Posts Tagged 'Marketing'

Everything You Need to Know from Our wegginar® with Cristina Bandal

wegginar_NOV_2018_website

This past Wednesday, wegg® had the pleasure of hosting the Industry Segment Manager of Retail and Consumer Goods for UPS, Cristina Bandal. Bandal lead one of our free online wegginars®, which provide monthly, accessible education to women entrepreneurs everywhere. Bandal’s talk covered how to overcome the obstacles that people face when trying to sell their products to the global market. She also answered the questions of wegginar® participants. Read their inquiries, and her responses, below:

  1. What’s the single biggest challenge on why people don’t setup an online storefront?  Setting up an international store may sound complicated if you are thinking of creating a country site – but with only a few enhancements, you can make international customers feel at home. 
  2. What are your thoughts on how to factor in taxes, (shipping and duty), to price my products profitably, yet make them affordable to my customers?  With the solution available, your catalogue will provide the information needed to calculate a duty and tax, and offer a landed cost to your customers (and protect you from abandoned goods!)
  3. How does our current trade war with China impact the information presented in this wegginar®?  Whatever tariff regulations are passed are updated to protect the shipments.
  4. Is there a way to target one foreign market when I launch my e-commerce site so that I can test the waters?  YES!!  You can choose what countries to target.
  5. What’s the best way to setup a payment method, in your own currency or the customer’s?  International consumers would like to see their own currency to avoid surprises. By using the UPS i-parcel solution, you are protected by allowing transactions to be processed through UPS, and provide fraud protection.

To read Bandal’s extended answers to these questions, and more, you can view the full presentation (PDF) from the wegginar®, here. wegg® was honored to have Bandal share her experience and knowledge with us.

If you were not able to participate in this month’s wegginar®, we already have registration open for our 12/5 talk with Andrew Molinsky, Ph.D. He will talk about how, “if you are not outside your comfort zone, you won’t learn anything.” Register here.

How Can You Get Customers Overseas?

wegg1Global business is now a part of our daily conversations. Yet when I think about the entrepreneurs I know (in the U.S.), I’m astonished at how few of them actually do any business across borders. And the few I do know tend to focus on outsourcing or overseas production – the expense side, if you will.

I can probably count on one hand the number that go global in search of revenues.

While I have a couple theories on why that may be (I’ll save that for another day), it got me thinking…how can an entrepreneur or business owner prospect for global customers? What are some low-budget methods to source new business? How can one lower the barriers of language and cultural differences to reach people in foreign countries? How can technology be used to save on hard costs like travel, and soft costs like learning curve, in order to get to know the marketplace?

In thinking about those questions, I came up with some ideas. I’d love to hear your feedback on these, and other ideas that you have, either through experience or through simple brainstorming.

  1. Use existing customers as “listening posts” and advocates. If you already have any customers abroad, contact them and try holding personal conversations via Skype or email. Ask them how to get more customers in their region/country, and if they will help you with the process (perhaps even give them an incentive). Find out what distribution channels are used in their region
  2. Find your competitors’ customers. Google your product/service in specific countries to see who the main competitors are. On their web sites, look for customer testimonials, case studies, etc. to identify prospective buyers of your product/service.
  3. Search for a local trade association. These organizations are in existence to promote and serve their particular industries, and will often go out of their way to help companies grow. They may have marketing opportunities, access to buyer lists/groups, and networking contacts.
  4. Use eBay, Facebook, and other social networking sites used in that region. The former is better to sell product, and the others are better for services. Not only can you use conventional listings or ads, but on Facebook you can also set up your own group/company account.
  5. Post videos on YouTube to explain your company’s products/services or for “how-to” processes. Videos can help build trust among people who don’t know you, demonstrate your expertise, and put a friendly face on your company.
  6. If you’re a B2B firm, ask current customers for referrals to overseas business units. Explain to your domestic customers that you are interested in pursuing global customers and if they have contacts in the company’s offices around the globe.
  7. If your product is purchased as a gift, offer overseas shipping. Sounds like a no-brainer, but I’m still surprised at how many e-commerce sites will state that they only deliver to nearby countries. Yes, there are customs issues and higher shipping costs to deal with, but when it comes to gifts (when people often buy on emotion, not to fill a need), customers may not mind paying extra.

I would love to hear about other sales and marketing tactics to cultivate business overseas. What experiences have you had that either worked or didn’t? What ideas do you have that other entrepreneurs might want to consider?

Either comment here or email me at rchadha [at] depaul [dot] edu.

Posted by Raman Chadha – Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, DePaul University


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