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The four most common mistakes in international sales - and how to avoid them!

Do you want to upgrade your e-commerce?

In that case, the international sale could be the right option for you. We've gathered some of the challenges and solutions to overcome them, see below.

Thanks to the vast and highly diversified network of international postal services, it has never been easier for online businesses to open their doors to the world. The great good news is that there is a huge market out there of consumers from all over the world who want to buy branded products of foreign trademarks.

Express One Slovenia d.o.o. is an exclusive member of the Eurodis network, which gives us the flexibility to deliver your parcels and other shipments by road and beyond Slovenia's borders in a simple and above all affordable way.

Figuring out how to sell the most effectively internationally can be a huge challenge. However, knowing what the most common pitfalls are and how to prepare well for potential challenges, and especially what steps need to be taken to manage them, can be crucial to your business success.

A recent survey showed that 57% of online shoppers have made at least one purchase from a company based in another country in the last year.

Before you decide to sell internationally, it is important to consider some of the obstacles you may encounter in your business along the way. For example, when shipping internationally, there are challenges that need to be addressed first in order for both your business and your customers to have a seamless experience. In a vast and varied world in which several languages, cultural differences, customs, and traditions prevail, you will almost certainly encounter some difficulties.

1. Selling in the wrong market
Selling into the wrong market can quickly lead to disastrous problems. For example, if you decide to sell swimwear in countries where winter conditions prevail for most of the year, you are unlikely to be very successful. In addition, you need to consider the economy of the countries in which you are selling products and/or services. A mobile phone that sells for EUR1,000 in Slovenia is unlikely to sell at that price in some other country with a lower average income and/or a higher poverty rate.

It is very important to do your own market research to learn more about the foreign market you are targeting. Make sure you have a good knowledge and understanding of the local market, its laws and culture before you start selling your products there. Your local market research should include information, among other things, on the size of the market, the local economy, potential challenges, and of course, you need to prepare solutions to these and other challenges.

2. Realistic costing
Although selling internationally can often be very profitable for e-commerce businesses, it is important to have a realistic idea of what costs you can expect. The cost of international postal traffic is higher than the cost of domestic postal traffic. Taxes and other fees may be added to the cost of postal traffic. The best way to avoid spending too much on international postal traffic costs is to do your research on all such costs and fees that you will be charged. Once the estimated postage has been calculated, it will be much easier to decide whether international sales make financial sense for your business.

3. Tailor to your target customers
Localising your business means tailoring it to your target market. This includes good translations on your website and in your marketing materials. Many companies, including large corporations, have made this mistake. Something that may be linguistically or verbally effective in one market may not necessarily be effective in another market due to linguistic, cultural and other differences. The same can happen with the names and descriptions of your products.

It is essential to use local translation services or native speakers’ services (living in your country) of the market you are targeting. Usually, only they know the local terms well enough. Marketing in countries where other languages are spoken requires more than just using Google Translate. If customers don't understand your product properly, or are even offended by an inadequate translation, they are unlikely to buy it. 

4. Local representation
When consumers call or contact a company in any other way (by e-mail for example), they prefer to speak to someone who speaks their language, as this way there are no barriers to communication. Consumers feel that someone from the same speaking area understands them better than someone who does not speak their language. Specifically due to the local representative users can distinguish one company operating internationally from another such company. 

For those involved in e-commerce, international sales can be a profitable venture if done correctly. Being aware of the major sales obstacles when selling internationally gives your business the best chance of success. If you know your market and the consumer base you are targeting well, selling internationally can take your business to the next level, and we are here to deliver your products safely and on time to your customers. For international postal traffic rates, please refer to our price list.

Express One Slovenia

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The headquarters of our company and the central warehouse are in the Komenda business zone. Our other warehouses with space for handling goods provide the necessary geographical coverage for fast delivery of shipments to recipients the next working day throughout Slovenia.