How to attract international shoppers

Last updated on May 20, 2024

Retail is becoming increasingly global. Our latest global shopper sentiment report highlighted that more than ever, consumers across the world want full control over how and where they shop. Where does that leave retailers? With the daunting task of creating a strategy to attract and retain an international customer base. So, how do you attract international shoppers? By going back to the basics. We have broken it down into six simple steps. Let’s get started, shall we?  

1. Understand your target market  

Think of your target market as your core customer base. It is unlikely that you have one typical customer, so group them into segments of like-minded customers by using demographics such as age, gender, occupation, income level (if you can take an educated guess), affordability and lifestyle. This will help you understand how you can meet the needs and motivations of each target segment.  

2. Optimise your online presence

Get the basics right. Design a website for your target audience. Invest in SEO to improve your website’s organic visibility in search engines used by your target market, such as Baidu in China and Google in the UK. Promote your brands on the most appropriate social media networks and local directories. Forty-three per cent of customers learn about new products via social posts, and sixty-six per cent of customers will purchase something after seeing a social media post.

3. Leverage digital marketing

Use the AIDA model to create digital marketing tactics that will take your target market through the stages of awareness, interest, desire and action (a sale). The wonderful thing about digital marketing is that it comes with data. Be sure to analyse your results. And try to beat your best-performing tactics through marginal gains.  

4. Provide excellent customer service

Create a customer service strategy that offers your target customers what they really want. If you operate physical retail channels, ensure that your staff are well briefed and that there is consistency between offline and online customer service.  

Include frequently asked questions on your website and make it clear how customers can contact you. If you are offering live chat to an international audience, then make sure you have the resources to cover language preferences and time differences.  

5. Offer Tax Free shopping and Currency Conversion (DCC)

International shoppers can shop tax free in almost thirty countries across Europe, Asia, and the UAE.  

Tax free shopping allows shoppers to save money and spend more on luxury items, generating increased sales & revenue for retailers. It is popular. According to research done by Planet, forty-one per cent of international shoppers say that shopping abroad is more appealing because they can save money with tax-free shopping. 

In that very same research, nine out of ten shoppers said that they would pay in their domestic currency using their credit or debit card if presented with that option. This is possible through Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). DCC offers customers the choice to pay in their local currency or their home currency. A great benefit of DCC is that it removes any uncertainty for the shopper, who can decide which payment choice to make, knowing exactly how much they will pay.  

6. Choose a payment solution for a global customer base

Innovation in payments has presented customers with more choice than ever. Planet provides online, unattended and in-person (POS) payment experiences as-well-as multiple payment methods, including credit and debit cards, contactless, chip and pin and mobile wallets such as PayPal, WeChat and AliPay so that your international customers have convenience and choice.  

Point Of Sale payment terminals automatically recognise when a customer is eligible for tax-free shopping or DCC. Planet’s unique tax-free product offers VAT refunds to make the process seamless and reduce point-of-departure queue time.  

With comprehensive training from our team of tax-free shopping experts, Planet are the only payments provider who can combine the power of payments, software and tax-free on a single retail platform, helping you create smooth, cohesive experiences for every international shopper.

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