The internet makes it easy to find anything from anywhere in the world, but the majority of online businesses only focus on their home country. Of course it’s always great when you have a local base, but it’s even better if you can get loyal customers from abroad. Some businesses attract international customers easier than others, but the fact remains that it’s a lot easier to open up your store to a global market than you might have thought.
One of the easiest ways to attract customers from abroad is to offer international shipping solutions so that your goods can reach anywhere in the world. While it’s definitely true that shipping a parcel internationally can be costly, there are great, economy international shipping services that offer discounted shipping rates, including online services that allow you to compare prices for different international shipping solutions. This is helpful, since the rates vary so widely from country to country and provider to provider. Such services can be really convenient, but on top of saving you and your customers a bit of money, there are also often options to print shipping labels directly rather than having to drop your parcel at the nearest shipping service.
Another way to attract more customers is by utilising online payment services like PayPal, which vastly simplifies international payments. There are a number of other checkout services that you could try, but then using a more universal provider has its advantages.
There’s no reason to limit yourself only to customers from English-speaking countries either, as it’s quite easy to offer your site in multiple languages with the various translation tools and services available. This doesn’t mean that you should just use Google Translate to deal with everything on your site, because the best option is to have an actual person do the translating. You might think about the other regions where your product might have a market (or observe your existing international purchase locations), and focus on the language spoken in that region.
After all, it’d be impossible to get your site translated into every known language in the world even if you hire a team of dedicated professionals. If you’re looking to translate, you can probably hire someone. That being said, you might want to contract out your marketing to a local firm if you’re trying to make an impression in a given region. After all, not everything translates well and someone should be there to spot any errors.
As mentioned, probably the biggest way to attract international customers is to offer discounted shipping rates, since it’s often true that ordering something from abroad can cost you more in shipping than for the item itself. Other than that, ensuring that your site is accessible to customers beyond English-speaking ones is also vital for growing your international base, but even more important than that is providing a payment option that works for international customers. After all, if you want your business to grow, you have to think globally.