Why you need to go local when going global

To stay ahead of the competition many companies seek fame and fortune abroad. But taking a brand global is not without pitfalls. Losing sight of the local angle is one of them.

Companies have long been grappling with the challenge of how to scale internationally while still tuning in to local needs, tastes and customs. The undertaking has even given rise to its own term, “glocalisation,” the concept of selling globally while customising products or services for local markets.

While going local to go global may sound counterintuitive, it’s critical for becoming a global success, according to Camilla Jacobsen, FX specialist at Nordea Markets.

Camilla Jacobsen sitting in a sofa

Camilla Jacobsen at the Copenhagen HQ.

“Taking your business abroad carries the benefits of growing your customer base by tapping into new markets. But companies, whether online or brick-and-mortar, need to factor in local considerations to avoid the pitfalls that come along with diving into new and unknown territory”, she says.

Jacobsen has two pieces of advice for the undertaking:

1. Don’t be shy

Before expanding your business into another market, it’s important to understand how things work in that market. Every country has different traditions, regulations and ways of operating. Do your research before taking your business abroad, says Jacobsen.

“Don’t be shy; ask for help before entering unfamiliar territory. Get insights from knowledgeable institutions”, she says.

The chamber of commerce or embassy, for example, can provide expert advice on the rules, regulations, culture and customs when it comes to doing business in a new country – advice that can help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.

And don’t forget to talk to your bank about issues, opportunities and difficulties when it comes to going global, Jacobsen urges.

If you’re planning on venturing into China, don’t miss this mini guide on how to do business in China – in local currency.

API: What is it and how to implement?

An API is a software intermediary allowing two applications or systems to talk to each other. By adding, for example, the FX Listed Rates API to one of your systems, you enable your system to communicate with Nordea’s system. Tasks previously handled over the phone or via digital trading platforms will now be handled automatically.
The FX Listed Rates API is available to customers on Nordea’s Open Banking platform. Want to register? Click here

2. From one-currency to multi-currency

Many companies use a one-currency strategy when dealing with customers, suppliers or other relevant business partners. One reason to choose this pricing strategy is to avoid the risk of currency fluctuations. But there are downsides to this approach, according to Jacobsen.

“The one-currency tactic might seem like a winning formula, but today’s market participants expect to pay or be paid in the currency of their choosing. Not adapting to this way of doing business can affect your bottom line”, she says.

Applying a multi-currency strategy to your business model can seem like an unmanageable task if you have been using a one-currency strategy for years. But it doesn’t have to be, Jacobsen says.

“Due to the progress in artificial intelligence and the wider availability of application programming interfaces (APIs), going from a one-currency strategy to a multi-currency business model is easy and cost efficient”, she says.

Nordea’s FX Listed Rates API is an automated solution that makes the transition from one-currency to multi-currency easy as the API allows you to show prices and accept payments in local currencies, based on a pre-defined price list.

“By adding the FX Listed Rates API to your system, your customers will be able to see prices and pay in local currency. As an added bonus, you eliminate currency risk as the exchange rate is known for an agreed period of time”, explains Jacobsen.

Local and global go hand in hand. By factoring in the perspective of your local customers – whether tastes, customs or payment expectations – you can boost your chances of success.

Looking for more ways to stay ahead of your competition? Here are 5 e-commerce trends that will keep you ahead of the game.

Local and global go hand in hand

Going global carries, the benefits of expanding and growing your business in new markets and tapping into a new supply of internal customers which increase your chance of economic growth and decrease your dependency on your current market. It is a great way to stay ahead of your competition. But if you are not careful going global can also be your Waterloo.

“Factoring in culture, customs and currency of the new market you are trying to conquer will increase your chances of success”, ends Jacobsen.

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