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Tapping into the Global Online Market

Release Date

16 September 2013

The exponential growth of online consumers in growth markets is a fact and shows no signs of slowing, with China experiencing a 300% growth in mobile commerce in the last year.  The main question is how can your business tap into this huge opportunity?

Australian businesses are in a unique position to share in this global market, with improved access to broadband and through leveraging a great country ‘brand’.  However, many businesses are still expecting results from their current website – without considering the online shopping preferences of their global target audience, or the emergence of mobile.

Recent findings from a Nielsen global survey revealed that while consumers share a set of core values consistently centred on family, education or religious aspirations, our online shopping preferences vary considerably depending on where we live.

Based on a survey of more than 29,000 consumers in 58 countries, some key findings from the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behaviour” are outlined below:

  • 60% of online survey respondents in the Asia-Pacific region said they are willing to pay extra for designer products, exceeding the global average by 17 percentage points.
  • Chinese consumers are the most willing to pay more for designer products (74% of respondents), and fondness for famous brands is highest in India (74%).
  • 78% of global respondents say quality is their most important product concern, with respondents in Latin America (83%) and Asia-Pacific (82%) exceeding the global average.
  • Price is key as well, with 65% of global respondents ranking it as important.
  • 59% of global shoppers are aware of promotions and discounts and say products with free gifts are good incentives (58%).
  • In particular, a large percentage of shoppers in the Philippines (77%), Vietnam (75%), Greece (74%), and Turkey (72%) find free gifts appealing.The message to Australian businesses wanting to share in the lucrative online global market is very clear.  Adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to your website will not drive online success in global markets; understanding the habits and diverse needs of consumers around the world is critical for success.
Here are our top considerations for building a website for a new global market.

1. Understand the target culture

Translating a website is just the beginning.  The key is to understand the target audience and build an awareness of the cultural norms.  Next, ensure that your website content is relevant to the target culture.  Don’t implicitly trust Google Translate, hire a professional interpreter who knows the country to avoid any cultural missteps.  Research the keywords selected to market similar brands online, to ensure that your content features keywords which are used by the locals.

2. Search and get social with the locals

Choose the appropriate search engine and social media platforms for your global market - Google is not the dominant search engine in all countries and Facebook is not always the predominant social platform.

3. Build on your foreign appeal

Building a brand is about telling a story, and part of that story is where you are from.  Each country has its own ‘brand’ within a foreign country, and this can be leveraged to position your product brand attributes.

4. Be color-savvy

Take careful consideration when deciding your design for different countries as colours have different connotations across cultures. Take white for example - considered quite safe and neutral in Australia, in some Eastern cultures the colour white is associated with death.

5. Speedy delivery

Just like Australian consumers, global audiences want to experience great service and speedy, guaranteed delivery.  Ensure you clearly communicate the delivery options and timeframes on your website, preferably setting up a local delivery network to overcome any negative service experiences.

Jessica Blake is a Senior Marketing Consultant with Australian Business Consulting & Solutions Marketing team. If you have any questions, please contact her on 02 9458 7678 or jessica.blake@australianbusiness.com.au

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