Diving into opportune markets

Shopping has become borderless for consumers, and brands need to keep up. The appetite global consumers have for foreign goods is only going to continue increasing, presenting an almost endless opportunity for brands. Even now, as much as 35% of transactions driven for Rakuten Marketing clients are taking place overseas. Specifically, APAC, Europe, and the Middle East show a great deal of potential for brands looking to expand beyond borders. Emerging markets can even prove more lucrative than the already developed UK and US markets, offering more room to grow and gain loyal customers. 

There’s room to grow

Marketers do acknowledge that there is a great potential for growth in these overseas markets. Nearly two-thirds of marketers believe their target customers outside of the UK are wealthier (62%), younger (64%) and more digitally savvy (71%) than their customers at home. With the right tools, UK brands can successfully adapt their marketing strategies for global reach. 

Not all consumers shop alike

With these new markets come to a completely new type of consumer. The marketing tactics that work for UK consumers will not necessarily be successful strategies when it comes to areas such as APAC, Europe, and the Middle East. 

In APAC, inbound marketing and social commerce platforms tend to be the most lucrative in terms of targeting strategies. Social media sites, in general, tend to be a successful way to drive online purchases. However, the popular platforms here differ from those used in the UK. While Facebook has expansive reach in western countries, platforms such as Weibo and WeChat are more commonly used in APAC. APAC is also, of course, a region made up of many different countries and cultures. Therefore, the needs, habits and behaviours of consumers across APAC can differ greatly from country to country. One of the biggest differences is the growth rate each country in this region is at, requiring each market to have a drastically different strategy. 

Moving to look at Europe, France and Germany provide a promising potential for growth, with France being the 5th largest ecommerce market in the world. An important note is that the preferred payment methods in these countries differ from the UK, with payment on delivery and cashless economies being popular options. Consumers here are digitally savvy and react well to content marketing, seeing it as more authentic than traditional advertising. Furthermore, delivery cost and time are make-or-break factors for these consumers, with cheaper delivery for higher spend often encouraging a higher AOV. 

The third identified market offering considerable opportunity for growth is the Middle East. This market provides an overwhelming number of premium buyers. However, as with APAC and Europe, the Middle East is made up of a range of different countries with many cultural differences, which marketers must be conscious of. This is not the only challenge the Middle East presents: this market also comes with privacy concerns, wariness of online payments and scarcity of postal codes. That being said, facing these challenges offers a reward; there is a huge desire for luxury goods in the Middle East and investing in both search and affiliate marketing can help to capture the wealthier audiences.

Time to take action

The more knowledge brands have of these uncharted markets, the better chance they have at successfully integrating into these markets. Understanding what makes each market unique is only half the battle. With these new actionable insights, brands will be able to create bespoke marketing strategies per region and work around the complexities.

Download the New Horizons report to understand more about these key regions and discover how to create a tailored marketing strategy for a lucrative 2018/9. 


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