If you’re running a successful eCommerce venture, you’re probably considering to extend your business to international market. Believe me, if you won’t do it at some point, your competitors will. Virtual shopping is accessible from any corner of the planet, so what’s stopping you from going international?
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the global landscape has changed and opens up new opportunities. Still, meeting your target audience halfway is a prerequisite for successful online business. Especially when it comes to communicating in their language – and that’s where localization can help you!
Without a solid localization strategy that helps to offer your website in multiple languages, you can’t even dream about engaging new audiences in your product. Keeping your website in English, you’ll be addressing about a third of your potential customer base – seems like a big waste, right? But that’s just one of the many reasons why localization is worth your time.
Why eCommerce localization?
One recent survey revealed that consumers are more likely to buy products online if they can do that in their own language. Translating your entire website, including database-driven content, product descriptions, and images into the language of new target audiences must be done carefully and with a dose of cultural sensitivity. Otherwise, you might discourage users from buying your product and come across as unprofessional brand which cannot be trusted to deliver.
Once you decide to localize your business, you’ll be able to reach much wider audiences with close to no effort on your part. Consumers will build trust in your product – seeing well-written product descriptions in their own language or websites hosted on country-level domains are all sings that a business is serious and trustworthy.
When designing each country website, make sure to keep up with the preferences of your personas. Even if there exists a set of practices for global eCommerce, you need to cater to the needs of your target audience by offering a great customer experience.
How many languages global businesses require to stay competitive on the web? Experts claim that a minimum of 14 should do the trick. But if you’d like to appeal to the vast majority of economies, you’ll need at least 20 of them. While it might not seem like a feasible idea to translate your website and all its content into 20 different languages, the benefits of localization speak for themselves.
So, how to make the most from it for your online business? Here are 7 tips to help you in successful localization of your global eCommerce website.
1. Know the local rules for interacting with clients
Do you know how to address your customers when they log in on your website? Different cultures require different levels of formality. While being informal is alright in the West, Eastern clients might prefer you to be more formal in communications. Be aware of small details like traditional name order, required level of formality, and the number of names and surnames your customers have. All this will help them to feel at home in your eStore.
2. Do it right on social media
Social media sites are all about communication, so without having a clue on how to do it right, you’ll never make your posts resonate with your target audience. You can’t just assume that everyone will be on Twitter or Facebook. Different markets require different treatments and when it comes to social media, the effects of successful localization process will be especially important. Find out where your potential customers hang out and meet them halfway.
3. Offer localized user-generated content to build consumer trust
To get you started, here’s a portion of statistics for you to consider:
- 70% of people read reviews and ratings before making a purchase
- 71% of customers feel that online consumer reviews make them more comfortable about purchasing a product
- 63% of people are likely to purchase a product from a website if they see positive product ratings and reviews
- 74% increase in product conversion – that’s what consumer reviews bring!
Not bad, right? People trust the opinions of their peers, so it’s key that you deliver these in their own language. Make sure to add a way for customers to rate and review products in their own language. This way, when a user accesses your Spanish website, they’ll only see reviews written in Spanish. If you’d like everyone to see particularly nice review, translate it into more languages to leverage its potential for generating revenue on different versions of your website.
4. Benefit from shopping days around the world
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are today global phenomena, but surely other countries have their own special shopping days as well. This is a major benefit localization brings you – access to these special times in the year that can potentially generate lots of revenue.
Localize your marketing materials to inspire users to visit your website and increase sales once the right moment comes. You should have a groups of local marketing consultants at our disposal to help you nail it down on the local market. All the effort your put in this aspect of your localization strategy is well-worth it.
5. Offer a localized mobile app
Since mobile shopping is quickly gaining stem, it would be a shame not to provide this kind of experience to shoppers around the world. There are more mobile devices than people on the planet, and consumers tend to use them to make online purchases – tap into that market and you’ll enjoy higher revenue rates than ever. Take Black Friday, for instance – mCommerce purchases made up for a smashing 40% of this remarkable shopping day in the United States.
Once you expand to a new market, take a consumer survey to see whether your potential clientele uses mobile devices to make online purchases. If so, build a localized mCommerce app to match their needs. Adding more languages to your app, you’ll be extending your reach and effectively engaging increasingly broader audiences with your offer.
6. Deliver great customer service
Customer service is key to making online sales work. Helping clients in their own language will not only be more efficient, but also provide them with a great experience. Make sure to open a phone hotline, live chat and email support all delivered in the customer’s language. Your best strategy is to hire someone local to help you with providing support to your client base.
7. Process payments to increase conversion
It’s only natural that online shoppers prefer to purchase in their home currency. If your shopping cart is flexible and can convert money, it will only help your business. Be sure to research local standard payment solutions – not every market offers the same checkout procedure.
Localization is the first step to expanding your reach over interaction markets. Investing your resources in localization, you can be sure that your communications reach, engage and convert your target audience.
About the author: Amelia is part of the team at aubiz.net – an ABN lookup platform. She is interested in e-commerce and likes to write about it.