Identify target markets for your business

As with any new venture or expansion, it pays to do your homework. First, identify which countries/regions to target. Then you can research the unique aspects of each market – such as the potential demand for your products – and determine your market entry strategy.

Gather market intelligence

There’s a world of opportunity out there, but ideally you should start with a few key markets to learn what works and what doesn’t before expanding further.

Start by looking at your own data to see from which countries/regions people are already buying your products. Try expanding your reach into these markets, even if only to test demand for a few specific products.

Understand international buying trends

How much do you know about the consumers in the countries/regions you plan to target? You may need to do further research to identify their spending patterns and from which countries/regions they typically buy. For instance, online shoppers from smaller countries/regions are typically more likely to make international purchases, and they’ll likely spend in larger international markets like the China.

Know your competition

Who are your biggest competitors? How will your offering compete with a market leader who may already have local or historic roots in your target country/region? Do some online comparison-shopping to see which countries/regions your main competitors sell to. Also, see if they offer pricing in local currencies or even have country-specific or region-specific websites for buyers. This research can offer insights into how seriously – and potentially how entrenched – your competitors are in markets you may want to target.

Plan your routes to market

Once you’ve selected and learned about your target countries/regions, it’s time to plan how you’ll begin selling in each one.

There are three major options to consider:

  1. 1Using an established marketplace with global reach
  2. 2Optimizing your current website for international buyers
  3. 3Creating a custom website for specific countries/regions

Learn more about these options in the "Determine demand and selling strategies" section.