How to choose the country in which to start exporting online?

How to choose the country in which to export online

Content of this article

international digital marketing

Globalization has made it easier for almost any company to expand its presence internationally. You may have spotted a great opportunity or a good amount of traffic to your site from a specific country, it might be worth targeting this market further… but don't be too hasty.

For choose well the country in which to start exporting online, there are four criteria that you must take into account when deploying the new strategy:

  • Which countries are working well for you digitally.
  • In which countries do you detect opportunities?
  • In which country do you have more facility for logistics or language.
  • In which country do you mind experimenting.

How to know which countries are working well for you digitally?

This is relatively easy, you just have to go into your Google Analytics and look at it. But this is where the challenges begin that you will have to overcome as you read this book.

Do you have access to Google Analytics for your company's website? (or the web analytics program you use)

Is the program configured correctly? Is the information reliable? Do the commercial contacts indicated in “objectives” coincide with reality?

Do you have information about the gender and age of visitors to your website?

Do you have Google Analytics connected to Google Search Console in order to know the keywords that bring you traffic, in each country?

This should be your first mission. Your priority right now.

Your first exercise: get rich and reliable data. Please, contact the technical manager of your website and check the configuration of your analytics program. Have him explain the criteria with which he has set the goals.

(*) You should have configured the following objectives of your Google Analytics: forms sent from your website, phone calls generated from your website and emails sent by clicking the email that appears on your website. All this should also be linked to your CRM program.

If your technical team does not know how to configure the objectives or in general cannot configure your Google Analytics correctly, call us and we will help you. This is part of our job.

When you have this data, you will know which countries are working well for you digitally. You will now have the first criteria to choose the country in which to start exporting online.

In which countries do you detect special opportunities?

If your intuition or the data from your CRM tell you that interest in your products or your brand is increasing in a certain country, that may be a good country in which to start working on International Digital Marketing.

You may also have detected that in certain countries your competition is less, or is weaker. Or that your price range makes your products more attractive than those of the competition.

In general, reflect on which countries you could have a competitive advantage and few barriers to entry. also take into account the internet penetration in that country. At the bottom of the article I include a link to the ICEX website to a page that indicates the penetration of the Internet in the different countries of the world.

In which countries do you have advantages for logistics or language?

If your business is located in Spain and your product requires logistics, you normally start with France, Italy, Portugal or Morocco. Countries that are close to us and where, in general, logistics are well developed and have reasonable prices. If you are already exporting and have solved the main logistics challenges, in this category you can surely include all of Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom, which after Brexit will be better for you to check if your products have any restrictions or need any special treatment.

At a logistical level, the difficulties will depend a lot on your product. Whether it requires special transport (for alcohol, for example), maintenance of the cold chain (for barnacles, or chocolate...) or by volume (heavy machinery). If you have the logistics well solved then you can select any part of the world.

On the other hand, there is the issue of language. Although international trade is all done in English, attacking the French market with a website in English is not a good idea... and depending on the country, in your marketing department you will need someone who speaks the language of that country. This is going to be a key criterion when choosing the country in which to start exporting online.

What country do you not mind experimenting in?

In some companies we start with markets that are not particularly important to them and where there are no distributors. In this way, if something goes wrong during the training or there is some tension with a local distributor, nothing would happen. Sometimes we test there if we could create an e-commerce to reach installers of our product or to sell directly to the end user.

In Spain, this case is normally found in the Portuguese market. As it is a small market, it is not usually given priority online. Nor is it a market in which great efforts are made because the Portuguese are already used to dealing with Spanish companies and understand websites in this language. So it's a good market to experiment with.

After the pandemic, for example, many B2B companies have decided to try their luck in B2C commerce, that is, in electronic commerce aimed at the end user. Portugal is the ideal market to carry out this type of test. You don't even need a website in Portuguese, just have a landing page in this language, and the rest in English or Spanish. The Portuguese are great consumers of Spanish products.

With these 4 criteria you should be able to make the decision.

Resources that may be useful to you

article on International Digital Marketing (the first in the series that references the book)

article on how to do seo in russia I wrote a few months ago (before the war).

Article in which I explain how to create an Online Communication plan.

And here an article in which I explain How Social Networks work at the level of International Digital Marketing.

Web of ICEX - eMarketservices with a program that helps you to know the internet penetration in different markets.

As always, I invite you to tell me what topics, in relation to International Digital Marketing, you would like to know more about in detail. Thanks to your help, I will be creating the articles and expanding the chapters of the book.

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