Localized shopping experience
Statistics tell us that 90% of people ALWAYS use their native language online when given the option. This means even if you reach a non-American market where people are well-spoken in English, it doesn’t guarantee you sales—at least not immediately. An effective localized shopping experience results in a tremendous rise in your conversion rate besides your domestic figures, but it demands more than translation.
This business effort is going to need a lot of identifying, researching, analyzing, and decision-making processes. It’s a big move that requires just as big exploration to, well, feel native. Follow us to learn more about how to provide an online store that feels local on each market.
What makes a local shopping experience
The best part about buying from foreign online stores is that international consumers can purchase items that aren’t made or sold in their local webshops. This becomes an advantage for these hungry retailers to maximize their consumer reach and drive more sales. You want to invest in thorough planning and strategy to make an indistinguishable move that will connect to your foreign market successfully.
There are four major parts of localization that every business should put attention and time to, for it to feel truly at home for the audience:
- Translate your store content.
- Offer your product in local languages.
- Offer local trusted payment methods and providers at checkout
- Integrate to the most trusted local shipping providers
According to Kinsta, 60% of customers will leave your site if they can’t find what they were looking for in the first place.
Now, what more can you lose if they don’t understand the texts on your website?
The irony is real when you feel out of place, even if you’re actually in your area, but the online store you’re visiting is not. It’s important to become intentional in localizing your business to provide a good customer experience and avoid severe financial loss. The goal should always be to put an extra effort from miles away that goes wanted then and there.
Studies show that cultural differences impact the way customers perceive your business. Because you’re targeting a different market, you need to make a different approach to best meet their core. Instead of having a perfectly translated lingo, you also want to focus on ensuring that your texts and strategies represent an equally native feel that is rooted in the consumers’ ethnicity, values, and habits.
Customers still love browsing and buying in their languages. To provide a smooth experience, you need to translate:
Germany, for example, associates yellow with jealousy, while other countries around the globe view it positively as a symbol of happiness. It’s a golden rule that your brand identity should be highly consistent, but to localize successfully, you want to consider the tiny details that may matter significantly to particular markets.
Product pages and descriptions
Be mindful of using the closest words, if not the exact, to describe each product information to specific languages. Even the placing of currency symbols for the prices makes a responsible impact, too, on your brand image. Sometimes, currency symbols (like $ and £) appear before the price, while some (like €) immediately after. So you want to learn about this kind of information and apply it accordingly in your online store.
Another strategy is to include a size conversion table or external link on your website. In cases like measurements that cannot be altered for individual markets, this can allow consumers to select their accurate sizes comfortably. Lessening the returns for wrong items means reducing your shipping costs as well.
Information pages like FAQ, store finder, terms and conditions, return policy. Give your international customers the benefit of seamless navigation. By providing them all that they need and may want to know in the language they speak, customer experience builds up into trust and satisfaction, which then translates into a conversion that doesn’t end from just one purchase. You want to make your buyers feel like there’s no distance in receiving a complete package business, and for any unexpected problems, initial help from your website is a few clicks away.
How to translate your content
Unless you’re a native of your target market, know exactly the ins and outs of your culture, and happen to have migrated to where you are now with low financial resources, do the translation on your own.
Cicklopia stated that the Pareto principle for a successful localization of marketing materials could easily read 80% of research and consulting, and 20% of language tasks. If you’re nowhere close to different customs, you may still translate your content by yourself. Given that you hold factual information and have been guided correctly by a trusted partner. You wouldn’t want to get sued for crossing any lines!
Try to choose a firm that’s relevant to your business. If you have the budget, do seek professional assistance to make sure nothing lacks on your SEO campaign, and you’re hitting the right places for quality translated content. It’s not only the words you want to interpret, but also the essence of having your customers see everything authentic to your products and their locale.
If you want to minimize your expenses, hiring a freelancer can help you save a little more than with professionals. You may find them directly in your target location, which could also mean first-hand information.
