method is Blik – it is a one-time 6-digit code (valid for 2 minutes), available in the banking application, which lets you conduct cashless payments both in brick-and-mortar and online stores. Such a method is not used in other countries.
- Design – your site must also be friendly to potential customers. Pay attention to the images and slogans – are they offensive? Or are there any other graphics that would better fit the climate of the given country? Are your slogans well translated into the local language and do they convey the right meaning?
- Customer service – no matter what country your customers live in, they will probably want to contact you at some point. If you don’t have enough resources to hire people for customer service, you can prepare an FAQ section and/or consider implementing a chatbot. Also, remember to translate all documents and regulations into the local language.
Trading platforms and auction sites
Not every seller has its own website. However, this is not a necessary condition. It is possible to sell through popular shopping platforms and auction sites, such as Amazon or eBay. WThe advantage of using them is the easy way to sell abroad and access to many potential customers. Among the main disadvantages, however, are the commissions and fees charged by the sites and a great deal of competition.
Marketing digital products abroad
Without building your brand awareness, you won’t sell products on a large scale. However, there are several ways you can promote your business internationally:
- SEO and paid campaigns – before you start optimizing your site for SEO and allocate an advertising budget, check what search engines people in your country use. In some countries, Google may be a popular search engine, while in others Bing, Yahoo, or another. Analyze what keywords are used in your country and globally.
- Social media and advertising – the second way to promote your store is to run social media in the local language. Ideally, a person who is not only familiar with online marketing, but also fluent in the language, will be responsible for running the profiles. This way you won’t have to worry about the language barrier. Remember that you don’t have to have accounts on all possible platforms. Choose the ones used by potential customers from the target country that fit into your target audience.
- Selling on e-commerce platforms – when selling through Amazon or eBay, you don’t have to worry about marketing. These giants allocate considerable funds for promotion. However, you still need to stand out from the competition – sometimes this will be at the expense of reducing the price of your product.
Selling digital products internationally is certainly a great opportunity, but also quite a challenge. There are several issues to consider before you decide to take this step. Keeping in mind the points listed above, it will not only be easier for you to reach potential customers, but also to build a relationship with them and gain their loyalty.
Now you know all about selling digital products internationally. Check out our previous articles in our series on digital products.
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