Adapting products when selling overseas

Last updated: 20 July 2017

Whether you're planning to export a physical or online product, you'll probably need to adapt it to meet the requirements of your new market.

You may have already explored some of these adaptations during your research into exporting.

You'll need to consider:

  • local laws – they may affect your rights
  • product standards
  • technical adaptations for example different voltages or plugs
  • regulations
  • controlled or licensed products – restrictions may apply
  • packaging and labelling
  • translating product information, instructions and your website
  • suitability for the culture and tastes of your export customers
  • protecting your intellectual property for example the design or look of your products
  • the broadband infrastructure – will it support your export sales?
  • your website – is it suitable for customers in your export market?
  • handling enquiries – how you'll handle enquiries in foreign languages
  • customer care - how customers will contact you (direct or through a local agent), hours of operation and languages

Support and advice

Department for International Trade (DIT)

DIT provides expert international trade advice and practical support to UK-based companies who want to grow their business overseas.

You can also arrange to meet a DIT trade adviser for help and advice – they have experts in UK embassies and high commissions around the world.

British Standards Institution (BSI)

For help on product standards, contact the BSI – the UK's national standards body. BSI helps exporters through its work on international standards, covering certification, guidebooks and training.

Open to Export

Visit Open to Export's website to find out more about adapting products for export.