Go-To Skincare: Winning customers worldwide

Sep 11 2019 | PayPal editorial staff

Whether taking on international markets is an imminent move, a longer-term pipe dream, or something your business is already doing, there are a few key tips to ensure it’s smooth sailing (across any seas).
We caught up with Leonie Faddy from Go-To Skincare who shares her insights into international expansion.

Why go global?

For businesses thinking of expanding overseas, the move into international territories may be driven by customer demand providing natural momentum into new markets.

For other businesses, it could be a more strategic way to capitalise on seasonal sales ‘spikes’, such as Christmas time. But in any case, a deep understanding of the region, due diligence, organisational readiness and budget preparation are all crucial.

A Go-To success story

For Australian skincare company Go-To-Skincare, meeting a simple customer need, coupled with lofty goals, helped catapult the business to international success.

“Our customers are looking for natural skincare that isn’t confusing, expensive or complicated. And we reckon that’s a universal want,” says Marketing and Communications Director, Leonie Faddy. “Our goal is to have all our products available everywhere.

“We have been shipping internationally from our direct-to-consumer (DTC) website since its April 1 launch over four years ago (and if you think launching on April Fool’s Day was coincidental, you’d be wrong!).

“We have established markets worldwide. Our biggest international markets are in New Zealand (which is where Go-To products are formulated).
“This month, after a lot of thought and work, we launched a separate US DTC website that ships directly from the USA.” 

Growth through social channels 

A strong online following, thanks to the profile of the business’ founder Zoe Foster-Blake, as well as her (and the brand’s) witty humour, has meant communication is all online, through social media.

“We live in a digital world (it’s warm here!). Go-To has an incredible bunch of engaged and loyal followers. And most of the time, it’s our customers spruiking the brand through social media and word of mouth. We never take this for granted.

“Additionally, we work with some very clever agencies to introduce Go-To to new, international customers.”

Ensure your m-Commerce is up to speed (literally)

Over 72% of Australians shop on mobile, according to the latest PayPal mCommerce Index. And the trend towards mobile commerce is shared by a majority of markets all over the world. Mobile and tablet online purchasing is growing and approaching nearly half of all purchase volumes in some of the world’s most populated countries, such as the US and China. 

So, if you’re looking to attract customers no matter where in the world they are, it’s crucial to ensure mobile site design is simple, adaptable, accessible (use large fonts), and minimises data entry (e.g. the ability to scan rather than input credit card details). 

For Go-To, the majority of customers browse and complete transactions on a mobile. There’s also an Australian app, with plans to bring an app to US customers next year. “Our social media channels are busy beasts and send customers to the website – we cannot afford not to have a fresh mobile site,” says Leonie.  

Give overseas customers the best shopping experience

From browsing to delivery, giving all customers a fantastic user experience is important for building strong retention, satisfaction and trustworthiness.

For Go-To Skincare this means “Speed! Faultless shipping! Splendid customer service! Fun interactions! If we get these right, the rest will follow,” says Leonie. “And we put a lot of time into getting them right.

“We make sure these elements are present throughout the entire customer experience, regardless of a customer's location. That is our core – and then cos’ we’re generous geezers, we thrive on delighting our customers with special gifts.”

Seamless payments, delivery and logistics 

The nuts and bolts of expanding overseas also requires due diligence, planning and solid strategy. When it comes to payments, accepting a range of payment options can help appeal to a broad audience and tailor to their needs.

“We choose to have a range of payment options,” says Leonie. “Every customer is different and if we can give them payment options to suit their lifestyle, bring it on.” 

Finally, for shipping and logistics, it’s important to research local providers. If shipping from Australia, AusPost can help with international markets and commercial solutions.

“We use a 3PL (third party logistics) warehouse within the USA and this ensures that we can guarantee fast, tracked shipping within the US,” says Leonie. “For rest of world and outer space orders we ship via our in-house, very diligent warehouse.”

Scoping out next steps

If you’re thinking of exploring your business’s overseas potential, a great first port of call is Austrade, which helps Australian businesses by providing information about local market and industry trends, introductions to potential international partners, or referrals to service providers.

PayPal’s Passport can also help you to discover trade trends, understand customs and be aware of taboos in certain countries you might be considering expanding into.

It’s never too early to plan ahead  

If your business is planning international expansion to coincide with peak shopping periods, putting the wheels in motion 12 months ahead is an ordinary timeframe.
“We start planning our Christmas offering around November the year before, and have it finalised by August,” says Leonie. “This allows for production, shipping, photo shoots and reindeer recruitment.”

In all seriousness, for those considering an expansion abroad, planning for a busy period – whenever that may be – is paramount. And even more so when there are partnerships with other retailers or stockists involved. “As we move towards working with some key retailers (we have just launched with Sephora USA) this planning will become even more important.”
Moving into international markets isn’t an easy task, but with the right planning, processes, m-commerce and user experience, it will be a little less daunting.
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The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial and legal advice before making any business decision.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.