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Online businesses have three times more international sales than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Operating online also decreases the time to expand internationally and reduces the need for establishing local offices in each foreign market.

The Global Champions Study was published by TextMaster based on responses from 724 businesses in a survey conducted between September and November 2014. The survey was distributed online on TextMaster.com, through partner associations in different countries, as well as the market research firm LightSpeed Research. The respondents included managers, directors, vice-presidents, and entrepreneurs from 15 countries and a variety of industries, including the e-commerce, travel, fashion, and marketing sectors.

The Importance of Internal Multilingualism and Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism was an important factor that contributed to a company's international success, according to the study. Companies with bilingual directors had twice as many sales as businesses with directors who only spoke one language.

Additionally, companies with workforces made up of more than 10 nationalities had five times higher international business, and businesses with multilingual websites had five times more sales abroad.

Top Three Global Industries

The industries that had the most amount of international sales as a portion of their total sales were consumer goods (38%), software/apps (35%) and fashion/luxury/textile (34.8%). Not surprisingly, these industries also conduct a majority of their business online.

The industries that expanded the fastest abroad were travel/tourism (2 years), software/apps (2.3 years), and Web agency/communication/PR (2.5 years).

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image of Elizaveta Naumov

Elizaveta Naumov is the marketing manager at TextMaster, where she shares advice on international marketing on the blog Content Is King.

LinkedIn: Elizaveta Naumov

Twitter: @ElizavetaNv