Few online businesses limit themselves to the local market yet in venturing into the international market, all are faced with challenging issues.

Feedling a fish with a  carrot‘Feeding a fish with a carrot.’ Doesn’t really makes sense does it? Feeding a rabbit with a carrot would seem to be a sentence more grounded in reality. Anyway, let’s leave that aside for the moment (it’ll make sense later) and get to what we’re trying to say here. Now, ask any online business today whether they would like to get their hands on the international market and they’ll probably say, “What an unnecessary question that is!�?

Ask them if they would want to reach 180 countries, they will very likely say, “Who doesn’t?�?

Few online businesses limit themselves to the local market yet in venturing into the international market, all are faced with challenging issues. Below are some points that will help you see some of those issues.

What’s the world’s most widely spoken language?

If you say it’s English without any second thoughts and therefore believe that’s the language that will solve all your problems, well, you’re half-right. You may however, want to give the Long tail model a chance to explain to you that you will need other languages to capture untapped markets. See, estimates of English speakers around the world vary from 275 million to 450 million, while Spanish number from 150 to over 300 million, Hindi speakers are projected to be around 150 to 350 million, and Russian from 150 to 180 million.

So yeah, English is maybe the language that most people around the globe speak, but there are substantial numbers of other languages that online businesses must consider in their endeavors to reach the international market.

What is Google?

To an American, Google is a household name for search engines. While in Korea, Google’s Korean-language search service makes up only less than 2% of search page views and search-related ad revenues. Makes you wonder if it’s the same Google!

Americans consider flash and graphic objects in a website as being superfluous and ostentatious. Its pictures and rich interfaces serve only as distractions rather than aids to them, and most times they would be better suited just to use the old fashioned and simple-looking alphabets to form words for communication. Strength in simplicity would seem to be their preferred modus operandi.

However, it has been noted that in the Asian culture there is a predilection in using ‘characters’ or graphic representation of words to communicate. As such, a powerful search engine like Google would not seem as promising to some simply because of its primitive and unsophisticated look. Talk about being worlds apart!

Not everyone is savvy

Language is not the only barrier that you have to cross. You may think that you’re reaching your target audience with the media that you’ve chosen. But don’t overlook the fact that there can be things that can be overlooked.

Like under-developed nations who are not as IT-savvy as others are or young people who may be using your system but have no clue whatsoever as to how to upload a system. Or maybe for some, English isn’t a mother tongue and certain systems may have to be simpler in its use of the language for them to understand. They may not also be familiar with jargons and terminologies associated with the system.

We believe the key is in various elements. One is coming up with a good keyword; a simple yet effective step that can help a lot. Another is the development of a simpler system that is able to be enhanced gradually with time.

With all that, you may just be able to feed a fish with a carrot!