One year into the pandemic, many businesses have faced struggles in managing their operations overseas. With air travel slowing down, managers are unable to send employees abroad to conduct market research or engage with local consumers. In these struggles, however, these companies are starting to revisit their methods in business operation. This would include downsizing their office space, implementing work from home, or other measures that don’t require the employee to be physically present. With this trend, information technologies are being considered as a way to create flexibility for the employees and engage with partners from abroad. These are the factors to consider when expanding your business abroad.
In reality, it would be a bad choice to “wait out” the pandemic to expand the business abroad. Despite the challenges, many of the companies are undeterred by COVID-19 and have adapted to adjust to the new norm. So, why are they still expanding despite the global pandemic? According to Keith Button, companies have found value in capturing the country’s market share, expanding their sales channel, diversifying their investment, and acquiring top talents while reducing costs. The company’s speed-to-market directly impacts how it could capture these values.
For brands who want to expand abroad, they should critically ask themselves the questions of whether the brand can build a strong customer base internationally. Does your target customer exist in that country? Do you think there is a demand for your service? In reality, even though your product sells well in America, it doesn’t necessarily mean that has the same appeal in the international target markets.
Often, many emerging brands struggle with the lack of local market expertise and gaining insight from local consumers. Shopping trends differ from region to region as it would be essential for brands to know the different shopping habits. Brands should use resources such as market research through surveys, and data-driven insights. You should never underestimate the power of information gathering such as knowing whether your products can sell, who the competitors are, what price to sell at, and how to sell (Business News Daily, 2019).
With these resources, brands should consider the demands/trends of the target audience as its influenced by regional factors such as culture, language, holidays, etc. Brands should interact with their target audience before launching an advertisement or marketing campaign.
PICKL address these benefits as it allows brand managers to conduct market research abroad and gain immediate consumer insights. For example, you want to know how your brand’s cookies are being displayed in Japan. You could use the dashboard to choose a type of product and choose a specific retail store or vending machine to conduct the store check. In a few days, the shopper will send you a picture of your product and write reviews about the product. Without having to send your staff abroad, you can crowdsource this information from any smartphone user in that country. This valuable information can be used to influence the sales force of the specific retail and help you improve your consumer engagement.
Referring to the questions that brand should ask themselves, brands can use PICKL to check if the target consumers exist in that country. They could ask local shoppers to conduct store checks of similar products and use those consumer insights to determine the size of the target consumers. You can also get a glimpse of potential competitors of the target country. If you own a cookie brand, you can task local shoppers to review notable cookie brands in that country and use that information to determine how to differentiate from those competitors. PICKL will serve as a liaison to help emerging brands reach consumers abroad.
For those considering conducting shopper outreach abroad, feel free to contact us!
Happy Pickling -
The PICKL Posse
PICKL announces the launch of its Android application designed for any smartphone owner who loves making extra money simply by taking pictures and answering quick questions about products in stores. Now PICKL has launched both an iOS application and Android application so any smartphone owner can participate in the US, Canada and Japan.
For brands who want to expand abroad, they should critically ask themselves the questions of whether the brand can build a strong customer base internationally. Does your target customer exist in that country? Do you think there is a demand for your service?
See any shelf, in any store, as soon as possible. We put the power of the crowd to work for you.