Going global is a dream for many business owners, but doing this isn’t as simple as it might appear. While online technology now makes it easy to have a presence in many markets at the same time, what are a few of the errors that need to be avoided?
Not Researching Each Market Fully
No matter what product or service you provide, each market you enter is unique and needs to be carefully researched. Look at the example of Walmart in Japan, where they bought grocery store chain Seiyu. However, their results were less than overwhelming and the American supermarket giant sold most of the business in 2020. So what went wrong?
Perhaps the most important factor in this failure is that Japanese shoppers just weren’t interested in the tried and tested American model of having lots of cheap deals together in one convenient place. Instead, they enjoy looking around and hunting for the best deals in different places. An example of greater success comes from Starbucks, which placed a lot of importance on local marketing and changing things like their colors or menu where necessary to fit local tastes.
The Target retail group is another example of a huge American company that failed when going abroad. In this case, they expanded into Canada but only lasted for a couple of years before pulling out when they realized it would take several more years to turn a profit. Part of the problem was poor inventory planning, but they also upset Canadians by charging more in their stores than in the US. With many stores being close to the border, it often worked out cheaper for customers to go to the US to buy instead.
Overlooking the Importance of Localization
Once you’ve seen that your business should be viable in a new market, the next stage in the process is adapting the business to meet the demands of the local culture. This isn’t just about translating the website and any other material into the target language, although that is part of it. Great examples of localization campaigns have been seen in the past from businesses like Nike and Ikea, who avoid presenting the same message in every country.
Localization is particularly in industries like gaming, where players from all over the planet play the same games. The Sportingtech website confirms that bespoke solutions and localization techniques are used to meet the demands of the local users of over 70 global clients. Tailoring a solution for each region is crucial to the hopes of attracting players in this competitive market.
The results achieved in each country are going to vary greatly, with some perhaps showing immediate growth while others take longer to grow. This comes down to several factors, including whether the locals need to adapt to a new way of buying, and how strong the country’s economy is. You also need to consider other factors like location and buying habits.
All of these factors reveal that going international is a huge decision with a lot of potential pitfalls to take into account. By carefully considering each of the issues, you can make the move with far more confidence.