Tips for Targeting International eCommerce Customers

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Tips for Targeting International eCommerce Customers

For eCommerce professionals or digital marketers, it’s important to expand beyond domestic borders, but sometimes that can seem easier said than done. International customers represent a massive market, and there’s often less competition outside of the U.S.

However, there are logistical and marketing concerns to think about. With the logistics, eCommerce businesses will have to think about things like how they’ll accept payments from abroad, and how shipping will work.

On the marketing side, how do you target foreign consumers? Is it different from the marketing tactics used within the U.S.?

The following are some tips for marketers who want to expand their reach beyond the borders of the U.S. and increase revenue.

Language Translations

If you want to go after certain regions or customers, you should think about translating content into the local language of the area you want to sell in. Spanish is a good example. If you’re targeting Central or South America, and you want to expand to Spanish-speaking countries, you should create new product pages with translated copy.

Don’t try to automatically translate, however. Instead, take the time to hire someone who can professionally translate for you.

If you are going to create duplicate content translated in a different language, you’ll need to add HREFLANG tags, which show search engines that while your content is duplicated, you’re doing it as a way to offer it in another language.

New Websites for Each Country

If you want to expand your eCommerce marketing reach to new countries, the easiest thing is just to try and add some SEO pages to your existing site. This might not be the best way to do things, however. Instead, think about creating a new website for every country you want to target.

Consumers are likely going to prefer a website that’s relevant to their home country.

If you’re creating country-based sites, you should try and purchase top-level domains in that country.

Do Your Research

When you’re targeting customers abroad, and you’re putting together sites and content, you need to think about the localized cultural differences. You want to speak to customers and market to them in a way that reflects what they’re comfortable with.

It can take some time upfront to research and determine how to do this, or you could work with someone as a consultant who’s from the region or specific area you’re targeting. Researching at a macro and micro level can be good.

Targeted Ads

Most eCommerce professionals and digital marketers already understand the power of Facebook advertising and don’t forget that you can target your ads not only to specific audience interest and demographics, but also locations.

Finally, part of your strategy is likely going to rely not only on the marketing techniques above but also on differentiating the products you offer based on the region you’re targeting. You’re going to want to display the items that are going to be the most relevant or compelling for people in a specific area, and this might be different from the products you have displayed for your U.S.-based audiences.

Think about culture, priorities and seasonal demand.

Editorial Team
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One Comment

  1. Translating websites is key to speak folk’s language but knowing cultural norms is even more important. This is how to REALLY speak folk’s language. Example; brash, in your face marketing would work terrible in Thailand. Instead of challenging folks you’d be insulting them in a face saving culture, losing business instantly. Smart tips!

    Ryan