Finding Overseas Buyers

Selling abroad has the same basic need as selling domestically. You need to have potential buyers visiting your product pages or marketplace listings. If you don’t have anyone visiting, then you aren’t going to sell any products.

Fortunately, much of what you already know about eCommerce marketing is true both domestically and when you sell internationally.  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is important and aim that your product pages come up on the first page or two of results. You can target interested buyers via social media, Pay Per Click ads on search engines and list in marketplaces etc.

As you’re pursuing a blog dedicated to international eCommerce I’m going to assume that you already have a reasonable grasp of selling your products and marketing in you domestic country.  If not, and you want more information on it, there are plenty of good books available that go into more detail.

There are a few areas where it is different when selling internationally and there are also some extra factors to take into account. We’ll will go through all these points in more detail in future articles but here are some of the key issues to think about: 

  • Your SEO and site experience is likely geared towards your domestic market. In order to optimize for international buyers and search engines you will want to localise the SEO. You can start here buy adding some translations to your meta data in frequently used languages.  
  • Many search engines, Google search included, require you to have a local site, in local language and currency, if you want to advertise on them through paid advertising.
  • If you’re not listing on marketplaces you’ll want to do that now. Pick marketplaces that cover many larger countries. Read this page in the expert guide for more detail. 
  • Your social media advertising is probably showing up only locally at the moment, check your settings.
  • Any voucher codes platforms you may use are often restricted to countries.
  • Discounts on your site, such as free domestic shipping, won’t help target international buyers.

This is a short list of the top issues often found when retailers haven’t focused on international buyers. You won’t and shouldn’t address all these points at the same time in all countries and languages. You can address a few of these elements but in order to be successful you will need a plan, visit the expert guide to get step by step help.

It’s useful though to understand that you’ll already be mostly familiar with much of what you need to do to find international buyers. Moving forward try to always consider the international buyer in your plans.

Thanks for reading! Sign up to the newsletter to get weekly updates of our articles and news and of course we’re always happy to get comments, so feel free to leave your thoughts below. Happy Selling!

About Mark Ellis

Mark is the VP for Growth and Partnerships at Webinterpret, a leading Cross Border Technology company. Before that Mark was leading the operations for eBay's European cross border program. He has over 20 years of eCommerce industry experience, guiding and delivering strategic change in retailers, working with companies such as Dyson, Regatta, Boots and Arcadia Group, leading multi-million dollar programs for industry giants like Dunnhumby and working with small businesses delivering innovative retail solutions.

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