Do you have a product that you want to sell internationally? If the local market is saturated and you are looking to branch out, or there is increasing demand for your product abroad, you might be wondering how to go about reaching an international market.
Whether you are manufacturing locally with the intent to sell abroad, or importing to sell in the export market, here are a few easy ways to sell your product:
1. List on business-to-business web trading portals
The easiest way to expose your product to a large potential audience is by listing it on a business-to-business (B2B) web trading portal.
These portals connect buyers from across the globe by allowing them to showcase their products online. There are numerous trusted websites that allow you to list your product according to category and country.
These portals usually stipulate large minimum order quantities, which make them an excellent option if you would like to sell your products in bulk. Some of the top B2B trading portals include:
- Global Sources
- Import Export Platform
- MFG Trade
Note: One potential pitfall of using online trading portals is high competition – there can be hundreds of sellers competing for the same target market. In order to increase your chances of getting noticed, you could advertise your product on an industry-specific trading platform.
Doing so increases your likelihood of attracting customers interested in products your industry has to offer. Simply Google your industry name followed by the words ‘B2B platform’ to find suitable options.
2. Exhibit at international trade shows
An excellent way to reach a large number of potential buyers is to exhibit your products at international trade shows. Along with showcasing your products in a live setting, trade shows also provide the unique opportunity to interact with buyers face-to-face.
This allows you to network and establish trust before engaging in a business transaction. Trade shows tend to be industry-specific, which means you can target shows that best align with your product category.
The South African government offers several funding options for exporters wanting to attend trade shows.
Funding can typically include assistance with exhibition space rental, stand constructions, sample transport, airfares, subsistence allowances, and other exhibition fees. You can contact the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for detailed information about funding.
3. Visit or invite potential buyers
If you wish to target a specific buyer, you can make use of the South African government’s funding scheme to either visit a potential buyer in their home country, or host a potential buyer in South Africa.
This allows the potential buyer to build a relationship with you and get to know more about your business before committing.
The government funding scheme typically covers expenses such as flights, subsistence allowances, and car rentals when hosting international buyers, and flights, subsistence allowances, promotional material transport, marketing material development, and product registration in foreign markets when visiting potential buyers.
It is important to note that applications for funding should be made well in advance. You can contact the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for detailed information about funding.
4. Advertise in e-Magazines
Several industries publish weekly, monthly, or quarterly online trade magazines to inform readers of the latest industry trends and news.
These magazines serve to keep readers up to date with progress and innovation in their industry (which is ideal if you want to introduce a new or improved product to the market). You can contact trade magazines specific to your industry to find out about their advertising rates and processes.
Online avenues and government incentives make it easier than ever before to sell products internationally. With a bit of research and some careful planning to tailor your selling strategy to your desired international target audience, you can set yourself up for success in the international market.