Before we reveal some little-known tips on how to sell export products in the Land Down Under, let’s look at Australia’s competitive strengths as a country.
According to the latest statistics on WorldsRichestCountries.com, Australia is the world’s 14th richest country with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$1.011 trillion in 2008. Australian consumers have purchasing power; the Land Down Under is the 26th wealthiest nation based on its $38,100 GDP per capita.
While Australia is not immune to the current global recession, the Australian government has implemented spending stimulus programs aimed at putting money in the pockets of consumers rather than on bailing out financially stressed bureaucracies. For example, Aussie parents whose annual earnings are less than US$61,000 receive a baby bonus that amounts to roughly US$4,200 per year for each child born after January 1, 2009.
Australians love to import. The CIA World Factbook ranks Australia as the world’s 22nd leading importer, consuming US$187.2 billion worth of imports in 2008. Leading foreign goods shipped into Australia are computers, crude oil, telecommunications and transportation equipment.
Last year, Australian imports from the U.S. rose 16% to $22 billion according to the US Census Bureau – Foreign Trade Statistics. The fastest-growing shipments from America were collectible coins (up a staggering 2,000%), non-monetary gold (up 541%) and complete military aircraft (up 191%).
A blatantly obvious advantage of exporting to Australia is the fact that Aussies are native speakers of English. This mitigates the need to translate a long list of export documents into another official language like French, Spanish or Chinese. Typically, product packaging and labeling will not have to be translated or redone to comply with local regulations.
Trade relations with Australia have been remarkably free of major disputes. On the World Trade Organization disputes-by-country page, Australia is involved in only 6 outstanding disputes with the U.S. and only one from Canada. Entrepreneurs should read case specifics on the WTO dispute listing to see whether their products are affected.
The biggest constraint with exporting to Australia may be the roughly 10,000 miles of ocean that separate North American exporters from Australia.
However, even that formidable physical distance can be used as a protective barrier that keeps out less-persistent competitors.
After all, shipping costs and delivery times to major Australian cities are reasonable. Prospective exporters to Australia should check with local shipping companies and available postal delivery services to find the best transportation provider offering lowest possible prices.
Secrets to Selling Your Exports in Australia
Exporters can also contract out selling duties to an established trading house in their home countries or hire a local sales representative in Australia. This enables exporting entrepreneurs to concentrate on core competencies like improving product design and documentation.
Another tip is to contact the Trade Commissioner Services that represents your home country in Australia. For example, Trade Commissioner Services are attached to the Canadian or American embassy overseas. Trade commissioners are commercial diplomats who help home-country businesses enter foreign markets by providing practical information on the do’s and don’ts of a specific foreign market like Australia.
Internet World Stats reports that over 75% of the Australian population are Internet users. To attract web-savvy Aussie consumers, an enterprising exporter can join one of the following distribution websites.
Australia’s eBay site auctions products online to Aussie members Craigslist Australia offers sale listings specific to 8 Australian cities Gumtree Australia is the Aussie version of Kijiji, and offers free classified ads to 10 Australian cities Google ads can be bought for sales campaigns that exclusively target Australian users In addition, international trade portals like Alibaba and Kompass enable exporters to make business-to-business sales.
Entrepreneurial exporters should consider promoting their products on social media. Sites like the ones listed below can attract online traffic from Australia-specific keyword searches.
YouTube videos that explain the uniqueness of your product to Australians Facebook Australia to send ongoing marketing communications to your Australian contacts Twitter Australia to attract an Aussie following through keyword-rich tweets about your product. Not only does the Internet make it remarkably easy to reach Australian consumers online, many of the above sites are free and are packed with built-in marketing tools like group email bulletins and invitations.