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Boosting US business from UK base

US mailing address, US fulfilment...?

     

CromeYellow

6:07 pm on Aug 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi all

This is my first post here, although some may recognise the username from posts in other forums.

I run several UK-based websites with small but reliable turnovers. Our main site (in my profile) get around 80% of its traffic from the US but only 20% of its sales.

So you see why I'm thinking about what I can do to boost our US sales... :)

I have been thinking for a while about the possibility of doing the following:

1) Setting up a second site using a .com domain
2) Getting a US mailing address from a company that will handle phone/fax orders.
3) Using a US fulfilment house that will send out product and take returns.

Does anyone have an opinion or experience in doing the above?

And also, does anyone know of a company that would be able to cover both 2) and 3).

Thanks a lot for your time. I realise this is my first post here, and it's a lot to ask, but hopefully I'll be able to contribute help in the future.

Best Wishes

Cy

Marcia

12:34 am on Aug 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Welcome to WebmasterWorld, CY - good to have you here.

Since 80% of your site visitors are from the U.S., it doesn't sound like U.S. traffic is the issue. So I'm not certain what impact having a .com URL would have.

Do you think the ratio between the percentage of U.S. visitors to sales is related to your location in the U.K, or possibly because of currency conversion issues?

If it's possibly only currency conversion that's an issue, you could try having an alternate ordering/billing procedure for non-U.K. residents, and see if that will impact the number of orders, before taking more complicated measures such as setting up another domain, or going through the mechanics of arranging for country-specific fulfillment.

One route for international ordering and currency issues could be to set up something like Kagi [kagi.com] on a trial basis, for non-U.K. purchases, to see if there will be any improvement, since the currency issue would be eliminated, while shipping would still by local to you.

Based on a few months' analysis, you could then see if doing anything further would be warranted.

HTH, Marcia

raja4

6:22 am on Aug 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



1) Make sure your prices are in US dollars
2) Vist www.call-kc.com . I think they serve your purpose.

CromeYellow

1:02 pm on Aug 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi

Thanks got both the replies!

First, Marcia - I was considering the .com to reassure the US buyer, along with a US postal address. I thought that a .co.uk might put people off buying - you think not?

I think your idea of providing separate payment for US customers is the way to go - as you say, this way I'll be able to test it without too much expense.

Thanks for thinking clearly for me! I'd thought about it so long I couldn't see the wood for the trees.

And raja4 - if I do decide to go that way, call-kc look like they can do the job.

Thanks again to you both.

Best Wishes

Cy

lennart

7:21 pm on Aug 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I've managed to do business in the US and I'm based in Sweden, not so far from you:).

My luck was that I managed to get a US partner and I'm not sure how much impact it has had on the total business but in overall my business is a success.

The trick is of course to have a "good" partner and that is probably a trial and error thing but If you want a quick way of getting established at another location partners is one way to go.

Marcia

7:39 pm on Aug 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



lennart, does your U.S. partner do fulfillment, or is there a U.S. based address and dotcom?

lennart

5:05 pm on Aug 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi there Marcia:). We use my Swedish address for the invoicing but have both US and Swedish email-contact information.

I think all in all that people are more open than what I previously thought, I've received many calls from the US to my Swedish number and US people seems to have no problem in buying from Sweden.

 

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