Be a Nordic web shop, not a Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian – or “international”

Updated: May 27, 2019

The words below are found in many business plans. It is something we all wish to accomplish with internationalisation of our web shop. At MakesYouLocal we think the best starting point in the internationalisation process for many web shops, will be to work as a Nordic web shop, not a Danish, Swedish, Finnish or Norwegian.

Benefit from your knowledge of your neighboring countries, their culture and habits and be closer to: 

  • Increased sales; being Nordic you have a home market of 25 million savvy online shoppers

  • Profitability; keeping your cost down is easier where your experience and competences are useful

  • Low risk; localisation costs are lower and you can do more your self

Below is a little more about your other options and at the end of this long post, we will show how we help our customers succeed abroad.

Why Germany, France and the Netherlands are a different story

Many web shops we meet tell us that they consider going to Germany, France or another big country. The desire for the big markets is of course understandable. There are 80 million potential customers in Germany and if just 1% visits their shop and 2% will buy they will have received 16.000 orders.

Unfortunately this scenario probably won’t happen. In these big countries there are many huge shops like Zalando, ASOS, Amazon and eBay. They are fueled with capital and they invest in growth and optimisation of their processes. These investments has also forced their local competitors to move forward and the result is that these big countries have changed to very professional and very competitive markets. You will find that marketing is expensive, returns are free and prices are low. Going into these markets requires courage, a unique product and lot’s of euro’s.

It can still be a good idea, but planning is even more important and you should consider a Market scan and a Roadmap

Another idea we often hear: “Maybe it is better to launch an English site, then everybody can buy!”

But they won’t! Unless you have a unique product everybody need or a standard product at an extremely low price.

If you are a brand owner it can be a relevant first step to offer your products on an international shop, to secure availability for everybody. But you have to remember that it takes more to give your customers a good online experience, than offering a english shop. You also need to make payments easy and meet the customers various expectations regarding delivery and return handling. Therefore we always discuss the option of taking one country at the time. A localised shop and good processes behind will attract more customers and often be more profitable.

How to become a Nordic shop

If you have a shop that can handle different currencies and languages as well as an effective warehouse, you are ready to go Nordic. The rest you can have access to through our services. These services also supports the 3 topics mentioned in the beginning:

  • Increased sales; using local specialists will give you a higher conversion rate, more traffic and happier customers

  • Profitability; you only pay for the hours or days you need

  • Low risk; no fixed costs and short termination period if you decide to use another solution or decide to close down the market

Manage a shop in 3 countries for the cost of one employee

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you succeed abroad.