Expanding Your DTC Business Globally: Overcoming Common Growing Pains and Seizing the Opportunity
Success & Copycat Competitors
Paradoxically, as DTC businesses look to stand out from the crowd, they resort to best branding and marketing practices from within their markets. Copycat competitors take over successful tone-of-voices, brand identities, web lay-outs and marketing campaigns. The result: DTC brands adopting similar looks and feels, thereby losing their uniqueness. It’s the biggest unforeseen challenge for D2C brands today.
Particularly for brands achieving success in the DTC space, it’s critical to keep momentum as you grow. With the increasingly interconnected global economy, a rising number of companies are considering the potential of expanding their operations beyond their local markets. But such ambitions do not come without its challenges. This article provides an all-in-one solution for most (if not all) of such hurdles to long-term success. But this article goes a step further: Even if your brand is not experiencing any significant growth (yet), you will still want to find out about the opportunities presented below. That is, if you seek to grow your customer-base and strengthen your global brand presence this year.
- Global expansion is the process of bringing your business operations overseas to new markets.
- The opportunity is now – the markets in CIS countries are emerging. There is a lack of supply while demands are high. Entering these countries this year instantly opens up your brand to untapped markets.
- Outsourcing your brand’s expansion process not only helps save time and money in the present, but also avoids problems related to scaling further in the future.
Growing pains and how to solve them effectively
The DTC space is highly competitive. With platforms such as Shopify, practically anyone can start their own brand. The rapid growth of the DTC industry is forcing founders to spend large amounts on marketing- just to set their brands apart. And let’s be honest; brand originality has proven to be challenging to uphold. Brand identities blur as best practices are adopted by others. And since many DTC brands compete for limited eyeballs, customer acquisition costs rise even further.
Common growing pains your brand could face (if not faced already):
- Difficulty scaling in a competitive market;
- The uphill battle of finding growth drivers and timely executing them;
- Too much time spent on managing logistics;
- Last-mile delivery inefficiencies as you scale;
- High shipping costs;
- High CAC;
- Troubles with seamless integrations between eCommerce platform and order management system, thereby disrupting the communication flow of information
Has your brand experienced one or more of these challenges? Then you’ve probably sought answers on the web. Common solutions presented online include improving your product, rethinking your marketing strategies and putting more emphasis on customer care. If you read about these solutions, it means your competitors are already pouring their blood, sweat and tears into improving those aspects. What if there is another solution that almost literally embodies ‘’thinking outside the box’’?
You have probably heard of the concept of global expansion before. Simply put in a business context: Taking business operations from one market to another. This entails transferring/setting up supply chains, eCommerce fulfilment frameworks, marketing, customer support and essentially every component required to run your business in the new target market. By choosing to expand your product range to untapped markets, there is no need to fine-tune your offering, double down on marketing or stress about what sets you apart from the rest. Stick to what you do, but do it elsewhere.
Expanding to emerging markets is a logical next step for your business, particularly when business growth exceeds borders. There is little to no competition in emerging markets, which instantly makes you a market leader. Apart from increased sales, you’re strengthening your brand presence worldwide as you place your products in front of foreign target groups. Increased international credibility leads to increased customers and thus creates access to a global market share.
Expanding to the CIS countries – untapped potential
As the competition in tier-1 countries like Germany and the United States is fierce and media prices soar, now is the time to look east and conquer new and emerging markets. Apart from the factors pushing DTC brands out of the West, there are numerous pull factors that make the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) so appealing for business:
- The Baltics are conveniently located between Europe and Asia with easy access to numerous untapped markets.
- Kazakhstan, located on the Silk Road and positioned as a hub for companies seeking to enter the Central Asian markets, represents 50 million consumers. The lucrative opportunities in various sectors are plenty.
- Countries like Latvia, Estonia and Uzbekistan are home to highly educated and multilingual workforces, making them ideal locations for businesses looking to grow internationally.
- Stable political and economic environments with a strong commitment to the rule of law and transparent business practices.
- Many CIS countries boast pro-business policies & competitive tax rates, making it a smart choice for companies looking to thrive. These growing economies offer endless opportunities in various industries that are ready to scale.
- Relatively low costs and ease of establishing a business.
- Perhaps the biggest draw of the CIS countries is their strong connectivity to the rest of Europe. With excellent transportation and communication systems in place, it’s easy for businesses to establish and grow their operations across the CIS countries.
With a combined population of over 230 million consumers, the CIS countries offer an excellent opportunity for your brand to expand.
You don’t have to do this alone
Deciding to expand to target markets is one thing, but getting it done is an entirely different beast. There is much to consider and an ocean of work to be done to facilitate such an expansion. Think of matters related to the workforce, compliance with local laws, warehousing, and logistics, let alone language barriers and cultural differences.
Such time and money-consuming arrangements are unavoidable.
Fortunately, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Your business need not be located in your target market for global expansion to make sense; even having affiliates can benefit your company’s bottom line and increase sales. In fact, teaming up with local partners enables you to pass all the ‘dirty work’ to a third party that knows precisely how to handle the process, allowing you to enter a new target market effectively.
Unpopular opinion: being risk averse shouldn’t be a barrier to business growth.
Choosing to outsource your brand’s global expansion is not only the safer option, but the most efficient option. If you can choose between the hard or the easy way, where the easy way yields better results – why choose the hard way?
Filuet: The Marco Polo for direct-selling brands
For a global expansion to be a success, it’s essential to have local know-how.
For over 2 decades, Filuet has helped major DTC brands enter and succeed in Eurasian markets. We have a presence in more than 17 markets, with a collective population of 300+ million potential end-consumers. Our 360-degree solutions give you an array of plug-and-play options that cut your market penetration costs, save time and, well, win you more business. From logistics to payment processing, Filuet serves as your one-stop-shop, enabling you to hit the ground running with minimum risks. Simply put, we help you do what you do best by outsourcing the rest.
Ready to expand your customer base?
- Visit our website www.filuet.com to learn more about how we can help your business take the leap cross-border.
- Feel free to ask any questions on scaling your business. We are here to remove your doubts.
- We also do free consultations to explore how we can help you succeed globally. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org