US trade agency website Export.gov has produced late last year a complete series of instructional tutorial videos to help American SMEs export, particularly using the internet.
US companies export around 2 trillion $ worth each year. Many of these companies are small and medium sized.
Various US agencies provide country-specific market information, data on exports and destinations, legal and regulatory advice, finance and insurance. The US has developed extended networks of foreign services to support American firms exporting goods or services, including help to navigate the increasingly complex rules and regulations applying to world trade. Professional organizations and trade fairs can also help US businesses seeking to start selling overseas.
One of the tutorial videos concerns how US small and medium-sized businesses can use E-commerce to expand their overseas sales.
Changes in the world economy mean more and more middle class consumers around the world, increasingly buying on-line, including from abroad : “cross-border e-commerce”. This huge developing market is accessible to even the smallest US businesses. Developing a global presence on the web can be a relatively cheap and easy way to start selling overseas.
Using the internet to export
Choose if you are aiming for “business-to-business” or “business-to-consumer (B2B or B2C) markets. You will find country or industry-specific e-commerce platforms or marketplaces. Some of these can be very large and have worldwide or multi-country scope, or focused and specialized (e.g. European power tools). Many of these (such as Europages) enable you to create your own storefront and firm identity page.
Many firms choose to create their own sales website with payment facilities. Popular social networks also afford a cost effective manner to reach mass consumers, with various advertising options.
Export.gov was setup by the International Trade Administration, part of the US Department of Commerce.