How do you research your target market

Export: sales structure in the target market

Get support from the responsible foreign trade center

You have prepared your company and employees for the new challenges. You have selected the markets that are suitable for your products. Now you have to make sure that you can start there under the best possible conditions.

First analyze theCustomer structure for your export products: Are they end users, wholesalers, retailers or processing companies? Identify the sales channels through which these customers have been most successfully reached in the past - trade fairs, wholesalers or field service. Research your domestic and foreign competitors and determine which sales channels they use.


In principle, a product can be delivered directly or indirectly to the end user. Atdirect sales (direct marketing) the end consumer is supplied directly by the producer. Atindirect sales wholesalers or retailers are involved, which can be external or own sales organs (e.g. own sales branches). An optimized sales solution enables cost-effective delivery and is adapted to the market conditions in the target country.

The choice of the right sales channel

Depending on the type and scope of your activities, you can choose between direct and indirect market cultivation. The direct market development is carried out by our own sales force, joint venture, establishment of a foreign branch or e-commerce.

The indirect market cultivation is carried out by commercial agents, importers, wholesalers or retailers or franchisees or licensees. Through indirect market development, you can keep the costs and risk manageable, especially at the beginning, but also less influence the business policy in the target market.

Depending on the country-specific circumstances, different sales channels (e.g. a sales subsidiary in one country, a representative for another country) can be useful for one and the same product.

The export cooperation takes a cost-effective middle position between in-house and external sales channels. It can take the form of export associations, export rings, export clusters or project collaborations.

Get help from professionals

In any case, we recommend the support of professionals on site. When negotiating a contract, you should ensure that you are given impeccable advice both linguistically (foreign language contracts) and legally. Let the appropriate experts - interpreters, translators, lawyers, tax advisors or auditors - advise you. You can get contacts and addresses from the foreign trade centers in the host country, in the publications of AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT or from the respective foreign trade departments of the Chamber of Commerce in your state.