Even in the US, eCommerce is a quickly changing landscape that requires tech savviness in order to keep up. From large corporations to one-man startups, eCommerce is a thriving market that allows for lower overhead, less costly outreach and data gathering (excepting manpower hours, of course) and has quickly become a prominent—if not the most prominent—means of kickstarting a transaction. Many sites use social profiles and other online databases to provide proof of online identity, but that’s just brushing the tip of the iceberg.
What you want is to move full force ahead, Titanic-style.
How can entrepreneurs expand their eCommerce game into developing markets—and developing countries? It starts by looking beyond what you think you know. Marketing requires empathy with just the right splash of (legal) manipulation. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Research the popular platforms in your target country
Surprise! Facebook isn’t the most popular social media platform in every country. In fact, in some countries (like China) it’s almost impossible to access. If you want to get in on the ground floor with developing demographics, you need to play on their turf. That means researching where the people are online, how they access sites, why and when they do so, and then leverage their turf in your favor.
- Stop using Google translate
Search engine optimization (SEO) dictates that duplicate content is a huge no-no and can get you pinged with a penalty. However, that only includes copying and pasting in the same language, so slapping something into Google translate to turn it into Hindi, then picking up your same domain with a “.in” instead of “.com” is perfectly legal and won’t get you an SEO penalty—but that Hindi you’re touting is going to be far from adequate.
If you want to reach a developing market whose primary language isn’t English, don’t take any shortcuts. Yes, providing a separate domain with an appropriate country’s address is sometimes a good idea, but don’t forget the translator. Get a native speaker who’s certified. It’ll read flawlessly for your audience, earn their trust, and get you brownie points with a different search engine.
- Build a relationship first with B2B clients
Are you a B2B business looking to expand and partner with developing markets? Slow down with your all-American way of networking—it might be overwhelming or even rude to your target market. Research customs and understand that in many developing markets, it’s all about building a relationship before you ever talk business. This means all your sales pitches, slideshows and getting down to the nitty gritty is moot (for now).
If you want to win over a new market, you’ll benefit by playing by their rules.
- Up your security proofing measures
If humans have a penchant for forming browsing and online shopping habits, bots can be programmed to do the same. High security for international eCommerce is crucial, and looking into alternative user online identity verification Services is where you can get started. It’s one thing to verify identity of a fellow American, but what if someone doesn’t have an SSN, easily verifiable address or form of identification you understand?
In some countries, such as Costa Rica, there are rarely even street names or addresses. Pinpoint a global identification means such as Global Gateway to keep your customers and business safe no matter what their country code.
Growing pangs are a fact of life and business, but there are ways to soften them. Why hurt and stumble more than you have to? When going international, you need all the tech help you can get.