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US - General Considerations

2.3 General Considerations

At a minimum, every exporter should have a website. Websites should be simple and quick to load and include contact details with an email address and telephone details (International Trade Centre , 2006). Essentially, a good website is the corporate brochure of the exporter and prospects would likely go directly to the website to find. On the website, customer endorsements should be used where possible in addition to photographs/catalogues of the products.

A well cosntructed, up-to-date and easy to navigate website can provide numerous opportunities for exporters. A website allows the exporter to:

  • Make contact with potential overseas customers without leaving home;
  • Reach overseas customers in cost effective ways;
  • Project the impression of a professional firm;
  • Convey an image of the firm being modern and up-to-date with new technology;
  • Avoid problems with time differences by having 24-hour contact with potential customers;
  • Introduce and promote new products; and
  • Sell products directly to customers.

Business or trade missions are also important avenues for marketing and promoting products - whether or not these missions are sales missions overseas or buying missions in the home market involving overseas clients. Business/trade missions are often led by either government officials or private sector industry leaders and these missions create export opportunities in the following manner:

  • Increased access to potential customers;
  • Direct contact with political and business decision makers;
  • Greater visibility at overseas events, namely trade shows and exhibitions; and
  • Easier access to information about potential markets, competitive products, new technologies and industry trends.