There is a saying in Chinese “万事开头难”.
You don’t understand it right? Okay let me translate it to you in English, it says…
“All things are difficult before they are easy.”
The difficulty you faced while reading/understanding the Chinese sayings got easy when you read it in your native/common language. Same way it goes in the E-commerce business.
According to data by Shopify:
- 75% of online customer want to buy products in their native language.
- 59% of user rarely or never buy from English-only sites.
- 67% prefer navigation and content in their language.
Your E-commerce company might be performing well at home, but when it comes to Global market, many difficulties may arise while growing your business internationally. And the prominent issue is localizing your Ecommerce store.
As you saw above that it was really difficult for you or anyone (who doesn’t understand Chinese) to read whatever it was written as it wasn’t in the known language of yours.
Well in the same way if your online store’s new audience doesn’t understand the language of the online profile, product descriptions, database-driven content, and graphic images, they would immediately switch to other website and look for a better alternative which is in their understandable language.
Therefore to grow your international E-commerce business you need to localize your e-commerce website.
But before that, you need to get the knack of what e-commerce localization is.
What is E-commerce localization?
It is an approach of translating the e-commerce storefront and all other contents of it into the language your new target audience can understand.
Many successful (e-commerce) companies are drawing their focus towards localizing their online channels as one of the ways to improve and customize their user’s (customer’s) shopping experience.
The opportunity to sell globally is huge. But to have a bite of it many global companies are looking ahead to improve the e-commerce game plan, exploring localized mobile apps, adding multiple languages and more.
If you are still reading this article, I hope you must have dipped your toes in the global e-commerce market. And you may also want to explore how localization of your e-commerce business can help your brand being successful.
Let’s start with the things that need to be localized before you go global.
1) Your Store front
When any of your online store visitor/customer opens up your online store he/she expect that the language, look and feel, of the website to be familiar (they know). So that they don’t face difficulty while viewing your store.
For example: When any visitor visits your online store and doesn’t recognize the language your site has then he/she would instantly leave your store and would look for a better alternative that has localized store-front.
2) Products and Description
Nobody wants to exercise their mind while doing online shopping to just translate the product description. The only thing that drives any visitor to your online-store is the products you sell there.
Therefore localizing that part of your e-commerce store will really be helpful to and your customer as well.
Doing math at the time of shopping is just overwhelming. You hate that, I hate it, and everyone there just hates doing a calculation of converting the currencies in their local ones.
It is found that 92% of online customer prefer to shop and make purchases on sites that price in their local currency. Not only this, 33% of them likely to abandon a purchase if pricing is in US dollars only.
So as you can get the idea from the above data that reducing math calculation of converting the currencies in their native can genuinely increase your overall sales.
If you are having a store on Shopify there is an app named as “Auto Currency Switcher” which automatically detects the location of where your website, where it is being opened and changes the product price accordingly (in local currency).
4) Look and feel of your store
Even though you have localized all the above things, you need to localize your store theme (look and feel). It includes all the color combination, type of product you sell when you target some specific group of an audience of a different country.
Here is an example of Amazon’s localization:
In Amazon India’s website, you can see that the design, color-combination, and product suggestions are totally different from Amazon’s China site.
Amazon’s India site
Amazon’s China site
So you can see that one of the world’s most successful e-commerce running business Amazon also believes in localization for their this success.
Localize User-Generated content
Just for instance suppose you’re the customer who wants to buy a ‘Mobile Phone’ via online shopping. These are the things I guess you usually do:
- Search for the product
- Ask your friends/colleagues about the product (offline review).
- Goes on the particular website and read reviews/ratings of the people who have already purchased the product. (online review)
- If the percentage of a positive review is high you buy the product.
Likewise, your “to-be” customers highly appreciate the reviews which are being posted by your customer about the product.
Here a statistics from the infographic Review of Reviews about the consumer behavior and online reviews say that:
- 71 % of shoppers agree that online consumer reviews make them more comfortable that they’re shopping the correct product or service
- 70 % of individuals consult reviews and ratings before buying the product
- 63 % of people are more likely to purchase a product from a website if it has positive product ratings and reviews
- Customer reviews create a 74 % hike in product conversion
Wrapping it up
Selling online is common nowadays. But if you want to outstand your international competitors you need to do localization of your ecommerce store.
Understanding these cultural and local desires with eCommerce localization is essential if you would like to succeed in the global e-commerce market.
Which of these tips would you apply to localize your e-commerce store?