Five-Step Plan for Online Expansion Overseas
With many Web options available, overseas expansion for multichannel marketers might not be as daunting as it once was. John Lazarchic, vice president of e-commerce for multichannel pet supplies retailer PETCO, laid out a multistep plan to attract business from foreign customers during a Feb. 13 session at the eTail conference in Palm Desert, Calif.
1. Choose a comparison shopping engine and marketplace site, because …
* they capture large audiences;
* when used effectively, they can significantly impact traffic and sales;
* you compete with the many online businesses that compete on price, and they’re all most likely using such search engines; and
* customers use multiple channels before making buying decisions.
2. Once you choose a comparison shopping engine or marketplace site, here are your next steps:
* build a custom feed for each partner;
* build a more robust feed-distribution and management system in-house; and
* select a third-party technology partner that specializes in feed management.
3. Once you select search as another marketing channel, here are your next steps:
* use tools provided by major search engines;
* build a search management tool;
* select a third-party technology partner who specializes in search management using uniform interface; and
* outsource search engine marketing to an agency.
4. Knowing that not every product is profitable on every site …
* optimize product descriptions and titles for each site;
* shop the comparison sites and marketplaces, examine how your products look compared to the competition and determine whether customers can tell what you’re selling; and
* if necessary, suppress products on the sites they don’t perform well on.
5. On multiple currencies in different countries …
* Can you send localized currency to multiple channels?
* Do you have localized sites or just one?
* Can customers shop in local currency once they arrive at your site?
* Do you support the preferred local payment methods?
* Can you support localized languages?