The Why and How of Ecommerce Localisation
It’s no exaggeration to say that this decade has witnessed explosive growth in the ecommerce sector. Yes, much of that was a result of the international health crisis – yet even that only served to accelerate trends in online shopping overall.
Increased customer satisfaction: By localizing your e-commerce website, you can provide customers with a shopping experience that is tailored to their language, culture, and preferences. This can help to build trust and loyalty, and increase customer satisfaction.
Improved user experience: Localizing your e-commerce website can make it easier for customers to navigate, find products, and make purchases. By using local language and currency, you can help customers feel more comfortable and confident when shopping on your site.
Greater reach: Localizing your e-commerce website can help you to expand your customer base beyond your home market. By making your site accessible to people in other countries, you can tap into new markets and reach a global audience.
Competitive advantage: By localizing your e-commerce website, you can gain a competitive advantage over businesses that have not yet adapted to local markets. This can help you to stand out in a crowded market and attract more customers.
Increased sales: Localizing your e-commerce website can lead to increased sales, as customers are more likely to make a purchase when they feel comfortable and confident with the shopping experience. By catering to local preferences and cultural norms, you can create a shopping experience that resonates with customers and drives more conversions.
Better SEO: Localizing your e-commerce website can also improve your search engine rankings in local markets. By using local language and keywords, you can help your site to appear higher in search results and drive more traffic to your site.
As the industry continues to globalise, the spotlight now shines brighter than ever on the importance of ecommerce localisation. No matter where your ecommerce business is located in the world, website localisation for your products, business profile, are all crucial details to focus on. This can include cultural differences, international sales, individual markets, and different payment methods.
Sounds like a lot of work? It needn’t be - effective ecommerce localisation is often more simple than it sounds. Yet, as we’ll now explore together, it’s an aspect of a good ecommerce business strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Ecommerce Localisation Versus Translation: What’s the Difference?
A great deal of what differentiates translation and localisation is context. There’s a sense of nuance to localisation because it’s a more intimate and personable way to shift not only the language of what you’re marketing to your customers but the sense of familiarity they feel when engaging with that content.
The idea is to make your customers feel at home shopping with you, anywhere in the world. It means that website localisation is actually more important than simple translation. In fact, almost two-thirds of non-English speaking customers prefer buying products described in their native language, even if the translations aren’t perfect.
Understanding the Basics of Ecommerce Localisation
Everyone in ecommerce today is doing their part to avoid the dreaded bounce. A big part of that is making your customer feel welcome, subconsciously, as soon as they land on your product pages.
Effective website localisation for ecommerce means taking care of these basics first. Even if the translation isn’t perfect, a customer from another country cares more about the following:
Delivery to where they live is fast and secure
They can pay with the currency they use every day
That the company they’re buying from feels trustworthy
That you’re undertaking the right local tax practices avoiding charges being passed on unexpectedly to your customers
Good Website Localisation Keeps you Competitive
Ever hear how even the biggest ecommerce players still struggle in a few key markets worldwide?
Just as Amazon’s struggles to gain a foothold in Sweden gives us all pause for thought, these cautionary tales can also help underline the importance of effective ecommerce localisation overall. After all, you’re now looking to compete against local businesses, on their turf, in their language – and against native speakers who have grown up among the culture and best practices of your target market.
The good news is, nailing ecommerce localisation ensures you can match this competition blow for blow – and establish yourself as a trusted vendor of choice to an exciting new customer base.
How Culture Reinforces Ecommerce Localisation
Once you have these basics of your website localisation solved, it’s time to focus on the cultural context of your ecommerce store. Representation matters a great deal here – any models in your product photography are always more relatable if their heritage matches the countries you're globalising your business into. That’s a simple yet powerful example.
However, a good cultural context in ecommerce localisation goes a little deeper than that. Think about how to frame your seasonal events and product description copy too. You won’t get much mileage out of marketing Christmas deals in Islamic countries, for example. Moving into countries that celebrate Diwali without including that thinking in your marketing strategy will mark you as a stranger without you knowing.
Website Localisation is Proactive Customer Service
Solving customers’ issues take up a lot of any ecommerce company’s time. Anything that can solve problems before they even begin is a good strategy to take – and so it is with ecommerce localisation.
Many issues arise due to simple miscommunication. A customer not made aware that an order is being shipped from overseas will be annoyed at why it’s taking so long, for example – telling them this in advance saves everyone a headache.
Similarly, fundamentals like your money-back guarantees and return policies are vital to communicating in advance to establish trust. More than this though, good localisation matches customers’ needs by understanding the buyer persona of the country in question. It’s also an excellent idea to employ native speakers in countries you expand into to solve customer service enquiries with a personal touch.
What to Research for the Best Ecommerce Localisation
The key to effective website localisation? Research, research, research. Any market worldwide in which you intend to enter is a golden opportunity, but you know what they say – there’s only one chance to make a good first impression.
Diving deep into the daily working and leisure lifestyles of the countries you’re moving your business towards can go such a long way to understanding what makes your potential new customers tick. For example;
What’s trending in these countries?
What annoys them about shopping online from other local players that your business can solve?
What can you sell into these markets that are difficult for local people to find otherwise?
Most importantly, how do you build trust and rapport throughout to encourage repeat business?
Lean on some Localisation Expertise
Good ecommerce localisation can be a complicated issue, but you don’t need to feel intimidated. As with anything in growing your business, it doesn’t have to be a journey you undertake alone.
Strong partnerships are the bedrock of an effective expansion strategy. With the right localisation expertise, you can understand your new customer base from the perspective of a confident native of the nation – all while establishing your store as the new go-to place for products and potential aplenty.