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Ecommerce localization: 4 things you need to know

Written by Dorota Pawlak – localization specialist, translator & writer

To take your e-commerce business to the global level and attract international customers, you’ll need to incorporate localization into your growth strategy. This entails more than just creating a multilingual website. In order to sell your quality products in multiple markets you need to make sure that your content is fully adapted to the preferences of your target audience. 

What is localization?

Simply put, localization happens every time you adapt your digital product to the new market. This process involves translation, transcreation, tailoring the layout and images to the local culture, adapting measurements, currencies, date or number formats. The main goal here is to make sure your content resonates with the local customers. A successfully localized website, mobile app or software feels like it was developed with the local audience in mind.

Why website localization matters?

For a web shop selling high-end products in several markets, website localization is extremely important. By displaying content in the language of your target audience, you’re inviting them to engage with your brand. You’re helping them clearly understand your offer, services, products, mission and ideas. That’s how you’ll gain the trust of your potential buyers, and ultimately convince them to make a purchase. 

In fact, a recent CSA Research found out that 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products when the user interface is displayed in their native language. What’s more, 40% will never buy from websites in other languages. This data highlights how important it is to communicate in the language of your customers. They won’t buy your products if they don’t understand your content. 

How to ensure smooth ecommerce localization?

There are many things that can go wrong when you localize a website. To ensure that your high-end online business is ready for a successful entry into a new market consider these four tips:

1. Integrate local payment options

Not all payment methods are created equal. Users in every country have their own preferences: from credit cards, PayPal and bank transfers to local schemes (e.g. Ideal in the Netherlands, girocard in Germany, or PayU in Poland). Before entering a new market, remember to carry out a thorough research to get to know your target audience. Find out what devices they use for online shopping, how they make purchase decisions, what their preferred payment methods are and what they value the most when shopping online. 

2. Offer customer support in the local language

Using a local language and payment method may help you attract new clients, but to convert them into loyal, returning customers you’ll need one more ingredient: local-language support. The CSA Research quoted above showed that 75% of shoppers are more likely to purchase from the same brand again if the customer care is available in their language. 

In ecommerce localization there are many ways to ensure local customer support: in-market agents, outsourcing to call centers located in other countries or using external chat agents or chatbots. Analyze customer service preferences on the local market to make sure you select the right option.

3.  Focus on the local culture

Translating your content, offering local payment methods and customer support are all great ways to attract and maintain your customers, but if you want to impress them, you’ll need to focus on the local culture. What exactly does that mean?

For example, you can display special promotions for local holidays to show your potential buyers that you’re fully aware of their culture. Offering discount codes or displaying special product editions for the local festive season is the easiest way to impress your potential buyers, gain their trust and convert them into regular shoppers. 

4. Speak the language of your target market

Even if you integrate local payment methods or refer to the local culture all your efforts might be futile if your content is unclear. To make sure your high-end ecommerce business is able to sell products in a new market, you will need to work with a professional language service provider. Experienced translators and localization experts have the necessary skillset to help you correctly adapt your content to the target market by using the right tone of voice, local terminology, sayings and idioms. 

When you add new products or update your website, a professional langue service provider will also ensure that your content is consistent with the previously published texts. Consistency is extremely important when you want to build credibility. Consistent terminology and right tone of voice will also increase the comfort level of your target audience and ultimately lead to more sales.

There are many ways to grow your ecommerce business. But one thing is certain: without website localization your attempts at conquering multiple markets will fail. In order to sell your quality products, you have to speak the local language.

A language services provider like Syntaxpoint can help you streamline the process of entering into a new market by making sure your online content is perfectly adapted to your target audience. If website localization isn’t a part of your growth strategy yet, take the first steps towards including it today and increase your profits tomorrow.

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