4 Ways to Reach New Audiences With Cross-Border Business – Adweek

By Clément Schvartz, Head of Mid-Market Sales
People have always been drawn to discovering shopping opportunities beyond their national borders. The difference is that, today, it’s possible to discover and purchase products around the world in an instant—with the tap of a finger. And thanks to advancements in technology, people are experiencing moments of global discovery online through their mobile phones without the need to travel.
According to Ipsos’s “Global Retail Re-emerge Study,” commissioned by Meta, 41% of people who buy items online from other countries shop for items that are less expensive than what they can find in their home countries. Around one third of these shoppers are in the mindset of discovery, hoping to find new and interesting products. This consumer behavior has resulted in international business growth, with the global cross-border commerce opportunity expected to reach $156 trillion in 2022.
Cross-border shopping also presents benefits to businesses—gaining access to larger addressable markets, achieving economies of scale across the value chain and diversifying their risks. For Christian Scott, vp of global marketing at Blenders Eyewear, the benefits of international marketing are clear. “Launching international marketing initiatives drove business impact much more quickly than anticipated last year,” he said. “We were able to outpace our goals, and international markets became a key strategy to diversify our revenue streams.”
While beneficial, expanding operations, marketing and sales across borders can introduce new complexities for a business. To mitigate these, take advantage of cross-border opportunities and spark product discovery in more places, leveraging technology effectively is crucial.
Increasingly, customers around the globe are looking to discover new products online. In fact, 60% of online shoppers surveyed globally in a 2020 Meta-commissioned study said that they purchase products because they happen to come across them unexpectedly while browsing. This is a phenomenon called discovery commerce.
For customers, this experience feels serendipitous, but behind the scenes, marketers are driving discovery across borders through the following four key technology strategies.
Using machine learning for personalized marketing: Machine learning is the engine behind personalized marketing, automating the process of matching products with people most likely to love them—across geographies. Even with a broad international audience, businesses can reach the most relevant people, regardless of where they are located and what motivates them to make a purchase
Localizing content for meaningful connections: Once you find your ideal customers, localized content can help you build deeper connections with them. According to the Ipsos study, 55% of people prefer ads on social media to reflect their country’s culture. This goes further than just translating text in social ads. It’s about working with partners to develop a variety of creative outputs based on customers’ diverse motivations.
Building frictionless shopping journeys: Removing friction points from a shopping journey makes it easier for customers to decide to make a purchase. This is particularly important when someone is considering buying and shipping a product from another country.
In a recent Ipsos survey, customers highlighted multiple factors that they deemed very important when making a purchase decision from another country: delivery tracking (78%), reasonable shipping time (76%), easy return and refunds (76%), and multiple payment methods (71%).
Measuring for outcomes by regions: Measuring what matters makes a difference as you navigate the complexities of reaching international audiences. It’s not enough to measure the last click, share or even view-through—you need to measure the holistic customer experience. ​
This can include measuring the lift of a campaign to assess whether there was an incremental increase in conversions when you focused marketing on certain regions. Testing and learning will help you sharpen and evolve your global expansion strategy further.
Leading our partnership with thousands of brands at Meta, I frequently see advertisers reach new audiences successfully when expanding across borders. A recent case in point is Lumin, a Los Angeles-based men’s skincare brand. Lumin wanted to boost sales in a new market while optimizing campaign costs and improving performance. So, the brand tested its Meta ads in Mexico, a new market for Lumin, in addition to its traditional markets. Lumin saw a 40% decrease in cost per website purchase and 62% decrease in cost per landing page view when it expanded its marketing to Mexico.
The internet has led to a democratization of access to global commerce, providing anyone with the tools to create and publish content, set up an online storefront, and accept payments in a number of currencies. Now businesses can more easily reach the people who need them, wherever they are in the world.
By harnessing the power of discovery commerce and technology across borders, you can reach new audiences and drive incremental sales. The world is waiting for your business. For more info on how to expand your business to new markets, visit the Meta Cross-Border Business page.
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