Developing Your Export Import Business Using Internet – Part I

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

business online.

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

following criteria:

– You have been handling this product for local market for

several years

– You have complete confidence in the quality of the product

– The value of the product matches or exceeds the imported

similar ones

– 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

choose from:

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

horizontal marketplaces.

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


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