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Global ecommerce vs. USA focus

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday November 16, 2006 )

If you don’t have the cash for any huge overseas marketing campaigns, there’s some simple things that you can do to make life easier for foreign potential clients, such as having a currency converter on your site and page translation links; some of these services are available for free. I know for a fact a currency converter in itself can make a huge difference. While I’m comfortable in mentally converting several different currencies to local rates; many, many, many people aren’t. Often they see USD$ on a site and it all gets too hard.

Anyway, overseas markets are an issue I’m certainly going to research more in the near future; so expect a full article soon. I guess this post has been as much of a reminder to me again as it is to inform you :).

Read more of the ComScore report

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Online business owners, ecommerce merchants – take note. It might come as a surprise, but the Internet is used by people in other countries outside North America and many of those people have cash to spend ;).

OK, so you probably knew that; but were you aware of how big those markets potentially are? It’s been reported that over half of the top 25 US web properties receive more visits from people outside the U.S. than from within, and in some cases, substantially so.

Take for instance Google. According to ComScore, its share of pageviews from outside the USA is a whopping 89%.

Some other interesting examples

Property – Non US share of unique visitors

Yahoo sites – 75.9%
Microsoft sites – 79.0%
eBay – 70.4%
Amazon Sites – 66.4%
Wikipedia sites – 79.8%
CNET Networks – 58.6%

ComScore also states that the U.S. share of the world’s online population has decreased from 65 percent to under 25 percent in the last decade.

Interesting stats, but what’s the message?

If your business sells goods that can be easily transported to other countries, especially digital goods or online services, and you’ve confined yourself to the USA market – it may well be time to spend a few bucks on market research and broaden your horizons.

I’m an Aussie, but after a great deal of frustration, I turned my back on the Australian ecommerce scene in 2001 and focused on the USA – things were just too backwards here. It was a really good move at the time, but I must admit the “Americanization of Michael” has left me a little ignorant of other markets.

My ignorance isn’t so much the fact that these markets exist, but how to actual break into them in a *considerable* way. I’ve usually seen sales to non-USA countries more of a nice side effect rather than a focus; much like the way I view search engine optimization. I tend focus on Google and traffic from Yahoo/MSN is a secondary goal.

If you don’t have the cash for any huge overseas marketing campaigns, there’s some simple things that you can do to make life easier for foreign potential clients, such as having a currency converter on your site and page translation links; some of these services are available for free. I know for a fact a currency converter in itself can make a huge difference. While I’m comfortable in mentally converting several different currencies to local rates; many, many, many people aren’t. Often they see USD$ on a site and it all gets too hard.

Anyway, overseas markets are an issue I’m certainly going to research more in the near future; so expect a full article soon. I guess this post has been as much of a reminder to me again as it is to inform you :).

Read more of the ComScore report



 

 
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