Cross-border marketing strategies and their impact on conversions

With global retail e-commerce sales expected to see an annual compound growth rate of 9.83% through 2028, cross-border marketing has become an essential strategy for e-commerce brands eyeing growth.1

Though social media strategies can help, successful cross-border marketing remains a complex challenge for many businesses, especially as they expand to new markets.

From understanding local consumer behaviors to adapting marketing tactics for unique cultural contexts, here are some considerations when building your global marketing strategy.

How global marketing challenges impact cross-border conversions

In the face of economic uncertainty, many organizations have doubled down on growth and marketing investments. In fact, 36% of CMOs say their top priority is expanding into new markets, geographies, and segments.2

But when businesses explore cross-border marketing at first, they may face barriers that impact conversion rates. Here are some examples:

  • Challenges catering to local needs. Whether it’s product offerings that misalign with local trends or implementing a global payment processing system that doesn’t support popular regional payment methods, failure to address these variations can result in lost conversions.
  • Limited resources for a global content strategy. Companies must present themselves as credible and authentic to resonate with the local audience. While content translation has become more accessible, the nuances behind certain words matter — and any inaccuracies or cultural insensitivities can lead to misunderstandings.
  • Complex logistics and fulfillment needs. Inadequate international shipping options or poor customer service can harm brand perception and customer loyalty.

For example, take the portable blender business BlendJet. With the convenience and security of PayPal, BlendJet increased conversions among international shoppers. Today, transactions with PayPal represent more than 30% of BlendJet’s total sales.

Market research is key to unlocking international growth

Market research is vital in preempting and addressing the challenges of global expansion before they escalate into significant issues. Think of international brands that seamlessly blend into your environment — how have they adapted their strategies to accommodate local conditions?

In your global market research, focus on:

  • Local preferences. Understand the specific tastes, habits, and needs of consumers in each market.
  • Cultural nuances. Pay attention to local customs, traditions, and social norms. This includes significant cultural symbols, local holidays, and appropriate communication styles.
  • Logistical constraints. Assess the availability and reliability of local supply chains, shipping options, and infrastructure.
  • Challenges faced by competitors. If your business is not the first in a new market, analyzing the challenges faced by competitors can provide valuable insights into pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to capture.

Next, use your market research to support global market segmentation efforts. By segmenting markets geographically, businesses can tailor their strategies and offerings to each region's unique characteristics, allowing for a more efficient and effective international rollout.

Cross-border marketing strategies to consider

Before expanding into new international markets, here are some cross-border marketing strategies to consider:

  • Use culturally relevant channels. Adapt your marketing mix to align with the channels that are most effective in your target markets, whether it’s certain social media platforms, search engines, or local online communities.
  • Find personalization opportunities. Beyond customer names, tailor the customer experience based on location, browsing behavior, and purchase history.
  • Localize your website. Every aspect of your website — including the shopping cart, checkout process, legal disclaimers, and customer support contact information — should be fully localized.
  • Create multilingual content. This includes blog posts, videos, social media updates, and any other marketing materials.
  • Have a mobile-first approach. Approximately 60% of all global e-commerce sales come from mobile devices, so optimize your website and marketing campaigns for smaller screens.3
  • Consider local SEO. Improve your online visibility by optimizing your website for local search engines and adding keywords that are relevant to each specific market.
  • A/B test your marketing. Leverage A/B testing to see which website elements, landing pages, and marketing materials resonate best with each region.
  • Monitor key metrics. Keep a close eye on conversion rates, bounce rates, engagement metrics, and customer feedback.

Optimize your global marketing efforts with PayPal’s help

Navigating the complexities of global marketing can be daunting, with factors like localization, personalization, and mobile optimization at play. But there are certain tools available that can make this undertaking achievable.

For example, PayPal offers comprehensive global enterprise solutions. With 76% of PayPal users saying they trust PayPal to make purchases from another country, it's clear that integrating a payment solution known for its security and convenience can boost consumer confidence and facilitate smoother cross-border transactions.4

Learn more about PayPal’s international payment solutions.

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