5 Business Aspects of the International Market
Thanks to the world wide web, international markets have expanded in the past few years making international marketing and business easier, yet more complex. International markets will only grow larger, it is wise for businesses to hop on the bandwagon and grow their business worldwide.
One of the most crucial components of international business is marketing which is typically handled through the Internet. Other forms of marketing might not be as successful in international markets which is useful to know because marketing is the first step to capturing a portion of the market. Below is a list of five business aspects of international markets and how to cater to them.
1. Internet Users
As you may or may not know, Asia has more Internet users than North America and Western Europe combined. East Asia specifically has the largest amount of Internet users in the world.
This is something to consider if your business is planning on selling products or services overseas. Because of the vast range of languages and individual preferences in Asia, your costs of entering the market will be higher than normal. All this means is that there is a greater risk but also a greater reward, if you manage everything correctly.
2. Social Media
Most are familiar with the fact that Facebook, compared to other social media websites, has the most amount of active users. Although, this doesn’t mean that you should market your business only on Facebook, other social media platforms have much to offer.
In the right hands, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, among other platforms, can be highly effective places to market your business. Consider that each social media platform has its own “persona” based on the aggregate activity of the platform. You can use these “personas” to your advantage to attract more international business.
It is important to consider your target market’s preferred social media platforms too. For example, residents of Asia tend to use Qzone, QQ and WeChat which are not commonly used in the Western world. In fact, these three apps are the leading three social media sites in the world. If you were to market to Asian customers, it would be wise to use their preferred platforms for marketing purposes.
When you’re dealing with an international market, you’re likely dealing with other languages. This makes translation of the utmost importance, otherwise your message will be lost in translation, literally.
Facebook offers translation services, however, it is not ideal for every business because it is designed for the masses. You want your message to international markets to be meaningful, but that can’t be done if the translation is poor. Consider hiring a professional translation service, if you’re planning on going international.
4. Mobile Web Traffic
The website traffic of mobile phone users is growing exponentially, as you can probably imagine considering how addicted people are to their phone nowadays! That being said, laptops and desktop computers still make up a greater portion of the world’s overall web traffic. Note that while the greatest amount of web traffic comes from laptops and desktop computers, it has declined in recent years while mobile web traffic has increased.
Since a big part of international markets is online websites, all businesses operating internationally should ensure that their website can be viewed on both computers and mobile devices. Without a mobile friendly website, you risk losing customers that primarily use their mobile device for surfing the web.
5. Age Groups
In recent years, older internet users have embraced social media meaning that marketers can access a wider span of demographics based on age. Prior, online marketers were limited to young adults when working with social media. This is beneficial because more businesses can enter international markets since customer bases are more accessible than before.