How localisation can help your e-commerce business grow
The road to a successful e-commerce business might be rocky or full of trials and errors. Competing with similar online stores, retaining customers, providing unique products, making the purchase process mobile friendly – there are many challenges on each and every step. Some challenges could be easily solved or avoided by making sure your e-commerce platform is adjusted to different cultures and languages. Below you can see three ways in which localisation can help your e-commerce business grow.
1. It will help you retain your buyers
In today’s world where new online stores pop up almost every single day it might be hard to attract and retain a big number of customers. There are many ways to differentiate from the competitors – from unique products through neat design to great customer service and constant social media presence. Similarly, there many ways to retain your buyers – from coupon codes, through loyalty programmes, to e-mail newsletters and… localisation!
Adapting your online shopping process to the culture, needs and expectations of your target customers will increase their online shopping confidence. Using the language of your target group helps to build loyalty and strong relationship with your buyers. The moment you introduce a new language, you will see how your current customers switch from a general, English version to their own local language. Even if your current and potential buyers understand a foreign language, they are more likely to purchase and keep coming to the sites that are available in their native language. As a matter of fact, 55% of consumers prefer to buy in their native language, 74% are more likely to buy for the second time, if the post-sales support is in their native tongue.
Through localisation you’ll also encourage your buyers to submit reviews and testimonials, which is the key to attracting and retaining new customers. Consumers are more likely to submit a review if they can do it in their native language, and they are also more likely to make a purchase if they can see reviews in their native tongue.
2. It will help you build relevant shopping experience
Online shoppers are usually looking for relevant content and want to complete their purchase as fast as possible. A website that loads quickly, mobile-friendly design, simple check-out process and great customer service are all very important. But what really makes your consumers sit on the edge of their seat is personalisation. It goes beyond obvious features such as displaying recommendations based on previous consumer behaviour or offers based on personal information (e.g. birthday coupons).
To truly adapt your online store to your consumer’s needs and behaviour, you’ll need to include the cultural and linguistic aspects in the personalisation process. Maybe your customers will be more likely to shop for you products if you display ads with products similar to what they’ve purchased before, but maybe you can make this process more relevant by using their native language?
Or maybe you can include local traditions and habits in your marketing campaign and website design, e.g. by offering special discounts for local holidays? Using the right cultural context will help you to create more powerful interactions and better shopping experience for your new and existing customers.
3. It will help you increase your sales
Ensuring a more relevant shopping experience and implementing the right strategies for buyer retention will eventually help you to increase your sales. Localisation plays an important role here as well. By introducing local payment and delivery options you’ll be more likely to keep the buyers on your website until the check-out process is completed.
Local currency and product descriptions in the local language are other essential items that can influence your customer behaviour. Don’t make the same blunder as e.g. one of the biggest e-commerce platform made when entering the Polish market a couple of years ago: they created a Polish language version, but… limited their payment options to credit cards and PayPal, which at that time weren’t the preferred payment methods of the Polish online shoppers. That e-commerce brand conquered the world, but failed to conquer Poland.
Every single element of the purchase process matters, and every single element will encourage your buyers to order your products if it’s displayed in the local language and is relevant in the specific location. Entering a new market and reaching out to new consumers can be a daunting task, but localisation, i.e. adapting your website and social media to the culture and preferences of you target buyers will make this process much smoother.
As mentioned above, consumers usually choose to make purchases in their native language, so localisation will help you capture attention of your target customers and encourage them to invest in your products.
As you can see, there are many ways in which localisation can help to expand your e-commerce business, attract new customers and retain existing buyers. But first you’ll need to make sure that your e-commerce website is usable, accessible and presents attractive product images and descriptions. Without getting the basics right no strategy will help you to create a successful online store.
How do you approach localisation for your e-commerce business? Tell us more in the comments below!
About the author: Dorota Pawlak
Dorota helps businesses, organisations and individuals to communicate successfully across cultures in the online and offline world. She is an entrepreneur and a qualified translator specialising in IT and localisation of websites, games and software.