Webkinz, Amazon and Overstock all have one important thing in common. These big companies did not exclude the global marketplace when they focused on expanding their business. Today, they are major players in their fields, both overseas and at home. So, should every business owner focus on growing globally? Not necessarily. The folks at Shipwire.com talk about businesses that should concentrate on global sales in this interview.
What Types of Businesses Do Well When They Expand to Include the Global Marketplace?
Two types of businesses absolutely must have an international growth story: 1) Niche Product manufacturers; and, 2) Established online retailers.
If you are manufacturing a new toy, consumer electronic or starting a clothing or apparel line you have to make it easy for buyers to get your projects. If you sell direct-to-consumer the shipping costs has to be low and preferably locally delivered. If you sell b2b or through retailers, you can grow market share by offering distributors and retailers drop-shipping (inventory-less selling) and small minimum order quantities that can be easily restocked; both of these features require local storage.
If you are an established online retailer with a large product catalog – focus on your best sellers. Find a limited selection of inventory that will sell well overseas and focus on just increasing your sales of those products. Don’t worry about selling your whole product catalog overseas. By focusing on best sellers you can optimize your time and investment. If a buyer wants a product that isn’t stored overseas it is an easy conversation and most buyers understand that the product may take longer for delivery; however, you got the sale because you were in market with local products.
Our customers that have gained an international market share include everything from apparel and toy companies to more niche verticals like mattresses and automotive accessories.
What Are the Top Three Things You Wish Every Small Business Owner Knew About Overseas Markets?
- The opportunity is there for those looking to expand into key new markets for very little to no extra cost.
- You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to enter overseas market. Look for tools and resources that provide you the flexibility without the high cost.
- Make the international market operate like your local market: don’t ship products one-by-one to international recipients. Create working relationships with local warehouses (through Shipwire). An Internet enabled distribution center (warehouse) will help you respond to buyers like a local e-tailer.