International retail tips for Christmas 2016

International retail tips
International retail tips

Christmas is the biggest retail event of the year and one which UK exporters should definitely do more to make the most of. Andy Geldman, from online community Web Retailer, told us you should expect your international sales to go ‘through the roof’ if you’re selling a niche product with ‘broad global appeal’.

The caveat to this is that you probably wouldn’t expect the same increase if your product has little domestic appeal or if it isn’t particularly suitable to being sold as a gift. While Christmas can be an excellent opportunity for many exporters, as with anything, you need to evaluate whether this opportunity applies to your own business.

And take an international outlook too. Looking at your product from the perspective of Christmas shoppers around the world can significantly broaden your market. For example, for a UK flip flop manufacturer Christmas in the UK is probably not particularly fruitful; in Australia it’s the season to jollily sell your product.

So how do you go about finding international festive interest in your product and how do you make the most of it? As ever, research is vital – tools like Terapeak, which provides historical eBay sales data for your goods, can help you determine where and when your product is getting international demand.

You’ve also got to make sure you’re found by customers online by optimising your digital marketing. As director of consultancy Grow Global Sarah Carroll told us, ‘review your content descriptions, meta tags, titles and any Pay Per Click keywords’ and give them seasonal tweaks – ‘reindeer flip flops’ could be a productive phrase for the Australian market for example.

Don’t forget that it’s essential that you can get your product delivered on time for Christmas Day – or whatever the day families exchange presents in your target country is. DHL told us that you should include your final order dates for delivery, allowing you to fulfil orders on time and to make yourself more attractive to last-minute shoppers.

There are many things to consider when exporting at Christmas – many of which you can find in our guide to Xmas retail. Indeed there are many international festivals all year round which present exporters with similarly great opportunities - you can read more about those in our 12 step guide to ecommerce events.

As ever with exporting, the most important thing to do is plan – prepare for the entire export process from manufacture to marketing to delivery to getting paid. Check out our free articles, webinars and Export Action Plan tool to get started putting your goods below a Christmas tree somewhere exotic this year.