How to Sell Your Products Internationally

Guest post 31.10.2023. Reading Time: 7 minutes

As a business owner, being on top of your game is crucial. Business strategies that proved effective a few years ago likely don’t work in the same way today. But one approach that’s taken off in the last decade is global eCommerce. 

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already considering an international move – and you’re not alone. Recent predictions from Insider Intelligence suggest the eCommerce market will expand by 8.9% in 2023. Yet, despite the numerous benefits, many companies find the idea of selling internationally daunting. 

International expansion isn’t something that just happens. Those who are successful have taken the time to plan. In a way, it’s like starting your business from scratch. But the potential benefits of doing so are undeniable. With over 8 billion people worldwide, you have a much wider reach as an international seller – and it’s now easier than ever.   

In this how-to guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about embracing global markets, from regulatory considerations to marketing strategies. But first, you need to understand your new market.

How to Sell Your Product
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Conduct Market Research

Expanding is exciting. But jumping in without a plan is a recipe for disaster. So before considering things like finding an outbound call center solution or logistics and shipping, you must understand your brand’s market potential. Identifying target markets is a fundamental first step for any company looking to expand. Market research here is essential. 

Failing to do adequate research is the biggest source of failure. And it’s not only small to medium-sized businesses that get this wrong. In 2004, British retail giant Tesco failed to enter the Chinese market successfully. By 2020, the supermarket was no longer in the country at all. So why did it fail? Like many international forays, Tesco’s China stint ended due to poor market research. 

So where do you start? Here are some essential considerations:

  • Understand your customers: Develop an understanding of customer demographics and consumer behavior in your target market. Analyze cultural preferences, social norms, and local customs so you can tailor products and marketing messages accordingly.
  • Consider purchasing power: Exchange rates and disposable income play a critical role, so consider these in determining a pricing strategy. 
  • Analyze competitors: Identify and analyze key competitors in the local and regional markets. Understanding the competitive landscape means you can differentiate your products to stand out. 
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Identify Legal and Regulatory Considerations 

Venturing into international eCommerce means navigating new legal and regulatory frameworks. Wherever you decide to sell, you’ll need to consider country-specific laws and regulations on international trade. This could involve product restrictions, intellectual property rights, labeling requirements, and customs procedures. 

Certain products need international registration and licensing. In most cases, product licensing can be done remotely via email or eFax. If you’re wondering “what is an eFax?”, it’s short for electronic fax and essentially allows you to send and receive documents over the internet. 

Other vital considerations include import and export regulations and taxation and duties. This applies to your country and the target country. It’s advisable to consider engaging a legal expert to avoid potential pitfalls. 

Develop a Sales Strategy

Most retailers choose one of two channels when selling in international markets: localizing an existing website or selling through popular online platforms. Choosing the right strategy depends on your business goals, existing resources, and target markets. 

Website localization 

Website localization involves adapting your existing website to suit your target market. This isn’t only about translating content; it also means adjusting the design to tailor the user experience. This might include adjusting date and time formats, payment methods, or units of measurement.

Don’t forget about images and videos. Are they sensitive to the target audience’s religions and cultural norms? 

In addition, consider the use of colors and what they invoke. For example, in many Western countries, green is used for the environment and health. In Tibet and China, however, it represents exorcism and infidelity, respectively.

Beyond design, localization could also mean registering a more specialist domain that will set your business apart from local shoppers. For example, if your business is expanding into the Caribbean market, you might buy an OnlyDomains Anguilla domain with a .ai extension, while companies expanding into the Middle East might consider a .ae domain name.

Selling through your website means you’ll have complete control over your brand image and product presentation. You’ll also be able to engage directly with customers, so you can build a loyal customer base. On top of this, you’ll have access to analytics tools, enabling you to gather essential data that can steer future marketing campaigns. 

That said, there are some considerations and potential downsides to website localization, too. Smaller companies might struggle with the demands and expectations of customer communication. Some businesses choose to employ local experts and professionals, but this is often beyond the reach of smaller companies. Understanding terms like VoIP phone meaning will become essential here as these services can save you money in the long term. 

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Selling through online platforms

Well-known, established eCommerce platforms provide immediate access to international customers. For example, setting up an eCommerce store on Shopify requires minimal effort. 

