Going Global: 6 Fool-Proof Ways for Retailers to Use Big Data to Expand Internationally

Big data technology can be particularly useful when it comes to growing a global brand.
big data for a global business
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Companies in every industry have discovered the wonders of using big data. Big data technology can help companies trim their cost structures, scale their markets and come up with better products. Companies are also taking more innovative approaches to use data to expand overseas more easily.

Big Data is Invaluable for Creating a Global Brand

Big data is no longer a fad. Forbes reports that 69.4% of companies have started developing big data cultures. These companies have found that big data can be even more important when they are trying to expand to new markets in other countries.

Taking your online retail business from local to global is a big step, albeit an exciting one. Naturally, your goal will be to get as prepared as possible before you decide to launch overseas, and while there’s no guarantee of not hitting a few speed bumps along the way, it helps to be informed before making such a big move. There are many things to consider which we will talk about below, which include using big data as effectively as possible.

These include the careful and measured approach you would take to expanding. It is also important to consider the benefits of having a big data strategy abroad. This is why European SEO services that use big data are an important part of expanding abroad.

Read on below to find out more.

The Benefits of Using Big Data as Part of Your International Growth Strategy

The growth in the technology industry over the past decade means that it’s now ridiculously easy for a person that lives on the other side of the world to browse and purchase your products- so there has never been a better time to expand on your market. You can use data-driven technology to improve your VoIP and other digital strategies to grow.

One of the best ways to use big data is to better understand market trends. The increase in online shoppers in Europe making purchases from web stores in other countries provides clear evidence of the growth in abroad purchases, as figures show that almost 50% of consumers had shopped online internationally in 2019.

If your business has the money and the resources to be able to expand, then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t use big data technology to make this dream a reality. Oftentimes, consumers are more than willing to make an international purchase- yet have never actually completed one.

Recent insights derived from data analytics found that 77 per cent of US consumers are open to shopping across borders, but only 27 per cent have done so- which leaves you with a huge marketing opportunity. Will your brand be the one that finally convinces an international consumer to complete a sale? There’s only one way to find out. Here are some fool-proof tips for making your move to go global a successful one:

Take A Step-By-Step Approach to Use Big Data

Although you might be tempted to dive head-first into your international venture, it’s important that you stick to a gradual approach so that you can continue to assess your strategy along the way. You need to use data analytics to do your research and come up with a workable strategy.

The first thing you need to do is consider what shipping methods you are going to use, the type of payment methods that you will accept, and any tax and import laws for the country you’re shipping to. If you’re a UK-based brand, you may also want to take a look at the new Brexit laws that have recently been put into place.

If you have a high budget, then you may be thinking about opening a factory or even some retail stores abroad. This is a whole task in itself, so prepare for things to move slower than anticipated as you search for a suitable warehouse and reliable staff members.

It’s also essential to have a solid marketing strategy for your new international customers prior to your launch. You can use social media and billboards to generate some buzz around your store so that when you go live, your target audience are already aware of your brand.

Build A Powerful, Data-Driven SEO Strategy

If you want to make it as an international seller, then there’s nothing more important than having a significant online presence. If you haven’t already done so, you should build an entire new social media account specifically for customers of that country, so that you can make posts which are specifically targeted towards them. Big data can help with all of these processes, including coming up with a data-driven linkbuilding strategy.

Your web presence is also equally as important, and with a new international website, it’s a good idea to employ a team to help with your SEO, to make sure that you’re showing up in all the right places.

If you’re thinking about expanding your business to France, for example, then French link building site Smart Web Group can provide you with an SEO team who will help to build you a powerful online strategy which is guaranteed to boost your online sales in the French market, The French SEO agency SmartWeb Group have demonstrated a 27% increase in their clients’ turnover by per year- proof that you should underestimate the power of SEO. Finding a company that offers European SEO services can be difficult, but if you do research, the right agency is out there to do your French SEO!

We mention France because of the close proximity between the two countries. A lot of UK businesses may want to set up in France or Spain due to the transport links. To do this though, you really want to make a splash. Do the background work first and get your French SEO up and running. Once you’ve done this, there are plenty of other European SEO services that you need to look into.

Be Strategic About Where You Want To Establish Your Presence

When you’re thinking about expanding to international consumers, you probably have big dreams of generating sales all over the world. And while this is a great long-term plan, it’s best to start off by choosing one or two countries that you feel like you have a great shot with.

If you’re an English-speaking company, then beginning your expansion in another English-speaking country requires a lot less work than if you needed to translate your webpage and all your marketing materials into another language. You should also think strategically about the location- as shipping from the UK to Australia is going to cost a lot more money and potentially involve more paperwork than simply shipping to a country in Europe.

You can use data analytics to learn more about various markets that you hope to capture. You can do a better SWOT analysis of new markets if you have data to back up your decisions.

Target Each Country Individually

Following on from the above point, if you decide to expand to more than one country, it’s essential that you have a different marketing plan for each location. Every unique country comes with a slightly different target audience, so it’s important to not just take the one-size-fits-all approach.

This is another area where big data and AI can be very useful. You can use machine learning algorithms to come up with a marketing strategy that reflects the nuances of different markets. These platforms are particularly effective online, since they can use data that is mined from content from various countries to learn more about local customer preferences.

If you’re expanding from the US to Europe, for example, then it doesn’t make sense to treat one continent as a whole market instead of many individual ones. Each country within Europe has its own climate, cultures and interests, so you should be sure to do your research when planning your marketing strategy.

Remove Any Purchase Barriers

Some customers may be put off from making purchases from international retailers if they’re worried about unreliable shipping or a difficult returns process. One way to get around this is by having a warehouse in the country you’re looking to expand to- but that isn’t an option within everyone’s budget.

There are other things you can do to put a customer’s mind at ease when purchasing from another country, including localised shopping sites which will automatically convert to the customer’s currency and accept local online payment options.

The cost and speed of the delivery are also an important consideration for a potential customer. Although shipping abroad is certain to be pricier, try to keep the costs as low as possible, while selecting an option that allows your customer to receive their order in the shortest amount of time.

Make sure that your website has a crystal-clear delivery and returns policy, including any potential costs, and a timeframe for when the money should be back in their account, so that your customers feel confident to make a purchase with you.

You can use machine learning tools to come up with a better returns policy. You can have it updated regularly based on observed trends in the market.

Remain Flexible and Open-Minded

Expanding your retail business worldwide can be a challenge, but all the good things in life don’t come easy. Along the way, you’re going to encounter quite a few bumps, dead ends, roundabouts and pretty much every diversion under the sun before you make it through to the other side.

It’s important to keep an open mind about your expansion process. If you approach things with an incredibly specific, non-negotiable strategy, then when you do inevitably come across an obstacle, you aren’t going to be prepared to effectively deal with it. Keeping an open mind allows for a smoother, more stress-free expansion that will almost certainly get you the results that you’re looking for.

It’s also worth preparing yourself for the fact that while selling internationally has its benefits, you will be putting your retail business up for its biggest challenge yet. Expect to spend a lot more time, money and energy on your company now that you’re reaching more people. If you’re prepared to see through all of the hard work, then you’ll soon begin to reap the rewards.

Big Data is Necessary to Shift Towards a Global Company

You need to use big data to its full effectiveness. Big data technology can be particularly useful when it comes to growing a global brand. The tips listed above can be immensely helpful.

Sean Mallon
Sean is a freelance writer and big data expert. He loves to write on big data, analytics and predictive analytics.