In preparation for the new year, PerformanceIN continues its annual tradition of connecting with performance marketing experts to get their single biggest prediction for the industry in 2017.

In this piece, Bruce Clayton, co-founder and director at Optimus, explains why businesses should focus on global e-commerce in 2017.

In such uncertain times, making predictions seems almost a little dangerous. Who could have predicted Brexit and the election victory of Donald Trump in the same year? Yet, if we were pushed to provide a prediction, we are encouraging our clients to look into export markets for new sales opportunities. Globalisation is a trend that’s here to stay, and that means plenty of sales opportunities in fast-growing markets outside of the UK.

Already we are seeing growth in traffic from countries outside of the UK across our entire portfolio. We predict online sales to export countries will increase and we have the chance to take advantage of this by making e-commerce sites export-friendly. That means accepting a wide variety of payment forms and currencies, as well as offering door-to-door delivery options plus a convenient return policy.

The UK is now a competitive place to purchase premium branded goods and brands should really consider this in their online sales efforts. It means making their websites available in multiple languages whenever possible and using pricing conventions that are easily recognisable for overseas buyers. The goal is to make the customer journey for the buyer as easy and as streamlined as possible.

Our top two tips heading into 2017 would be:

  • Review your website’s traffic for an uplift in export traffic
  • Review how export-friendly your online sales portals are against the countries showing interest in your product

Using simple website metrics, it’s possible to see where your visitors are coming from, how long they’re spending on your site, and what types of product categories they are browsing. That can give you some valuable insights into export markets you’re currently overlooking, as well as how the buying patterns and preferences may differ in those markets. The goal is to be able to customise and personalise your website for these overseas buyers.

In conclusion, prepare to get export friendly – the world is now a very small place and recent economic changes have resulted in huge opportunities outside of the UK. That means that companies that adapt to this new economic reality will have a real competitive advantage in 2017.