Now you don’t want to forget your reviews because most shoppers head over to read them first before making a purchase. More than being an additional content to your page, taking care of your social proof leads to reliability that’s essential to attract sales. Benefit: you can hire a freelance translator for each market.
How to choose languages
Focus on your target audience. Before offering your business outside your zone, work on in-depth market research. You want to learn about the ways of your target audience and understand their shopping behavior. Use data based on the volume of search engine queries for the same products that you offer, as well as the variety and portion of languages used. The best location to go is where the people from the area share a common interest in the products you sell. Otherwise, the conversion is less likely active.
Start with your local language + English. Don’t rush into taking wider leaps just yet because it’s necessary to build your way up gradually before you can move around bigger markets. Starting with your local language is the right first move to connect to your local customers. It wouldn’t hurt to use a couple of English words on every page of your website to add strategically some versatility to the way you communicate. Then, you may analyze the response of your consumers by the changes in their contact with your shop. From there, you can gather insights as to how you can give a unique approach that retains your local audience, and attracts your target international market.
One of the objectives of localizing ecommerce is to eliminate the hesitation and increase the confidence in consumers who wish to avail of your business. Paying in local currency builds trust in the idea that purchasing internationally is a safe and comfortable decision. As it should be!
Local currencies help local shoppers to spend an amount of money that’s just about right to their own standard of living.
With 73% of shoppers who want to pay in their local currency, it’s going to be a serious deal breaker if you neglect the opportunity to boost your sales.
As much as possible, you want to avoid cart abandonment and losing interest from your possible customers.
Now on top of it, it’s really one of the easiest things to act on, especially with Stylehub, where all the multi-currency features are included without the hassle of add-ons.
You can create price lists to reach a higher level, well-managed pricing strategy. Set your target regions and use different price lists for each; provide volume discounts for your customers, implement accurate pricing to be as detailed as you want, and of course, multi-currency pricing. With these features, you are in control of setting your prices manually if you like.
Setting up price lists in different currencies allows you to tailor your prices to each market. Much has been said but the competition that keeps rising as more retailers are consistently challenged by one another. Having your prices set to meet a market system gives you an edge to sell graciously, without having to go over the limit or fall behind your other foreign and local rivals. A wisely calculated pricing will then strikingly define your bottom line for as long as you operate in certain countries.
Determining your price lists strategically gives you room for taxes and additional expenses that may come from different progressive transactions. By adapting to fit in the market, you’re decreasing impulsive financial decisions and improving your fund allocation to make sure your revenue expands generously.
Local trusted payment gateways
A well-known, trusted logo at the checkout could boost the purchase. On the other hand, a strange one could cause an unnecessary number of cart abandonment. The latter condition isn’t about not providing a payment gateway at all, but about not providing a payment gateway that’s most reliable for your local shoppers.
Take note that up to 50% of customers said they would cancel the purchase if they had not found a known payment method in the online store. Conversely to these figures, 40% said such a method offered would be more convenient for them. Better not test these numbers, so it’s best to select the trustworthy payment partners instead of searching for the cheapest provider. Besides local convenience and speedy service, the security of your customers’ personal information is also a factor to take into account.
Most trusted providers in Scandinavia
The popular Scandinavian payment provider, Klarna, is undeniably a favorable choice to integrate into your webshop. This payment solution gives the opportunity for online retailers to provide a wide range of preferred payment methods that are chosen freely by their local customers.
Braintree may have only become a division of PayPal in 2013, but it has built a strong and dependable reputation as a payment provider. Now it has transformed into a widely integrated payment gateway that many local and international online retailers, including the ones in the Scandinavian region, are trusting to.
Most trusted providers in the EU
United Kingdom’s Worldpay is one of the largest payment processing companies that continues to provide flexible and secured financial services to online business transactions. With its evident success, Worldpay has surely become an increasingly accessible payment gateway to almost any nearby country.
When it comes to a seamless and smart payment solution, Ingenico has turned into one of the leading providers trusted by thousands of online retailers in France that can also support local and international payment methods in Europe.
