Going into exporting can be a very risky undertaking, especially if you started your business as just a local venture. There is really a lot of uncertainty involved. But one way of dipping your toe into a foreign marketplace is to use well-known international ecommerce websites for your export marketing research.
Here are several advantages to such an approach:
1. These famous ecommerce websites offer exposure to millions of potential customers. Millions of people in the US, Europe, and Asia visit eBay. Amazon has millions of customers and they offer delivery to various points around the globe. Alibaba has 36 million customers spread out over 200 countries. There’s a lot of market information you can get from that kind of exposure
2. These famous websites also offer impeccable security. The payment gateways they use are safe and secure, and that makes these websites trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers. Most people don’t really trust foreign websites when they buy stuff online, but these websites have sterling reputations. By using these famous ecommerce websites, you associate your business with the reputation of Amazon and other similar sites.
Using these B2B online marketplaces can be faster to sell your merchandise and market your company. Setting up your own website, marketing it, and building its reputation will take time and money. Of course, your investment on your own SEO friendly website design and site optimization (SEO) may benefit you in the long run.
3. You can find out about the level of demand for your products. You can find out which countries most of your online customers come from, and you can also find out which of your products have overseas appeal. For example, you may find that your bestsellers are actually your higher-end products, and that your biggest international customer group hails from Australia. You can then focus on these products and these countries.
4. You can also experiment on the kind of product descriptions which generate the most sales. By changing and improving the copy and imagery on your Amazon salads pages, you can get a better feel as to what words to use and what images to feature when you begin your advertising in those countries you plan to sell your products in.
Simply put, people from different cultures react differently when faced with marketing and advertising stimuli. What will work for Germans may not work for Australians.
5. You can find out about pertinent customer buying habits. For example, you may discover in which months your products are most popular, or you can find out how often your potential customers complain about or return your products. You can then tally these complaints and see if any of them can be improved in your products.
The profits you get from using B2B online marketplaces isn’t just from selling your stuff. The real profit is what you learn about your potential customers, and that’s the essence of efficient export marketing.