How to internationalize a company online?

internationalize a company online

After reaching the maximum growth point in the territory itself, internationalizing the company via the Internet has become one of the options to generate more returns and stand out from competitors.

The volatile market has made foreign corporate expansion a reality for companies seeking new customers, markets and technologies, and resources such as digital transformation and digital marketing are increasingly facilitating this process.

In this article, you will know the details about the relationship between the Internet environment and the expansion of companies beyond their physical boundaries.

The advantages of internationalizing a company online

Thanks to digital internationalization, a company can significantly expand its geographical area of operation and acquire new clients, even with profiles and features different from those of its country of origin.

Any company can internationalize over the Internet, as long as it has a good level of strategic preparation and knowledge of the international scenario. In fact, you have to be willing to face new challenges.

The process must be very well planned and have parameters that guide the execution of the project, but, in general, business opportunities abroad can provide great advantages for all types of business.

Among the main advantages of internationalizing a company over the Internet are …

  • Access to new consumer markets;
  • Access to new technologies;
  • Increase in the network of contacts;
  • More visibility;
  • Broader credibility in international territories;
  • Stand out among the competitors;
  • Billing in foreign currency;
  • Variety of suppliers;
  • Independence of seasonal factors;
  • Risk reduction due to market diversity.

4 Good practices to internationalize a company in digital media

Internationalization through the Internet environment can be dynamic and simple if you know exactly what steps to take to achieve it.

Learn about the practices that can help your company in this process.

Create an electronic commerce

Ecommerce or online store is perhaps one of the most important channels for entrepreneurs who want to internationalize their business.

This sales system allows consumers, through the Internet, to buy products from anywhere and at any time.

Of course, before investing in this type of international trade, make a detailed analysis about the country, its culture, customs and economic situation, so that you do not risk in a dubious market.

In addition, you must ensure a physical and immediate inventory, and work with suppliers or logistics points to certify deliveries to your customers.

There is a wide variety of ecommerce platforms available in the market so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

However, if you want to launch into a more consolidated area – and cheap – you can start your expansion through an international marketplace.

You may already know some names like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, etc. They are all popular platforms that attract traffic worldwide and that you can use to reach a large number of people with less investment.

Marketplaces are recommended at the beginning of your expansion strategy, but keep in mind that eCommerce will allow you, later, to develop the reliability and authority of your brand, in addition to providing more independence for your own business.

Invest in international SEO

Simply put, international SEO encompasses optimization techniques for the internationalization of a web page. Its objective is to make search engines recognize the countries and languages you want to reach, applying geolocation principles to attract traffic from these places.

This type of optimization requires special attention for two factors: the technical or programming part of the website and the contents produced.

To create an internationalized website, you must perform the following tasks:

  • Specify the country or region you want to reach with an internationally compatible URL structure (country segmentation);
  • Set the language segmentation of your web page using language tags (language segmentation);
  • Implement the language tags (programming resources that show the user a specific version of a page) according to the language or country with which you are going to communicate;
  • Have the website content available in the language of the public you wish to reach.

This will give you the foundation to configure your website, adapt to the target market and achieve a favorable position in the results of each specific territory.

Have an Inside Sales team

The Inside Sales or internal sales process, contemplates a commercial team that makes sales through resources that do not require a displacement, such as …

  • E-mail,
  • Phone,
  • Social networks,
  • Online chat,
  • Video conferences,

This format has been highly effective when the objective is to sell to other countries from a fixed location. In addition, it offers other advantages, such as low operating cost and a better customer experience.

Work on content marketing

Once you have your website adapted to international SEO good practices, it becomes essential to have a content strategy to attract customers.

To develop efficient content marketing, cultural differences must also be considered. That is, not always the content that serves the public of your country will do the same in another.

The more targeted the content, the more personalized the experience of your potential foreign clients becomes and, as a consequence, the greater the possibility of conversion.

Another important element is related to user search. When choosing the keyword of your content, keep in mind that the behavior of these people may be completely different from that of your country (and it is precisely for this reason that literal translations of content are not recommended).

Search habits will always be different, from terms, used devices (smartphones, tablets, computers) and even search mechanisms (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask …) – elements that can completely alter the positioning of your content.

Common mistakes of corporate internationalization online

Many companies, of the most diverse types and segments, make the same mistakes during internationalization.

These failures can harm or even completely compromise the process, causing that, in the end, it does not meet expectations.

Next, we tell you the basic mistakes you should avoid when expanding your business.

Do not research the market

A large part of the mistakes made in an internationalization process are related to the superfluous market analysis. In other words, companies invest their efforts in an expansion that is not sufficiently validated.

Before starting to other countries, it is very important to understand aspects of international marketing, such as …

  • Currency,
  • Language,
  • Culture,
  • Behaviors,
  • Politics,
  • Economy,
  • Among others.

And of course, it is also essential to analyze what your competitors are in the country (if they exist), how they act and how they interact with the public.

This analysis can be done through reports, investigations, newspaper articles and other sources available in the country.

Keep in mind that only then can you make the best strategic decisions in the new market.

Disregard the regulations and laws of the country

The regulations and laws on the market in question are, perhaps, the most important factor in an internationalization strategy.

Although the Internet is a global system, a trade must adapt legally to the conditions of each country.

In the United States, for example, there is a current discussion about the applicability of state taxes to electronic commerce transactions. Already in some countries, certain products have specific laws for their commercialization, such as alcoholic beverages, which may have different minimum purchase ages depending on the country.

Thus, it is essential to study aspects such as …

  • Tax payment;
  • Price fixing;
  • Requirement for provision of services and commercialization of products;
  • Account control;
  • Investment and financing;
  • Among others.

Do not incorporate an international culture in the company

In some cases, companies often expand to other countries without developing intercultural management, a key factor in scaling the business beyond the border.

Fostering an international culture within the company helps generate professional relationships based on respect for differences and opens space for strategic collaboration among all those who are part of the business.

That is, when the organization has contact with other countries and cultures, it manages to understand and communicate effectively, eliminating barriers that could be harmful at the time of expansion.

The international culture can be implemented by hiring professionals of different nationalities and business alliances with foreign companies, for example.

Internationalize without financial viability

It is true that, to internationalize a company over the Internet, the level of investment is much lower than when done in a traditional way. However, this does not mean that it is not necessary to have financial resources.

The decision to approach a new market requires an economic feasibility analysis to understand what resources you have and what you need for internationalization, for example, you may need to increase your staff, hire an eCommerce platform, pay regulatory fees, licenses, among others.

This reflection will help you in the planning of the international strategy, allowing you to adjust your business to changes in processes, product adaptations and other challenges that arise during the expansion, without taking economic risks and compromising your company.

Conclusion

With planning, dedication and investment, internationalizing a company over the Internet becomes an easy course to travel and capable of opening many doors.

The effort to become a global organization will allow you to occupy excellent positions, both in the national and international markets, standing out against your competitors and significantly increasing your company’s income.

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