Exporting products to the Netherlands or abroad? A step abroad is easy with a webshop. Belgium is interesting because of the language, but Germany or the United Kingdom are also interesting countries because of the trade. There are differences in language and culture, for example. Not understanding the language and culture creates a distance between you and the target audience of that country. Do you want to export with your webshop abroad or import goods to the Netherlands? Then this article might be something for you where we can discuss trade with your online store abroad.
Webshop: Import and export
Trading with your online store abroad also means import and export. Export is not unknown in the Netherlands. For example, the Netherlands is in the top 10 largest export countries. But the Netherlands is also doing very well when it comes to imports. More and more products are coming from China to the Netherlands. It is therefore not surprising that the port of Rotterdam is one of the largest ports in the world. Due to its central location, economic stability in the Netherlands and the rules of the government, more and more companies are choosing to trade with other countries. For example, the import and export of goods can lead to a higher turnover. But what do you pay attention to when importing and exporting goods with neighboring countries?
Import or export goods with Germany
In 2018 exports to Germany accounted for almost a quarter of the total export value of goods. This makes Germany the largest trading partner with the Netherlands. Both on import and export. It is therefore not surprising that more and more online stores are choosing to expand into Germany. Especially the export of food such as meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy and eggs are popular with the eastern neighbors. But also, among other things, office equipment and electrical appliances. While the Netherlands is again importing cars and household appliances from Germany.
When trading with Germany, it is important to understand that, in addition to language, there is also a difference in culture. For example, Germans like to work with clear rules and procedures. While this is less in the Netherlands or the United States. Clear communication about the procedures, expectations and what you expect from the customer or target group is therefore essential. There is also a big difference in the form of speaking. It may seem like minor differences, but it does create a distance between you and the German target group. It is therefore not advisable to just translate the texts and choose for a German translation agency.
Trading abroad: Communication
Whether it concerns Germany, Belgium, China, the United Kingdom or the United States, trading with your online store abroad requires extra attention. Especially in the field of communication. Because setting up a webshop is relatively easy nowadays, the competition is very high. Extra attention in the form of communication to approach the customer is therefore important. Because how else do you stand out from the many web shops?
In order to attract the attention of the customer abroad, you therefore need to understand the language and culture of that country. As mentioned earlier, there are differences between German and Dutch when it comes to addressing customers. In Dutch, you choose the form of communication that suits your target group.
Export abroad: Approach customer
If you want to know how to address your target group in a specific country, you should research this. What are the communication characteristics of the country and how can I approach my customer abroad? So do not translate the texts yourself, but have your texts translated by a professional translation agency. They have experience and are certified in translating texts. They use native speakers for translation. They know better than anyone how the language works and what does and does not work. This way you can be sure that you can approach your customer with your texts. This way, this customer abroad gets the same experience as your customer in your country.
Useful tips for marketing
If you want to sell your products in another country, an important step is to translate your online store. If you fully translate your webshop, you will automatically see that you will be easier to find in the specific country.
However, it is important to have some minor changes done by a specialist. For example, you have to take into account that you link the web shops in multiple languages with the help of a “canonical”. As a result, the search engines know that it is the same company and that it is a translated page that must be easier to find in the foreign search engine.
Another important aspect that you should consider carefully is the structure of your online store. You want to be found well in England with your English webshop, but you want to be well found in Germany with your German webshop. The choice for your structure is important. For example, do you opt for a .de and .uk domain name? Or do you choose to communicate everything from a .com and with an underlying folder structure, such as .com / de or .com / uk.
Both variants have advantages and disadvantages. The most common situation is to opt for a full domain name (TLD), such as .de or .uk. This choice has many advantages, including reliability and the best choice for the longer term. The disadvantage of this structure is that there is a lot of work to be done to make them findable, so you don’t have to expect much from them in the short term. The store has to be completely rebuilt for the specific country and this entails a lot of extra work. The folder structure, on the other hand, benefits from your current online store. This allows you to score much faster in the short term, but you will benefit less in the longer term. If you have a new online store anyway, a separate domain name is of course the ideal choice. Important parts to think about carefully and not to make abrupt choices.