Think global, act local

The ability to understand and cater for the nuances between shoppers in different territories is key in putting eCommerce retailers on the map.  

However, this takes time and research into several key factors, such as politics, religion and lifestyle. Some questions to consider, might include:

What is the overall political stance of the countries you're hoping to sell to? And does your brand fit in with this?
What are the religions of the countries you're venturing into?
Are your brand and products appropriate?
What time of year do people celebrate religious festivals?
Will this have an impact on when your products are likely to be bought?
Will there be a specific requirement for your products at certain times of the year?

Finding out why shoppers in different parts of the world buy certain products is also imperative to your success. Do people in certain areas want cheaper products? Are others looking for luxury? Do some want to emulate a particular lifestyle? These are all important questions to ask and to research before taking the step into a new territory. 

Even countries that are next to each other can hold different beliefs and have differing preferences for online goods. This is also true of countries that share the same language. So, marketing efforts should be centred around each individual country, keeping their culture at the centre of your plan. 

Don’t forget, even if you’re the market leader in your country, there’s a chance you might not be elsewhere. Just as you would at home, check out your competition and look at countries where the demand for products or services like yours is just starting to take off. 

Google's Market Finder is a free tool to help businesses target new territories.