When you don't speak the language or know the local culture of your target customers, selling to them can be challenging. Reaching customers in foreign markets requires a thorough digital and cultural understanding of the market and that is why Florida-based EnviroKlenz turned to IBT Online to help them launch their brand in Europe and leverage the EU market to their advantage.
Thanks to the Florida Online Global Programs, EnviroKlenz is now equipped with two fully localized, best-practice international and ecommerce enabled websites. Now consumers throughout Europe can find EnviroKlenz’s products easily, learn about their air purifiers and purchase directly from the website.
Read more to learn about the comprehensive strategy that IBT Online implemented to ensure a friction-less customer experience for the local buyer and therefore boost EnviroKlenz's sales as well as credibility throughout Europe. Start your ecommerce journey now!
Watch this video of Leticia Menzzano, Marketing and Brand Specialist at EnviroKlenz discussing the ongoing brand and business growth thanks to the new localized websites all delivered thanks to the Florida Online Global Programs. As Menzzano states: "The IBT Online team helped us, and we see them as a long-term partner. They took the time to understand our long-term goals and gave us solutions to get there."
#1 Identify Your Target Markets
Located in Bonita Springs, Florida, EnviroKlenz built their U.S. brand around patented technology for air purification. As the COVID pandemic spread, there was a greater need for their product worldwide, and they were eager to help those in need. But they didn't know where to start!
EnviroKlenz's marketing team began to research international markets to find out which ones place a significant focus on indoor air quality. They discovered that Europe, specifically the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, and Germany made up the majority of the market share. In fact, demand for air purification solutions was increasing by 8% each year in these regions. There was a lot of potential for their product there!
EnviroKlenz realized they needed a partner with expertise in selling to the European market, and so they decided to invest in the Online Global programs with IBT Online to launch their brand to English-speaking consumers in Europe and German-speaking customers in Germany as Menzzano says: "We needed IBT Online to reach consumers there”. Menzzano admits that her in-house marketing team lacked the expertise to promote their product and connect with potential customers in Europe and Germany.
As cultural and language barriers were high, EnviroKlenz depended on IBT Online to provide guidance and expertise on digital, cultural and law compliance as well as consumer behavior in these foreign markets. "IBT Online provided the international insight into our target markets that we needed to start" says Menzzano. “So we didn't go in blind."
#2 Localized Websites
To reach international customers, your website must serve as a relevant and available resource for those searching for your products or services online. It's very difficult for your international customers to find or understand your U.S.-based website, as it simply doesn’t show up in their searches. So when seeking to grow internationally, it is vital to launch a localized website designed and optimized just for them.
IBT Online created two new localized websites for EnviroKlenz. One for the English-Speaking European audience and another for the German audience. Check out their websites here:
A localized website with ecommerce functionality has important elements including: translation, keyword research, digital and currency compliance, shipping functionality, a top-level domain, and more. Here are just some of the elements below that are required:
Translation: A localized website has content that's been translated into the local language so consumers can learn about your brand and understand what you offer. Consumers prefer to read and think in their native tongue. In fact, more local-language content throughout the customer experience leads to a greater likelihood of purchase. Even though EnviroKlenz was targeting English-speaking consumers in Europe, translation is still required.
Keyword Research: Keyword research is vital for the success of your website because it helps ensure that your content is consistently meeting the needs of the searcher. Keyword research helps define what terms people are searching for, the competitiveness of these keywords, as well as guide your content so as to increase the visibility and ranking of your website. EnviroKlenz was no exception, as they sell a unique product and needed to identify how European consumers would search for this. The IBT Online team therefore adapted their content linguistically and culturally to the target markets, seamlessly integrating colloquial terms and keywords.
Digital & Currency Compliance: Showing the pricing in local currency and offering local payment options is vital to your success internationally. As consumers prefer to read, think and estimate costs in their own currency and language, your website should not be an outlier to this experience. Failure to adapt the purchasing experience to the prospect can create points of friction in their customer journey and dissuade them from purchasing.
The localized website must include prices in the local currency, a round-off pricing that fits the market value, and offer the appropriate payment method.
EnviroKlenz’s two localized websites are set up to be digitally compliant for European buyers, notably, both websites are built using WordPress with the ecommerce plugin WooCommerce, they have built in payment gateways (which allows international payments), the currency, units and VAT are adapted to the market, as well as seamless shipping functionality. Now consumers throughout Europe can find EnviroKlenz’s products easily, learn about the air purifiers and purchase directly from the website.
Top-Level Domain: A localized website is hosted on the local domain of your foreign customers, so it's easier for them to find. Notice the URL endings of EnviroKlenz's new websites: ".eu" and ".de” This is a powerful feature of a localized website that will ensure consumers in Europe and Germany will be able to easily find EnviroKlenz's website. The top-level domains we use in the U.S., ".com" won't show up in European and German web browsers and search engines.
An effective localization strategy takes all of the above elements into account and ensures a much better chance of success in your target markets. As reaching customers in foreign markets requires a thorough digital and cultural understanding of the market you are trying to reach the Online Global programs are designed to launch your localized websites whilst ensure a friction-less customer experience for the local buyer and therefore boosting sales as well as credibility in the market.
As Menzzano states; “It is really important for European consumers to feel like you care for them, the localized websites specifically appeal more to them.”
#3 Launch International Marketing Campaigns
Now that the websites were up and running, EnviroKlenz wanted to jumpstart traffic and sales. They once again relied upon IBT Online’s expertise in the EU market to design and launch targeted marketing campaigns. The objectives of these marketing campaigns included: directing consumers to the websites, ensuring EnviroKlenz is easy to find on social channels and establishing wider brand recognition. Their strategy included a mix of paid social media, Google ads and developing organic reach through social media and blogging.
Again, EnviroKlenz relied upon IBT Online to provide expertise and insight on the local markets. To connect and sell to consumers in Europe and Germany, it's essential to think like them!
- Where do they search online for air purifiers?
- What platforms do they access to buy?
- Where do they go when they have an issue or question about air quality?
"IBT Online showed us where our customers are going" says Menzzano. It turns out that Facebook and Instagram are powerful platforms for connecting with consumers in Europe and Germany. On an ongoing basis, IBT Online develops targeted ad campaigns for these social channels and creates content for EnviroKlenz's social media channels across Europe. As Menzzano says: “IBT Online does all our content for social media. We receive a content calendar and approve or modify it as needed.”
The strategy is clearly working, as Menzzano states: "We've seen a lot of success with ads right now, bringing traffic to the website and we are just getting started!"
The European market can be hard to tackle with so many different languages, resources, digital and cultural differences and distinct user behaviours. A solution to approaching this complexity is to find a partner with expertise in marketing and communicating in your target markets. For EnviroKlenz, partnering with IBT Online is a vital component for the success of their long-term exporting strategy: "The IBT Online team helped us, and we see them as a long-term partner. They took the time to understand our long-term goals and gave us solutions to get there."