From launch abroad to succeed abroad

When we decided to establish MakesYouLocal in 2010 the goal was to help localise web shops. Prepare them for selling online in a new country. Over the first years we learned, that this was an important part, but it was not enough. It takes more than a perfect translation and a local payment method to succeed abroad.

In this blog post we will focus on the period after launch and assume that you as a web shop owner has chosen a country where you are competitive.

When the shop is live, it is a common mistake to think that “I’m done!”. It could not be more wrong, this is where it starts for your customers.

Optimise – are you a professional and  trustworthy alternative?

We have learned that it is important to take a week or maybe more to get a good feeling of the market. The first and most important area to look into, is the ability to convert visitors to customers.

Are you focusing on the right selling points. are you able to convince the visitors about your ability to deliver products in time and also are you offering competitive return policy?

We always recommend our customers to establish a dialogue with the visitors and get direct feedback.

Another important thing in this phase is to make sure logistics and customer service processes are in place. Check the actual delivery time and check also your customer service, are they able to answer the questions in a way that satisfies the customers?

Grow – you need volume to succeed!

There is no way around this phase. If you run a web shop abroad there will be fixed costs every month. The customer service and the warehouse will spend time on this on a daily basis and the management will spend valuable time discussing the project and the (lack) of progress.

Therefore it is critical to establish enough volume to make the project profitable. This creates a positive buzz around the project and gives momentum to take it to the next level and create a solid return on investment.

Competition abroad is also tough, just like in the home market. When things are complicated the only solution is to dig into the details and that goes for international growth in the e-commerce industry as well.

Our approach is to look into the marketing approach used in the home market and use this knowledge in combination with our knowledge about online marketing environment in the new country as well as our knowledge about the competition. Based on this knowledge we create a marketing plan.

In this marketing plan we are very focused on two things. Making sure goals and budgets are aligned and assure this, we have a set of KPI’s to monitor the effect of the plan. The KPI’s are important because we work with a moving target. We need to be able to adjust the plan on the move. Customers change, competitors react and the KPI’s make it possible for us to keep the right focus.

Succeed abroad – you have arrived!

If the growth phase is executed successful you will have a volume that allows you to renegotiate with payment providers, distributors and even MakesYouLocal, if you have worked with us. Now you are done, hopefully making money you can use for other projects or to invest in further growth.