There can be a lot of friction in doing a country rollout, with bespoke websites, translated ads and then, of course, the complexity of having a shipping service for multiple locations that’s fast and cost-effective enough for customers to want to buy.
With finite marketing budgets, how can we roll out internationally, where we will have the best chance of seeing viability and profitable return?
Thankfully, long gone are the days of needing to invest heavily and build to 100% just to test out a new international market.
How do we approach rollout?
Google Ads is a powerhouse of machine learning and automation. When configured correctly, campaigns learn the pattern of data surrounding a likely customer.
This means performance exponentially increases over time, increasing conversion rates and, as such, campaign profitability.
Being a search-first advertising network, the platform also gets a running start because a user actively searching for the product you sell gives a reasonable qualification of intent to buy.
Once your core market (let’s presume the UK for this blog) is converting viably for you, creating a campaign that targets other English-speaking territories worldwide is a piece of cake.
You will have the keywords, copy and landing pages that are most commonly leading to success, as well as a site that has a proposition capable of converting — so you’re already 60% there.
The smart way to do this, though, rather than creating campaigns for every territory you could sell in, is to create a catch-all campaign for every territory. This way, the budget will be distributed wherever it’s most likely to convert.
Layering targeting for the English language is your filter to ensure that users can read your copy and interact with the site in a comparable way to the UK.
It won’t be perfect, and I’m not suggesting that it is. However, perfection is often the enemy of good.
Keeping data aggregated into one campaign enables faster exit to the learning phase and better commercial outputs.
The broader benefit of approaching strategy like this is that you can see which countries have early signs of traction through actual customers coming to the site and buying your products.
No assumptions or costly and time-consuming rollouts required.
Of course, being able to advertise is only one part of the journey!
You also need a place where customers can transact in their native currency to avoid dropouts and a low conversion rate.
Shopify markets offers this with ease and simplicity.
With just the tick of a box in your store settings, you’ll be ready and able to transact.
When it comes to actually fulfilling and delivering what the customers we are acquiring want, tech has the answer!
Using Huboo, connecting to your Shopify store in just a few clicks, you can fulfil pretty much anywhere.
Being able to tap into trusted delivery partners is a major asset as you can utilise services that will have costs and timescales that are appealing to your new customers.
What happens after rollout?
I love working in this way, personally, as it feels much more systematic.
Firstly, we’re reducing the number of variables that could be the cause for acquisition not occurring or not being profitable, which makes troubleshooting (if there’s a lower uptake) faster.
If you do see early traction in particular regions, great stuff. Now you have empirical customer data to show the worth of investing in a localised language version of the site, adding other marketing channels, and much more!
You may also be surprised at some emerging markets where there is demand for the product in search but not yet enough to show up in keyword planner tools.
This is often the case, large businesses and large agencies rely on third-party tools, but there’s nothing better than actually collecting customer data.
This way, you’ve found out first-hand where there’s a growing market, potentially before the competition.
Being the prime mover in an emerging territory can solidify your brand as the key player for years to come.
I did this for a client recently, and we saw traction in 10 international markets within just a few weeks.
Most interestingly, a number of these weren’t markets in which we had expected to have such viability.
The key takeaway is that the barrier to entry is non-existent with this pairing of Google Ads, Shopify, and Huboo.
That, for me, brings the very exciting and interesting business case of:
Do we want to invest 80% of our resources trying to get another 20% in our core market?
Do we want to build to 80% again in a new territory?
There’s perhaps no right answer (other than do both); however, diversifying the regions in which customers are acquired will certainly build resilience against the ups and downs of your core market.
Don’t assume the answer before you ask the question. Let real customers show you where there’s viability.