How to expand your customer base to the UK
Once you’ve decided to expand your business to the UK, you might be wondering how that transition will affect your customers.
Even if your company has a strong, large customer base in your home country, you can’t guarantee that you’ll immediately have an equally successful customer base in the UK.
However, with the right market research, communication, and helpful resources, your company can efficiently grow a great customer base in the UK in no time.
What is a customer base?
Your customer base is made up of potential customers, new customers, and returning customers. These are individuals who you hope to be loyal to and engaged with your brand, products, and services.
Your company’s customer base will fit your target market or ideal buyer persona because you offer them a product or service they need. Your customer base might also connect with your brand’s values, messaging, or community.
Either way, having a strong customer base means having a successful business.
Why do customer bases matter?
A growing customer base is essential for any rising company.
The most important reason for a solid customer base is to make sales and grow revenue. A loyal customer base can also help your marketing through word-of-mouth, which over 60% of marketers agree is the most effective form of marketing.
Basically, a successful and growing customer base leads to a strong expanding business — one that can not only survive, but thrive in a new geographical location.
How to expand your customer base
Identify your most valuable customer
Before jumping into what you think might be your new UK customer base, you should be confident in what your existing ideal customer looks like. Define this by asking yourself questions such as:
Who benefits from my product?
What is my brand messaging and whom is it targeted at?
Why will a customer want or need my product or service?
Who would be an ideal brand advocate for my product?
Once you feel comfortable answering these questions, it will help you narrow down your customer base in the UK (or anywhere you decide to expand to).
Outlining a clear buyer persona can also help you figure out what will influence their buying decisions and how to better sell your product or service.
Evaluate your current market
Don’t assume that everything that is successful in your home country will be successful in the UK. Although the culture and the language is similar, depending on your industry, you could be looking at a variety of differences that could impact your product sales.
Use resources such as UK-based market research companies to help you gather necessary and accurate information that can help your future success. They can evaluate what you have to offer, find your key competitors, and narrow down your customer base.
If you’re looking to do some more hands-on research to evaluate your new market, online data insight tools like ZonGuru can be of great assistance.
ZonGuru determines the best keywords to use in your new market for eCommerce listings and also which products will be the most popular based on consumer research in the UK.
If you plan on selling on Amazon, ZonGuru even provides a Competitor Analysis Checklist to help you determine where they — and you — stand in the market.
“Before moving into a new market, it is important to assess the opportunity of your niche. Evaluating buyer demand as well as the strength of the competition for your products is the foundation of your decision to expand. Pair this with the revenue potential and capital required to launch and you will be able to expand with confidence knowing that the data supports your decisions.”
- Jon Tilley, CEO, ZonGuru
Procure additional capital
One important step in expanding your business to the UK that can help you expand your international customer base is procuring additional capital.
International business expansion requires investment capital in order to see the type of growth that will help your company get its foot in the door overseas.
Expansion capital through outside investors or working capital loans can be put towards things like additional products and services that better fit your growing customer base in the UK.
Online eCommerce funding platforms like Payability can also help your business obtain additional capital.
Payability uses marketplace sales to determine how much growth funding a company qualifies for. Their platform provides world-class funding solutions that can assist in the steady growth of your UK customer base.
“At Payability, we experienced significant user growth during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic as consumer behavior drastically shifted to online purchasing. With that said, a primary focus moving forward will be providing funding solutions to Amazon FBA businesses on some of the fastest growing AMZ marketplaces outside of the United States, which include: the UK, France, Spain, Japan, Germany, and Canada.”
Connect with your new customer base
Engagement is key to drawing in and keeping existing customers once you have an idea of your UK customer base.
Make it easy for potential and existing customers to communicate with your company, and vice-versa. You can do this through easy-to-find contact information or regular newsletters that interested parties can sign up for.
An advantage of regular emails or newsletters is that you can keep people informed on upcoming sales and news pertaining to your company, while also sourcing constructive feedback and asking questions about how to do better. This information can help you improve your UK operations and make your customers feel heard and respected.
Localizing your website is also important for your global marketing strategy. Something as simple as using the right spelling and language or creating content that is aimed specifically at your UK customer base will do wonders for cementing your reputation overseas.
ClearAds, a global Amazon ads agency, can also help you with finding and growing your UK customer base. ClearAds provides expert knowledge and guidance when it comes to Amazon ad performance, targeting your ideal customer, and making sure your business gets in front of the right eyes. To keep on top of the latest ad treds, check out the ClearAds blog.
“The UK was the fastest-growing core Amazon region in 2020 and Amazon increased their market share to an estimated 28%. (Mintel 2020 Retail Market Report) Take advantage of this steady growth by expanding into this region and beyond this year.“
- George Roberts, Head of Sales, ClearAds
Inventory tools like JoeLister help you manage your UK inventory by automating processes like listing creation, multi-platform catalog and inventory sync, and FBA order fulfillment. Put another way, JoeLister will make sure things keep running smoothly on all your eCommerce sites at once so you can focus on finding your next customer. The UK continues to see significant growth with Amazon as a distribution partner, and by using FBA and JoeLister, you can list your items where the buyers are and fulfill orders automatically with Amazon's robust warehouse distribution network.
“Adding retail channels provides you the ability to attract consumers from a broader spectrum of sources and compete more effectively where buyers are making retail purchases. JoeLister makes creating listings and managing inventory a breeze while enhancing your customer reach.”
Partner with other businesses in the region
Partnerships with other businesses in your new location can help grow and enhance your customer base. Be sure to find companies with similar values, communication styles, and company culture so that you can all be on the same page with the types of customers you attract.
A successful partnership will benefit all parties involved, while also giving you the added benefit of getting to know your new customer base and geographical location from an insider’s point of view.
Airwallex: your resource for overseas expansion
With the aforementioned information and tools, you’re ready to expand your customer base to the UK and see some major growth in no time at all.
Airwallex is here to support your business expansion to the UK and provide you with the help you need to see global success.
Need more information and support? From virtual cards to international online payment products, global accounts, and more, Airwallex is your No. 1 resource for modern, global business support and border-free finances.
Sign up today to get started.
Related article: How to set up business operations in the UK
Margaret runs partner marketing for Airwallex US, working with great companies across ecommerce, consumer goods, consulting, and tech to deliver excellent experiences to shared audiences.