3 Basic Questions About Expansion

Expansion abroad has long been considered one of the most difficult processes companies have to face. Some online shop owners perceive it as the holy grail that will save them and make their business booming. Others perceive it as too expensive a step, which will never pay off and will only bring unrest and expectations to the whole company. Learn how we can help your expansion perform well within days of launch.

At PROFICIO, we approach expansion as pros, but differently than everyone else. :) We can advise and recommend suitable tools and partners. Afterwards, we deliver a complex mix of strategies, thanks to which your expansion will really make money and will not cost you an arm and a leg. 

Choosing a Country Suitable for Expansion

This is a common concern with no simple and quick solution. What we can easily tell you is how we help in the selection of countries and what tools we use in this selection. 

The primary tool for this giant task is Google Market Explorer. In the Czech Republic, we are one of the first agencies with access to this tool. We have achieved this uniqueness thanks to the very good results of our foreign expansions and long-term partnership with Google.

Market Explorer provides us with enough information for the initial design of expansion conditions. It uses dozens of signals, including:

  • demographic data,
  • our favorite interest analysis in a given category,
  • and its growth over time. 

In the example you see in the picture below, we took a fictitious online shop specializing in winter sports equipment. As we are most interested in the metrics of interest in this category, Market Explorer evaluates Germany as the most suitable country based on these 4 main signals, followed by France and Switzerland.

In addition to this tool, we are also interested in an overview of the competition operating in this segment, which brings us to the next point.

Who Is Already in the Market?

This question is by no means less important. As the market always works on the basis of supply and demand, it is necessary to focus on other entities operating in the market. We need to find out whether it is possible to compete with them and whether we can offer the customers sufficient benefits that the current coverage does not have. We then look at this issue through search-based analytics — even here we rely on hard data. 

We have several programs available, including our most popular SEO tool — Screaming Frog. This frog can explore competition websites and focus on keywords that will be the same as ours. We then compare the obtained values with several other tools. This way we can perfectly identify your direct competition, find out how much traffic they have or even how much money they put into PPC advertising. 

Why do we need this information? With the proper identification of competitors, we get a huge overview of the market and we know:

  • what their market share is,
  • how much they are shown for keywords entered in organic search,
  • what channels they use, 
  • and which ones we can use too. 

However, the list of positive points does not end here. In the competition, we can also get inspired by their UX and check whether we meet all customer requirements in the new market. We probably don’t have to mention the winged apartment number in Romania again.


Who Will Your Customers Be in the New Country?

Targeting customers is crucial. If we know that there is an overwhelming majority of customers in a given country using a specific type of shipping, it is necessary to utilize this to be successful. The same situation occurs in the case of payment gateways, which differ quite often. One contrast is in accessibility for customers; another is seen in types of fees, from additional crowns to a percentage of the order price. That is why this issue shouldn’t be neglected.

However, there’s more hidden in foreign market. We also have to focus on the customer’s requirements - what exactly they want to see in an online shop, what review sites they like to use, whether our goods are outside their comfort zone and a lot of other factors, which can be typically combined into ten basic questions:

  1. Who are they?
  2. What do they do?
  3. What do they buy?
  4. When do they buy?
  5. How do they buy?
  6. How much money do they have?
  7. What do they enjoy or appreciate?
  8. What are they looking for?
  9. What do they think about our brand?
  10. What do they think about the competition’s brand?

What should be taken away from all this? There is no need to be anxious about expansion. However, do not underestimate it. Our clients such as Sanitino, Pneuboss or Sportobchod already have a lot of experience under our leadership. You can join them.

Are you interested in meeting us and talking about expansion? Feel free to contact us. We look forward to future cooperation!

Adam Funiok

PPC, comparators, expansion abroad. Alongside the Old Fashioned, this is my favourite cocktail, and I’m happy to take care of it for you.