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Web 2.0 Your New Export Sales Partner

By: Greg Seminara,Export Solutions

Savvy exporters deploy new web based tactics to identify new distributors and connect with global consumers. Most companies maintain a basic web site featuring an “international section”, but few sites are designed to promote export sales. Listed blow are Export Solutions “Ten Tips” to unleash the power of Web 2.0 to drive new business in 2016.

1. Language Translation Software increases your reach. Popular software such as Babel Fish or Google Translator can be placed on your site to translate your International page to different languages. These tools provide instant translations without formal redesign of the web page.

2. Code your site for Tracking Analytics- Available measures include visitors by city, time spent per page, and key search phrases driving web traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) raises your ranking with Google and Yahoo,

3. List Current Distributor Contacts- This makes it easier for potential customers and consumers to locate your brand in their home country. The distributor listing on your web page also reduces distributor inquiries from countries where you already have a partner.

4. Distributor Wanted Postings: Define countries where you are searching for a partner. Your “Distributor Wanted” section should link to your Companies Distributor Selection Criteria. A sample statement could outline basic requirements such as “Beverage Company A seeks partners with significant beverage category expertise and demonstrated success marketing other international beverage brands. Distributor candidates must be highly motivated with countrywide coverage across all trade channels.”

5. Automate Process to Capture Distributor Candidate Credentials. Create an online template to summarize a new distributor candidate’s basic information: Company size, current brands represented, references, web site etc. Alternatively, you can develop a process to automatically email a similar template to interested candidates. Create an email box called newdistributors@yourcompanyname.com.

6. Establish an Intranet Portal for Existing Distributors: This password protected gateway serves as an entry point to a data warehouse of information. The Intranet could include product catalog, brand images, syndicated data, presentations, and a chat function to share ideas.

7. List local retailers stocking your product- Advanced applications include ability for consumer to search for retail stockists by postal code. Basic approaches include a simple drop down menu stating now available at with names and/or logos of leading customers.

8. Product Request Form- An online product request form captures names and contacts of consumers interested in your brand. This information can be used to prioritize export expansion areas measured by level of inquiries. Upon entry into a country, the contact data facilitates targeted marketing or to demonstrate to a retailer level of consumer interest.

9. Publish an International Newsletter- This newsletter may share new product information, success stories, recipes, contests, or any other method to create engagement with distributors, retailers, and consumers. Tools such as Constant Contact make creation and delivery of online newsletters simple and cost effective.

10. Photo’s add a personal touch- Pictures of the export department team add life to the export department, particularly for small-mid-size exporters. Other web pages include photo’s of the “Distributor of the Year” or senior manager visits to international markets.