Guidelines for commercial repositioning in global markets
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The commercial scenario has been reduced by the containment efforts of COVID-19. Yet, now that some countries and territories are starting to ease their restrictive measures, companies may see new opportunities, especially if they embrace a more global vision. The goal of this guide is to support you in preparing your company to look further afield, to new markets, and to explore new ways to prepare for international trade in a time of global recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge repercussions on trade, worldwide. If you are considering new markets, the first step is to prepare your business. Develop resilience where you need it, reorganize to be more flexible and choose reliable service providers. This situation won't last forever, so stay focused on your long-term plans, including introducing those operational changes in import/export or supplier network that you were already anticipating before the emergency. The COVID-19 has hit some countries and territories harder than others and the imposition and relaxation of restrictive measures travel at different rates from country to country. If you want to steer your import or export activities towards alternative markets, focusing on those where trade enjoys greater freedom could be a good strategy.
One of the countries that have recently loosened its restrictions to attempt a return to normality is China. The International Monetary Fund predicts that in 2020 China and other emerging economies will experience less severe economic contraction than developed countries and a stronger recovery in 2021.
One of the easiest ways to become a global exporter is to activate an online sales channel, an operation that requires careful and effective strategies that can work in target markets. Do you need to translate your website, or offer new delivery options to meet the preferences of a different audience? And how do customers in the target market make their purchases online? If your target market is China, for example, it may be preferable to rely on an established online platform rather than launching your own site, at least.
Boost your infrastructure
Expanding your business into new markets could lead to an expansion of your central infrastructure to meet new demands. This could include extending customer service schedules, for example, or hiring staff with certain language skills. If you need to import larger volumes of raw materials to meet higher demand, consider whether your existing suppliers can meet your needs or whether it is better to find new partners. This will also reduce the risks to your supply chain, especially if you import from many countries or regions. In view of the uncertainty surrounding global trade due to COVID-19, this may be something to consider. Besides your import structure, your distribution structure also needs to be adequate, because you may find yourself handling returns or repairs from more distant territories than usual.
It can be difficult to understand foreign markets in-depth, so it is advisable to get as much knowledge as possible to position your company and your proposal in the most effective way. Take into account any specific ways of communicating with companies and customers in other markets, any nuances or specificities of the products particularly appreciated by local customers, and assess whether you are able to meet them as they expect.
The uncertainty that still characterizes the global recovery after the emergence of the COVID-19 requires the greatest responsiveness to any company involved in international trade. Keep up to date with developments in the global situation (our customers can do so by following the service updates on our Service News page) and consider measures to enable you to take rapid action if problems or opportunities arise. Another appropriate choice could be to increase your stock or raw material reserves or import smaller but more frequent volumes. Also, consider where to locate your warehouse: would it be better to act in established foreign markets to react to demand, or in a local location from which to ship to destination markets in case of need?