For a New Zealand-based company targeting overseas sales, there was no doubting the importance of a comprehensive website strategy.
“Our website’s a key part of our business,” says vanilla bean producer Heilala Vanilla co-founder Garth Boggiss.
The company, which grows vanilla beans in Tonga and processes them in Tauranga knew its website needed several key functions. Its produce is sold to home cooks, chefs and food manufacturers through a shop on the website, which also features recipes and endorsements.
Though based in New Zealand, Heilala did not want to restrict sales to this market, so it developed a global domain name strategy.
“We started with our .nz domain when our market was just New Zealand,” Garth says. ”But as soon as we started exporting, we felt it was really important to have domains that were really localised to each market.
So, in addition to the .nz domain, Heilala acquired a .au domain for Australia rather than having a .com, which, it was felt would portray the brand as a “kind of remote entity”.
It’s an approach Heilala’s customers have appreciated. “Our customers are really into shopping locally, buying local produce and being able to interact with a site which is local really works.”
The process of setting up multiple regional domain names was straightforward, Garth says. “And we found it very cost effective when you compare it to other forms of media.”