Expand cross-border e-commerce through greater cultural understanding

Gone are the days of a local mall or department store serving a community. Today, eCommerce sales are growing at a staggering 20% ​​each year, rising even more during the pandemic when home orders were all the rage. Add to that the leveling power of social media, where influencers promote brands and products on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, and you have the perfect economic conditions for a powerful international e-commerce strategy.

The best thing about these social media marketing campaigns is that viral products can cross borders. These social media marketing campaigns can lead to a broader consumer base. However, doing so creates opportunities for sales teams to recognize diversity within a global audience.

To attract loyal customers, a sales strategy must meet the needs and background of the audience. Globalization has made e-commerce a dominant force in today’s economy, and effective sales teams must understand the cultures of where they sell. As such, the following three key points can help your company develop a comprehensive sales plan that takes advantage of audience culture and diversity to increase cross-border e-commerce success.

1. Identify who your target audience is.

A marketing campaign without a clear idea of ​​who you’re selling to won’t get you very far. Don’t try to orient your business towards “the world”; instead, the demographic focus should remain distinct and specific. For example, a company that specializes in high-end vegan leather handbags would likely specify its key market as “ethically conscious women, ages 24-45.” That may not be enough, and a good sales team should further narrow your audience.

The following are strategies to help you better identify your target audience.

• Analyze market demographics.

Fortunately, due to the explosion of AI, website analytics, and social media data, there is a wealth of information available to help you further target your desired audience. Use these resources and tools to fully understand who your audience is and what they’re looking for online.

For smaller companies without an in-house research team, it may be necessary to contract market data analysis to an independent agency or service; however, the data collection is well worth it. These resources can provide valuable insight into the purchasing power of a demographic or what keywords your target consumer uses when searching for a product.

• Check with the competition.

Don’t be afraid to do a friendly market outreach and see who your competition is. By understanding your competition’s audience and marketing strategies, you can focus on differentiating your brand from the competition and remaining attractive to critical consumers.

Suppose your competition is successful with a particular product or within a specific region; Your competitor’s success offers an excellent opportunity to see how you can increase sales in those areas. While there will always be some overlap in customers, it is essential to try to stay distinct in the mind of the consumer.

• Conduct surveys.

It is essential to use customer feedback at all stages of the sales process. You can run targeted surveys to solicit insights throughout the buying process and use feedback to ensure your eCommerce processes meet customer needs. Refrain from relying on market research alone and instead use analytics to guide your client research.

Remember that surveys can be given to market feedback groups. outside your usual demographic by identifying a potential audience. Discovering a niche market can offer a whole new sales region.

• Segment your audience.

Usually there is more than one audience in your demographic. For example, consider a protein powder and supplement business. Most marketing teams suggest that the key audience for this brand is young men ages 16-45. However, other audiences for the product include women ages 21-45 as well as older audiences.

However, selling protein powder to men and women in similar ads will not work as well as a more targeted campaign that is delivered separately to each segment. While it may seem like the most expensive route (building multiple ad campaigns), you’ll generate better sales if you tailor your ads for each audience.

2. Understand that cultures have different attributes.

The business world is full of cautionary tales of poorly researched marketing campaigns. For business leaders and public relations managers, it’s essential to understand the history and culture of your key demographic. Similarly, e-commerce companies need to ensure they are compliant with all aspects of their sales, from shipping logistics to purchasing platforms.

According to Daniel Viniegra, Director of Business and Partnerships at Go Global Ecommerce, building trustworthy and respectable business relationships across borders is essential. “If you want to successfully sell abroad, you need to adapt to today’s culture. To do so, it’s important to make sure you offer localized e-commerce experiences by taking into account currency conversions, payment methods according to each market, and even the languages ​​you use for business.

This commitment to understanding the culture of his audience should be recognized, Viniegra says. “Keeping all this in mind will help you avoid cultural mistakes that could hurt your business.” Double-check that the tone and material are appropriate when creating a product or service website for your target area. Similarly, do your research before creating an ad campaign that may conflict with local expectations and culture.

Make sure shopping for products is easy by using local payment methods, predicting the correct taxes and customs duties, and doing everything possible to ensure fast shipping. Finally, work to make sure you don’t lose a sale because customers might not understand translated text on a website or because there isn’t an option for their local language.

3. Outsource native cultural perspectives.

Effective eCommerce businesses can appeal to a wide variety of consumers. For any eCommerce business to be successful, it is vital to understand what drives purchasing decisions. However, not everything can be learned through market data alone; sometimes boots in the field are the best way to get the information you need.

Ask for a native perspective when building a new audience, launching a new product, or developing a sales strategy for an unknown location. One of the best ways to do this is to hire a local market research team or advertising agency. These local businesses will have useful information on what is driving sales in the area or for that specific audience. For example, language terms and usage may differ between dialects – don’t miss out on sales because your products don’t include local slang or keywords.

A community-based ad agency can tailor your social media ads and offer unique selling ideas that can engage your audience. To be successful in cross-border sales, it is crucial to build respectful relationships within the culture by actively listening and following through on suggestions.

While selling across borders can sometimes seem overwhelming, there are resources available to businesses that can make the process easier. By actively engaging with the culture of their target audience and learning more about the region, e-commerce businesses can achieve international success and build positive, long-lasting relationships.

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