After months of preparations, countless hours spent working and analysing, you finally create your product. It has taken a lot of effort to get it done and you want to market it in the best possible way. The question is – should you keep your product the same for all countries or should you adjust it to specific markets?
Take PayLane for example. As you probably know, we offer online payments. Most people associate it with credit cards and they’re right. But (there’s always a but!) if you run an e-shop, you know very well that accepting just credit card payments is not enough, especially if you have multinational customers from around the world. And since, as cliché as it may sound, we really do want to help out our clients boost their business, we do everything to make it happen. That’s why we adjust our services according to the market’s needs.
PayLane’s getting bigger and better, so it’s only natural we’re expanding to new markets. We’ve just launched a new offer directed at German companies. How does it differ from our “standard” service? As any German will tell you, one of the most popular payment methods in that region is Sofortbanking. So, assuming you run an e-shop that has German clients, offering them Sofortbanking payments is a must. And while this method is useless in, let’s say, the USA, it is crucial in Germany. That’s why our offering for the German market is focusing primarily on credit cards and other payment methods typical for that country (e.g. giropay). However, going global isn’t only about focusing on different products, but also about consistent offering – in our case it is launching www.paylane.de, translating merchant panel into German and even providing German-speaking customer service.
Remember our recent blog post about Polish wire transfers? Believe it or not, but Poles are more eager to pay via such transfers than with credit cards. If we offered our clients only credit cards, they would be less likely to achieve success in that market. At the same time, hugely popular in the USA American Express payments are virtually unheard of in Central Europe. That’s why our offering for Polish clients includes, besides credit cards, wire transfers in all banks in Poland.
So what businesses should adjust their product to specific markets?
The world of online payments is just an example and the above situations could be applied to many more businesses. Do you work in advertisement? Remember that some Middle East and Asian countries are more conservative, so you might want to drop campaigns with bikini-clad models. Are you a cosmetics company? Don’t even think about launching a body lotion line without UV filters in Australia. Germans or Poles? A standard lotion is just fine. Same with skin foundation – it might be worth to adjust your offer for multiracial countries with millions of women of different skin colour (e.g. Great Britain, France, Spain) and keep the offering limited to one tone for countries that are either primarily pale- or dark-skinned, like Slovenia or India.
Of course, there are businesses that can stay the same, regardless of their geographical location. Think about computer programs and applications, online bookshops (besides offering books in the given language, of course), IT hardware or smartphones.
Remember though that every business needs to be analysed and thought through. Preparing separate offers can be more expensive marketing-wise, but all in all, it might increase your sales in a given region, so before going global make sure that your product is as useful to a Greek, as it is to an American or an Australian.