Customers in Germany are known to be conservative when it comes to buying online. The payment provider Giropay is a Germany-based internet payment system that works best for the security and reliability needs of its local shoppers. Because it’s equipped with high-security standards, it’s known and used widely in the country.
Now if you’re going global, you should add a global provider as well. There are tons of other trusted payment providers out there, but Stripe is recognized considerably as one of the best for that category. Whether your customers would like to pay using credit cards, be it in person or online, this payment gateway lets you do just that. It’s fast and easy to integrate into websites, which enables businesses to offer popular payment methods in the choice of their customers. PayPal’s trusted name can be a good option, however, Stripe offers a lot of extended features from its robust developer tools that are much valued by many retailers.
Inarguably, the payment gateways mentioned above come available to almost all the locations given and more. Businesses and other firms innovate continuously to become compatible with target partners for maximum sales efforts. That being said, you also don’t want to puzzle your customers with too many payment options. So settle with the right selection for each payment region.
Offering ‘cash on delivery’ is also a proven effective strategy to convince your customers to complete a purchase. It’s been said and done how 24% of users will spend more money to get free shipping. But to avoid losing a huge portion of your revenue from this promo, only do it if it’s relevant to your audience and your marketing and sales campaign.
Integrating multiple payment providers could be hard, especially if you’d like to offer different methods in each region. Stylehub provides your business with the most reliable and convenient payment gateways perfect for your customers’ preferences. We fully support both Stripe and Klarna for your website so you can accept different kinds of payment today with ease and comfort in mind.
Local trusted shipping providers
Just because you want to minimize costs doesn’t mean you’ll rely on third-party services that are so-so. You have now gained successful purchases and shipped tons of orders to different countries. But the problem entered the scene when some customers from each side of the region started complaining about slow delivery time and delays. Poor logistics activities hurt customer experience at the last minute, so you want to finish it right.
You can offer multiple shipping options and let your foreign customers choose their delivery choice. Allow them to pick based on their location and needs: cheap vs. expensive but premium/express. The varying choices of your shoppers may allow for less or more effort from the shipping providers, that’s why you have to make sure it’s enough to maintain a positive customer experience—regardless of their selected delivery options. You don’t want to provide cheap delivery rates with a bad shipping experience, do you?
If ever possible, you can offer a ‘pick up in store’ delivery as well. This option sets to meet other customer expectations that aren’t limited to being online. This strategy is simply called BOPIS or Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store, which enables retailers to merge both the online and in-store shopping experience. The hassle of shipping and delivery processing are two major factors that can get in the way of a successful customer experience. Therefore, this delivery option can give you an extra advantage to attract and keep your international customers who may want to shop in such a convenient way. Plus, you get to spend less on taxes and shipping fees. Yay or yay?
Setting up shipping regions may require additional plugins, but Stylehub doesn’t because we make this feature accessible to you and your target international customers.
We natively partner with PostNord (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway), to help you deliver domestic parcels within the Scandinavian region and to send packages to anywhere from this area. To make sure you’re giving the best options to each market that you plan to sell to, always prefer the quality of the shipping process over the price it requires you (and your customers) to pay. Especially when it’s time to deliver them their much-awaited purchases.
Expanding your business beyond your border can be a risk of an immense revenue loss or an opportunity for a more profitable move for your business goals. For it to work effectively for you and your target market (or markets if you want), keep an eye on having a consistent mutual understanding from the smallest details up to the largest.
Words and objects contain a lot of meanings and interpretations. To meet objectives and expectations and be ahead of the wild competition, you need to think, speak, and be as one with an audience that is rich in their distinctive culture and lifestyle. Of course, your business will not be in its rawest form for a local market, but it needs to feel at home in order to gain trust.
Adjusting to the consumers’ native behavior and learning from their habits allows you to shape an online marketplace that is adaptive and purposeful to the supremely modern, more borderless time.