Are you positioned for ecommerce success in emerging markets?
With the right strategies in place to maximise the likelihood of success, international expansion can lift a business to its next level of profitability and growth.
Taking your company into new territories can prove particularly beneficial when the markets you are entering offer strong potential for winning new business and forming fresh customer relationships.
This is particularly relevant in the global ecommerce sector, where emerging economies could have a key role to play in ongoing trends and developments in the coming years.
Businesses targeting these markets need to ensure they are using language in the right way to optimise their online presence, engage customers and convert leads into sales.
The ecommerce sector as a whole is going through a phase of major growth, offering exciting potential for ambitious businesses.
With the internet becoming ever-more pervasive and the increasing reach and sophistication of mobile devices allowing more people than ever to get online, ecommerce brands have access to (quite literally) a world of opportunities.
In a report released in December 2017, market research firm Euromonitor International noted that ecommerce is set to be the fastest-growing global retail channel in the years up to 2022.
Online retailing is expected to record growth of 73 per cent over that period, outpacing traditional in-store shopping. Within the online channel, food and drink is expected to be the fastest-growing sector, with a projected expansion of 80 per cent.
Michelle Grant, head of retailing at Euromonitor International, commented: "While store-based modern and traditional grocery retailing combined will remain larger, internet retailing is changing the traditional way of shopping for many products, but especially for groceries."
Emerging market potential
If your business has ambitions to achieve serious growth and to take full advantage of the opportunities available in the expanding ecommerce space, you must adopt a global perspective.
Research has suggested that a growing proportion of consumers are taking an international view when making online purchases, so retailers must do the same if they want to drive sales.
In China, for example, more than half of shoppers in five major cities had bought from foreign merchants and marketplaces in the year leading up to a survey by PayPal and Dataway. US retailers were particularly favoured by Chinese consumers, while companies based in the UK and Japan also proved popular.
Product quality and "guaranteed authenticity" were cited as the strongest motivations for people in China to buy from foreign brands.
On the international stage, emerging economies could offer the most potential for growing businesses and smaller brands that could struggle to gain a foothold in established, saturated markets.
According to Business Insider Intelligence, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia are all "worth keeping an eye on". Ecommerce penetration rates in these areas currently range from only two per cent to six per cent, with anticipated compound annual growth rates of 16 per cent, 31 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively, to 2021.
In an article for Econsultancy, Manish Dudharejia, president and co-founder of E2M Solutions Inc, said "smart ecommerce brands" will respond to growing international consumer spending power by targeting markets such as Indonesia, India, Singapore, the Netherlands, Russia, Brazil and Turkey.
But in order for these efforts to deliver results, businesses must take care to get their branding, marketing and communication strategies right. When you are entering new countries and engaging with various nationalities, use of language will be a key factor in your success.
Turn language to your advantage
Amid considerations such as local competition, supply chain management and international tax and compliance issues, it's imperative that your language strategies are not overlooked as your business expands across borders. Indeed, deployed in the right way, language can be one of your most powerful tools to boost your online visibility and build relationships with customers.
When it comes to getting yourself seen on the web, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a key process that will help your website attract as many visitors as possible. When you are operating overseas and navigating the complexities of different languages, expert support to optimise your website and maximise your online visibility through multilingual SEO is a must.
Once you have attracted people to your website and started sowing the seeds of fruitful relationships, you want to deliver a positive experience by providing engaging, relevant content and communicating in a way that suits your brand identity.
This is where localisation comes into play. The adaptation of your language and communications to suit specific target audiences, countries and cultures – without losing those unique characteristics that distinguish your brand – is a vital step towards success in global ecommerce.
By creating content and engaging with consumers in a way that gets you found online, builds your brand and enables positive, loyal relationships, your firm will have the strongest possible chance of thriving on the international stage. With so much potential for growth in emerging markets, it is unquestionably an endeavour worthy of investment.
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