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Launching A Digital Business – Global Expansion

The Internet knows no borders. As a result, digital businesses have the opportunity to instantly generate a global customer base.

Successfully managing a global presence, however, involves a number of moving parts, all of which must work together in tandem for the business to truly thrive in international markets.

The fundamental question to ask is “What are the key aspects I should consider before launching a global digital service?”

  • Payment Method Support. The demographics of your target audience, as well individual country characteristics, determine what payment methods merchants should support. Online payment methods can include credit cards, debit cards, direct debit, mobile carrier billing, pre-paid cards, bank transfers, electronic check, PayPal, and even regional/country-specific payment methods like Boleto Bancario in Brazil. Before you expand into a particular region, understand which payment methods are most relevant, so you know how to successfully reach—and bill—your audience.
  • Sales Tax. Different countries tax digital content and services at different rates, and your marketing, finance, and infrastructure teams need to be aware of this critical function. Managing the requirements of different tax regimes is increasingly a crucial part of any digital business, especially as lawmakers try and understand the ramifications of failing to comply with digital goods taxation requirements.
  • Currency and Language Localization. Pricing in local currencies and communicating with customers in their native language aids in overall customer acquisition and retention. Though supporting this “localized” presence increases your operating costs, doing so should result in higher returns.
  • Regulations. Each country and/or region has its own set of regulations designed to protect consumers from exposure of their personal and/or financial information. Whether these regulations are the European Data Privacy laws, PCI, or other requirements, ensure both your infrastructure and your company culture support the requisite privacy and security policies in your target markets.

By addressing the aspects explained in the above list, you are preparing your digital business to expand globally and take the world by storm.

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