Developing Your Export Import Business Using Internet – Part I
Since most of the businesses throughout the world have access
to the Internet, many perceptive entrepreneurs and trading companies
are using the Internet as one of the dominant method for
developing their import and export businesses.
Already a big slice of global trades are taking place by
the Internet. According to Forrester Research, a major
marketing research company, worldwide online exports will
escalate to US $1.4 trillion in 2004, and cross-border
e-marketplace trade will go beyond US $400 billion in this year
However, cross-border trading will create a division between
the companies that actively import and export using the
Internet and those that don’t. Companies that are slow in
adopting the Internet will loose competitive edge to the more
proactive Internet-savvy counter parts.
If you are already involved in international trade or planning
to either import or export products, Internet could be your
dominant source of gathering data, researching prospective
market, finding clients and, may be already, for doing your complete
First, let’s look into the export side of the international
trade. Like any other business, exporting requires proper
planning. Well-proven and clearly written export
marketing plan will work as your road map to success.
The following steps are basic for any export endeavor.
Identifying products for export
Although, in any given time you may find numerous products
that qualify as exportable one, your chance for success will
increase significantly if your chosen product met the
– You have been handling this product for local market for
– You have complete confidence in the quality of the product
– The value of the product matches or exceeds the imported
– You have guaranteed availability of this product for export
If you don’t have a product to export however, and you are
serious about export oriented business, consider checking
out your local trade shows to seek out an exportable product.
Local online marketplaces are good options for finding products
for export in addition.
Identifying possible export markets for your products
To clarify an export market you have to use sometimes on
gathering necessary information.
You will need export statistics of your country to see which
markets are presently buying products similar to yours. This
will give an idea which markets are viable for you to target.
except checking the statistics from you own country, you
also should verify export statistics from several other
countries that manufacture and export similar products.
After analyzing this information, choose associate of markets
for further assessment. This time you will need more in thoroughness
information on these markets.
Doing market research
Market research is imperative in order to clarify export
possible of a product in a targeted country. There are two
ways you can research your targeted market.
By getting first-hand information from the targeted market
This can be done by hiring a research company from the
targeted market, participating in trade shows, contacting
prospective customers, visiting the market personally, etc.
Although, this method has a great advantage since you can
get exact information tailored to your need. However, this
might be very expensive and time consuming for most of the
first time exporters.
Getting information from the Internet and other supplies
Thanks to the Internet you can get almost all the needed
information from various online supplies. This includes:
trade data statistics, country profile, demography and
other market related data, list of prospective customers,
To take an informative decision while selecting a market
you will need answers to the following questions:
– How big is the need for your product or similar products
in the targeted market?
– What is the ratio between domestic production and import?
– Who are the main competitors in this market?
– What is the growth possible of the market?
– How strong are they in comparison to you?
– What is the import duty structure for your product?
– Is there any motive obtainable to you from your country
for exporting this product?
Answers to these questions will give you enough facts to
compare the markets you have chosen for assessment. While
taking final decision on export market, don’t forget to
study the business and social cultures of the specific
country. This could be an important issue in selecting the
right market for you.
Selling your products
Once you targeted the market you would like to pursue, you
next step is to start selling your products to that market.
There are several marketing options obtainable for you to
Hire an export trading house from your country
The advantage, if you find right export trading house, is
the experience and knowledge the company may have. The
draw back is they might not be interested in your products,
and if they do, you have to pay a major proportion from your
sales to them as their commission.
Find a distributor in the targeted market to sell your
This is, no doubt, a very good option. However, finding
a good distributor for a product which does not have a
proven track record of sale in the market won’t be that
Sell products to customers from targeted market directly
Initially, you might have to stick to this option only.
B2B exchanges and emarketplaces from the targeted market
can be a good place to start your venture.
Here are the steps you need to take if you would like to
sell your products by E-marketplaces.
1. Seek out the largest emarketplace for the country of
your choice.You should consider both vertical and
2. Register with them.
3. Create a Web Site, if you don’t have however, in the local
4. Add your products to the e-catalog of the emarketplaces.
5. Post your products for sale to the marketplace.
6. Post frequent sell trade leads.
7. Search for companies interested to by products similar
to yours and contact them.
International trade business, same like any other business
requires months, sometimes already several years, to bring
expected profit. Aggressive use of the Internet will help
you unprotected to your goal with lesser investment and faster