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Before the Internet tied the world together, it was a big deal for a company to go international. Small businesses in the United States would work for years to be able to set up the necessary resources to sell to just one or two foreign countries. Larger corporations would invest millions of dollars to set up offices in countries around the world just to be able to sell products and offer services to an international clientele.
These days, taking your business international is extremely simple. But it is dangerous to think that a website and good ecommerce provider is all you need to sell your products or services to consumers overseas. There is a certain amount of business a company can do overseas by using the most basic Internet tools available. But if you want to really sell internationally, then there are other tools you will need.
Companies that sell large volumes of products or services to overseas clients learn quickly that culture is just as important to selling products as commerce. In other words, a company needs to understand the culture of a target audience before it can sell to them. The advertising messages that work in the United States will probably not work in other parts of the world. That is why a company that intends to do serious volume overseas needs to hire an international marketing firm.
An international marketing firm is going to understand the culture and customs of your target audience. You will be able to formulate advertising campaigns that will attract international clients instead of insulting them. It is extremely important to be wary of a country's beliefs and customs before attempting to sell products.
Another important and invaluable tool to a company that wants to do international business is an experienced logistics organization. Trade and customs laws are always changing and your company logistics group is not going to be able to keep up with all of the regulations.
It is cost prohibitive to spend money on setting up your own international shipping and distribution network and it is also unnecessary. You can contract with an organization that makes a living shipping products all over the world and let that organization worry about the customs paperwork and product distribution.
When it comes to international sales, the Internet can be an invaluable tool. For small businesses, there are websites that will bring retail companies in touch with clients all over the world. Auction websites and even social networking platforms are tailor-made for small businesses that want to sell to an international client base. The best part about using these sales tools for international commerce is that they have already established networks for marketing and delivering products to consumers all over the world.
Even if you use an international marketing firm to help get your message out to overseas clients, you can still use these effective sales websites to get your products delivered. But it may be worth your while to invest in your own international ecommerce tool for your website instead of using a generic platform.
This is especially true for companies that will need to supply products with different specifications for different parts of the world. For example, the power requirements for products in Europe are different than the United States. A generic sales platform will not be able to distinguish between those different needs, but an international ecommerce tool specifically designed for your company would make the transactions more accurate.