Other similar marketplace platforms to consider are Amazon, Etsy, Rakuten, and eBay.

These can be particularly useful for small companies who may not want to invest heavily in their new overseas venture right off the bat. They also already have a strong international presence, which means familiarity for locals. 

Listing products on an existing platform also requires less in the way of investment. There is the added benefit of streamlined shipping and simplified logistics. 

Yet, you also face significant competition on these platforms. You also won’t have full control of your brand image and customer interactions, and the platform may take fees that could impact your profits. 

Remember that both approaches require a comprehensive understanding of the market. This is where considering a comp plan for a new territory could prove beneficial. By incentivizing your sales team to focus on the specific international market, you can effectively drive sales and growth in the targeted region.

Establish a Pricing Model

If your business is already established in one market, chances are you have a solid pricing strategy. But that doesn’t mean the same pricing strategy will work in other countries. 

To maximize revenue, consider different eCommerce pricing strategies to help you price your products effectively. This is where doing the initial market research pays off, as it allows you to understand local trends and expectations. But, there are other considerations too.

Exchange rate fluctuations

Consider using a dynamic pricing tool. These adjust prices automatically when there are exchange rate fluctuations. 

Cost of goods sold (COGS)

There are more costs involved when selling in other countries. You’ll need to account for international shipping, tariffs, taxes, and customs fees. Use these to determine the minimum price required to generate a profit. 

Psychological pricing

Following your market research, consider psychological and cultural factors when deciding your prices. Examples include:

  • Charm pricing: Pricing products at 9.99 instead of 10.00 to make them seem cheaper.
  • Odd-even pricing: Using odd numbers to create a perception of a discount.
  • Prestige pricing: Setting your prices higher than your competitors to create a perceived luxury product.
competitive pricing
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Review Your Communications, Marketing, and Promotional Strategies

As with every strategy, communications, marketing, and promotion require careful planning and adaptation for each target country. Your marketing messages will need to take cultural preferences and differences into consideration. 

Ensure any promotional material is sensitive to local audiences. Consider these during your research stages and share best practices with your team through a unified communications platform to ensure every message and campaign is appropriate, paying particular attention to religious holidays such as Ramadan or Diwali.

Even if you’re a PaaS or SaaS provider and not selling a physical product, it’s possible to branch out internationally. Let’s say you’re a unified communications provider that wants to branch out from the US into Asia. As part of this, you might create a campaign to promote your Voice over Internet Protocol phone service. 

You might consider crafting messaging around VoIP caller info from Vonage to introduce your new target market to the platform and tweak your messaging to suit any potential internet restrictions or local customs.

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Evaluate Your Performance and Adapt

Though expanding globally is exciting, it’s crucial to recognize that it’s an ongoing journey. If your global launch goes well, that’s great! But how you progress from that point is critical. 

International markets are dynamic. As an international seller, you’ll experience greater fluctuations due to foreign exchange. This means you’ll need to reevaluate your strategies in response. 

Like all business decisions, how you move forward needs to be data-driven. An analysis of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will show where performance is lacking. This means you can act strategically. Listening to customer feedback is invaluable, too. 

When you’ve established your business in several different locations, you can have remote access to iPad devices to manage sites for each location. This way, you can access files or manage apps like collaboration tools for your staff. 

These tools will help you improve your future presence in the location and allow you to expand with minimal staffing expenses abroad. Naturally, you’d need to consider how well-established these technologies are elsewhere.

Ready to go Global? 

Selling your products internationally requires considerable effort. Wherever you are in your journey, understand this is an ever-changing landscape. 

Whether you’re starting to consider expanding or you’re sorting the technicalities, you’ll need to be flexible. To be ahead of your competitors requires research, effort, and drive. Putting time aside to prepare for every eventuality will determine your success. Good luck!


Ryan Yee
Ryan is an award-winning copywriter, with 20+ years of experience working alongside major US brands, emerging start-ups, and leading tech enterprises. His copy and creative have helped companies in the B2B marketing, education, and software sectors reach new customer bases and enjoy improved results. Ryan has written for other domains such as Here is his LinkedIn.