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Overseas opportunities for your small business

China’s rising middle class and increasing levels of disposable income flowing through its economy are driving new levels of online sales and savvy Australian businesses are preparing strategies to capitalise on this.

Australian products are often in high demand across Asia due to their authenticity, high quality and the market’s positive perception of Australian brands and producers. As the market grows and new technologies improve the channels available for Australian brands to connect with Chinese customers, it seems as though there has never been a better time for Aussie retailers to make international eCommerce plans.

 

Key markets

While traditional markets such as North America and Europe are still lucrative for online sellers, the size of the Asia Pacific online retail market is growing rapidly. According to a forecast from research and advisory firm Forrester in 2016, the Asia Pacific eCommerce market will reach US$1.4 trillion by 2020; the size of this market will nearly double within only a few years from its current size of over US$733 billion. The rate of growth is extreme and the number of potential new customers for businesses operating in this space is undeniably large.

Traditionally, tariffs on imports have hampered efforts of Australian exporters trying to break into foreign markets. But with Australia’s recent free trade agreements with China, Korea and Japan, these price barriers are starting to break down. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) which came into force in December 2015 has the potential to unlock significant opportunities for Australian business.

But cost to market isn’t the only barrier that Australian retailers face. There are also the nitty gritty details of international logistics and marketing to this new customer audience.

 

Reaching customers

When deciding to set up an eCommerce business for the Chinese market, many business-owners may find that translating an online store into several different languages and relying on organic reach is a costly and difficult way to access foreign markets.

Instead, more Australian businesses are gaining access to millions of customers in foreign markets through online marketplaces that are already operating in these regions with existing audiences and relevant technological infrastructure. These marketplaces are often specific to one national context and as a result are extremely successful.

For most Australian businesses, managing accounts on several different marketplaces in several different languages is simply out of the question. The time and cost to keep up-to-date with the work involved is overwhelming for many, so it makes sense for business owners to find partners to help them access those markets.

 

Finding partners

Most small business owners would likely prefer to spend more time developing and producing their products, than dealing with eCommerce platforms and logistics. For Australian online retailers looking for an end-to-end solution to access overseas markets, Australia Post can help to nurture business growth by finding customers and managing online sales.

 

Visit auspost.com.au/smallbusiness to find out how Australia Post could help your business sell overseas.