This article was inspired by Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze of AccountingHub.ng
Chioma made a post about selling to Ghanaians and I commented that I have been selling to Ghanaians and other international audiences.
Surprisingly, my comment got the attention of many people who wanted me to show them how to sell or how I’m selling to Ghanaians and other international audiences. I promised to write a comprehensive article – so the essence of this post.
If you are a business owner interested in growing your business and generating more revenue, selling to an international audience can be rewarding.
But how do you sell to an international audience and accept payments successfully without failure?
In this post, I will be focusing on selling to Ghanaians and other neighboring countries because it’s easy to sell to a customer in Ghana than in the US and the UK. Selling to an audience like the US requires more professionalism and optimization.
Not all West African countries will buy from you. I find success selling to the English-speaking countries or regions in Africa than none English-speaking countries or regions due to the language barrier.
WHO ARE THE TOP COUNTRIES THAT BUY FROM ME?
1) Ghana (80% Ghanaians, and 20% Nigerians living in Ghana)
2) USA (70% Nigerians living in the US, 28% Africans living in the US, 2% others interested in Africa)
3) Cameroon (85% Cameroonians, and 15% Nigerians living in Cameroon)
4) UK (90% Nigerians, and 10% Africans living in the UK)
5) Liberia ( 87% Liberians, 13% Liberians that left Nigeria and are now living in Liberia/Nigerians in Liberia.)
6) South Africa (60% Nigerians in South Africa and 40% South Africans)
7) Kenya among others.
WHAT AM I SELLING TO THEM?
My major products and services are business plan development, feasibility study, proposal, and website development.
I sell ready-made business plan templates that they can easily customize to suit their business needs and unique and customized business plans tailored to their business needs.
I sell digital products that I can deliver to their email address after payment is received or they can easily download from my online store after payment is made successfully. The online store handles the entire process even while I’m fast asleep.
If you are selling physical products, the cost of shipping and the process will adversely affect your delivery rate and your conversion rate.
Your success will depend on what you sell and how you sell them. You can sell both products and services.
I am not going to talk about what you sell, That is up to you to decide what to sell. But how you will sell, the platform you will use and the payment processor, or how you will receive payments is what I will talk about.
THE PLATFORMS THAT I USED IN SELLING MY STUFF TO INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCES.
I used the following platforms:
1) My website and my online store
- i. My website- I created blog posts and link them to the product/sales pages. This is to create more visibility.
- ii. My online store- I have an online store with payment processors integrated and this handles everything for me without me knowing. I only get notified that I have made sales.
The Payment Processors Are:
I use Paystack.com and Flutterwave.com interchangeably.
- i. Paystack.com- I prefer using Paystack to receive payment from the international audience because I have set it up to receive payment in dollars and payout to my domiciliary account in dollars.
I love it because, at the rate the Naira is losing its value, we need to earn and save in dollars.
Besides, Nigeria banks limit international spending limit to just $100 per month. To spend more than that, you need to have multiple cards from different banks, so earning in dollars into my dom account allows me to spend more without going to bureau de changes to access dollars at an exorbitant rate.
Paystack.com payout USD into your dom account earnings below $25 while Flutterwave.com payout is a minimum of $1000.
Why should I wait until I earn $1000 before I can get paid? That is why I prefer Paystack for international buyers that have cards to pay.
I installed a plugin on my online shop that automatically changes the currency from Naira to USD when someone visits my store from outside Nigeria.
The challenge is that most people from Ghana and other West African countries do not have cards (debit or credit). So what do you do? That is when the second option below comes in handy.
- ii. Flutterwave.com – One of the features that Flutterwave has that made me use them always when receiving payment from neighbouring countries without cards is MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER. This mobile money is a saviour as I was able to receive payments from many people using their phones and USSD to transfer.
Paystack has not enabled it at the moment for a merchant that wants to receive a mobile money transfer abroad. It only works if the payment is within Nigeria.
In Cameroon, card payment is very rare. It is usually via mobile money transfer. Those that pay with a card or direct to my bank account are usually Nigerians living there.
- Iii. Direct Bank Transfer – Sometimes, I get paid directly into my bank account via bank transfer. They are majorly Nigerians living abroad or foreigner that has lived in Nigeria before returning to their country.
- Iv. Transferwise.com, Sendwave.com, Westerunion, Paypal etc. I don’t like missing any sales. So I make available as many options for payment as possible. Flexibility is good for business and money loves speed.
- V. Someone in Ghana to help you receive payment in Cedi and transfer the Naira equivalent to your Nigerian Bank account. But getting a trusted representative is the problem.
There are so many ways that you can receive payments, just find the one that best suits your business needs.
2) Selar.co – If you are the type that doesn’t want to get busy with technicality, then Selar.co is the platform for you. It is an eCommerce platform that you can use to sell your products, services, or content. You can upload your stuff and start selling locally and internationally.
Selar.co uses Flutterwave.com to process payment and mobile money is available. Payment via Paypal is also available.
When someone visits your site, the currency will change to their currency and the payout is in Naira.
3) Email List, Whatsapp, and Social media: These are like the catalyst that speeds the rate of conversions and I have never joked with these resources/tools.
I love using my website and online store to sell my products because I love flexibility and control and my platforms give me 100% control. I can manipulate things the way I want. It is easy for me because I’m techy.
If you need help setting a website or an online store to sell your products or services, you can get in touch with me on 07031542324 or DM. Please, this is not free. I charge a fee.
IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE
I want to share with you what I did that help me to increase the conversion rate.
Initially, I used to direct all traffic to a single sale page or product page, and the writeup is focused on the Nigerian market or environment. Many visitors from Ghana and other countries were skeptical if the product or solution will work in their environment.
But when I created a separate page for visitors from Ghana and tailored both the product and writeup on the sales page to suit their environment, the conversion rate increases. I make sure the price is displayed in Cedi and everything is focused on the Ghanaian market and environment.
How will I get Ghanaians to know about me if I don’t run ads? So I constantly run ads and target them.
I run Google search ads and Facebook/Instagram ads and target Ghana as the country. If you need help to run successful Facebook ads and Instagram ads, you can contact Oyekunle Damola and Nelly of Naijabrandchick, they are your surest plugs. I have bought their courses and I can vouch for them.
Selling to an international audience will increase revenue and it depends on what you sell. The COVID-19 has forced many people to work remotely and also embrace the internet to start a business or reach out to more customers.
While conventional businesses were faced with difficulties generating revenue due to lockdown and restrictions, internet-based businesses saw their revenue increase. Internet penetration and online shoppers have increased tremendously in Africa after post-COVID19 and you cannot be left behind. You need to leverage this to increase sales.
You need the following resources/tools to sell to international audiences successfully – a website or online store means of accepting payment – Paystact, Flutterwave, Selar, etc, targeted sale or product page, and targeted ads.
I hope this helps!
Don’t hesitate to leave your comment below and you can reach me on 07031542324 or via DM.