Being in the EU offers some great opportunities to make sales in other European countries via your website. Geographically, it is fairly easy to offer order fulfilment in mainland Europe if you are based in the UK, and of course, if you sell through your website then it is very easy for people all over Europe to place orders with you. Of course, if your website is only available in the English language and you don’t do any marketing targeted at people outside of the UK, you will probably find that almost all of your sales come from your own country, except perhaps for the odd sale to expats, or sales of very niche or unique items
Branching into Other European Markets
You may, therefore, be missing out on a lot of potential business by not taking other European countries seriously as a market. If your products are suitable for mainstream customers in other countries (for example they are things like clothes, toys, hand tools or jewellery as opposed to language specific things like books, or electronics that come with UK plugs), all you need to do is come up with a strategy to advertise your website to different markets using things like targeted Facebook and Google ads, and of course, prepare your site to receive foreign customers.
If you want to make your website ready to sell to people brought in by your foreign marketing efforts, you are going to need versions of all of your static content in the right languages (for example your ‘About Us’ and FAQ pages), as well as your product descriptions. It can be easy to get content like this quickly translated using a professional translation agency, and unless your product range changes very regularly you will be able to get most of your copy translated in one go. You will also need to set prices for your products in the currencies of the countries you want to sell to, which in most cases will be euros. If you already have euro pricing for the Irish market then you can use this. You’ll also need to work out shipping and handling costs to add on. You may want to also buy your site’s equivalent domain in the country you are going to sell to, for example if you have example.co.uk, you would buy example.de to direct your German customers to. If you use a .com domain you may not want to do this, as .com is universally used.
One at a Time?
You can translate your site and adverts and start marketing in several countries at once, or you can employ a strategy that deals with one new market at a time. If you have research that suggests your products will do very well in one particular country then it makes sense to focus your efforts here and expand gradually, however if you believe your products are just as likely to sell well in any given country then it can make sense to go by the size of the market, and the expense of shipping to it (shipping to France or Germany will be cheaper than shipping to Greece, and so will add less to the total cost of buying your product for the customer).
Branching out can allow you to tap huge new markets with only the relatively small expense of some translation and some changes to your marketing strategy. Is it time you considered mainland Europe as a major market for your business?