This summer, tourism boomed for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with the easing of restrictions on travel to the majority of countries kickstarting a huge demand for overseas holidays. The resultant chaos with huge lines at airports, lost luggage, not enough staff, and soaring ticket prices has been commented on widely in the media this summer, with stories of delayed and cancelled flights and images of huge piles of luggage at Heathrow being splashed across the internet. The travel bug also looks set to stay for the foreseeable future, with many being willing to brave the possibility of getting stuck on a layover or waving goodbye to their packed possessions for the opportunity to go abroad after having holidays cancelled for the past three years due to covid1.
What hasn’t been highlighted yet is the benefit of the bounce back of tourism for businesses. For the calendar year, inbound visits are forecasted to increase to 26.7 million and spending to £21.6 billion2. These are 65% and 76%, respectively, of the visits and spend levels seen in 20193. There is a clear need to continue to encourage tourism from abroad as businesses grow concerned that the cost-of-living crisis will see domestic tourism decrease, with people being increasingly careful with their money and looking for cheaper options such as camping4. Rising operating costs and staffing difficulties are also making things harder, particularly for counties that are difficult to access without a car. Somerset, for example, is currently facing a contraction of about 20 percent in the visitor economy year on year and expecting losses of nearly £300m.
So how can businesses attract foreign customers?
Offer multiple currencies at check out
Offering multiple currency options at check out ensures that your customer can pay in their home currency and have more control over their purchasing. Not only does this make a customer feel more comfortable as they know exactly how much is coming out of their bank account, but this also demonstrates that you have gone to extra effort to make international customers feel welcome and wanted. This all goes towards making sure your customers have positive associations with your brand.
Implement multi-channel strategies that ensure repeat customers
Repeat customers are key to every business as they are usually quicker to make purchases and will choose companies that they know and trust over others, ensuring that you gain more value from them. Just because a customer is international doesn’t mean that they can’t become a repeat customer. A strong eCommerce offering, with seamless multiple currency options, fast postage, and possibly foreign language options as well will mean that customers are likely to continue to go to you to make purchases even when they’ve returned home, giving you a foothold in new markets and ongoing customer loyalty.
Reviews from other international customers
Whether you have a reviews section on your eCommerce website or have a page on Trustpilot or Facebook, reviews go a long way to convince customers to make purchases. People are more likely to identify with and trust those in similar situations and from similar backgrounds, meaning that it is often helpful to have several nationalities and languages represented. Make sure to ask your customers to leave a review and ensure you respond to them appropriately.
How we can help:
Accepting payments internationally can create complexity for businesses. With Cashflows, you choose your transaction and settlement currencies, and we take care of the rest. No more juggling accounts and rates, no more hassle. We offer our customers up to 14 currencies to transact or settle in, granting access to new markets and helping sales conversions at checkout. Want to know more? Contact us today.
Sources:1 The Cut
2 Visit Britain