At a time when more small businesses are competing in overseas markets, it’s important to have data that can provide the insights you need to do more business and outperform the competition. That means focussing on certain key metrics. Your business will naturally perform better in different markets, so it’s important to know where and why that is. It’ll help you develop your offerings, positioning and pricing strategy to optimise sales in each marketplace.
From customer acquisition and retention rates, to lifetime value and ROI, there are key indicators that can help you discover where to direct more of your resources in order to maximise business benefit. If you’ve already cracked the domestic market, then you should have an idea of what to look out for, but be aware that the same rules won’t necessarily apply in foreign markets. Here are a few tips on what to look out for.
Firstly, before setting foot in new global territories, you should already have an idea of what you want to achieve in terms of sales. Start by putting a basic plan together for each market. Your estimates in terms of picking up new business and sales will give you some form of reference point to go on. If you’re performing more poorly than expected, you need to find out why. That means looking at other key indicators. On the other hand, if you’re performing better than expected in certain markets – great! But, still investigate why that is and if you can put those learnings to work in other regional markets.
Every market is unique and different factors can influence how well you do in each marketplace. The challenge is finding out what those differentiating factors are. That’s not easy, so you have to look at every statistic available to you for clues. For example, if your business relies on an app, use this as a point of reference, measuring install and uninstall rates to calculate customer acquisition and retention. After that, you need to consider the context in which installs/uninstalls are happening. For instance, is there a low take up of mobile devices and Smartphones in certain countries? Are certain customers more content to buy online via computer? If so, direct your marketing efforts into that Point-Of-Sale. The learning here is to investigate every angle.
Speak to an expert
Of course, one of the best ways to learn about regional differences is to talk to an expert. And there are fewer more qualified than your customers. Ask for feedback as to what you could be doing better, with regards to your product range, as well as how customers prefer to buy. The results could be really enlightening. A regional expert that knows your niche could also offer insights in terms of culture and purchasing drivers that can help you do better in a specific marketplace.
Look at what your competitors are doing
Before entering any new market, it’s a good idea to check out the competition. Clearly, they could have a huge impact on your success in that market. Examine what they’re doing well and what’s not working out for them. More importantly, look at how you can benefit from their mistakes. Can you tailor your offering in a way that makes it more attractive to the market? One vitally important benchmark here is pricing. Can you beat them on price, even in the short term, to steal market share and then focus on customer service to hold on to that new business?
Measuring, interpreting and testing data should be a key part of every business strategy. By setting clear goals for international markets and always going back to them in order to review and fine-tune them, you’ll find that you will do better and grow your overseas business.