3 mistakes in e-commerce localization
To take your e-commerce business to the next level and explore more opportunities on the global market, sooner or later you’ll need to consider localization. Adapting your online content to the needs, requirements and expectations of your target users plays a crucial role in international expansion. As successful e-commerce localization goes far beyond the language level, it’s easy to oversee other important components.
Below you can see some of the most common mistakes in e-commerce localization with ideas how to avoid them.
1. Not accepting local payment methods
Once you decide which markets you want to enter, the next step is to carry out a thorough research along with an analysis of the local payment methods. Unfortunately, many online stores make a common mistake of assuming that the whole world is ready to accept what they consider to be a “standard payment method”. Credit cards or PayPal aren’t the most preferred options in every region. If your customers can’t find their local and convenient payment method, they’ll be more likely to abandon their baskets and choose to shop elsewhere.
That’s why a thorough knowledge of local payment habits, methods and gateways will help you go a long way. For example, if you target German shoppers remember to add Sofort as a local gateway, for the Polish users include PayU, and to sell your goods in Spain consider accepting Euro6000 or Sistema’s 4B card.
2. Lack of customer support in the local language
Even if your e-commerce website is well prepared for the foreign customers and adapted to their language and culture, it may still fail to succeed. No matter how fast and efficient your business operates, your customers may need to contact you directly or raise issues with their purchase. That’s why offering customer support in the language of your target customers is absolutely essential.
Many e-commerce businesses expanding to the new markets leave this feature in English, hoping they can add new languages at a later point. There’s nothing wrong with such approach, if you inform your customers that temporarily your live chat or call line can only support English or a few selected languages. However, as your business grows and the influx of new customers becomes steady, make sure you can solve problems of your shoppers and reply to their queries in their native language.
Offering customer support in the local language will help you to increase satisfaction of your customers, gain their loyalty and improve customer retention.
3. Not engaging with your local users on social media
A localized e-commerce website is often just the first step in marketing your products in a new region. Unfortunately, many businesses forget that there’s much more they can do to attract foreign customers and engage with them more effectively. What they lack is a prominent activity on social media platforms.
Social media is a powerful tool that can help to build your online presence in the new market. With local promotions, discounts for the local holidays and posts in the native language of your target users, you’ll be able to promote your e-commerce business successfully. You don’t have to be active on all possible channels, but it’s wise to engage with your target users on their preferred platforms, be it Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. Simply, discover where your target audiences hang out and engage with them there, using their native language to build trust, loyalty and consistent online experience.
Localization is a key strategy if you plan to take your e-commerce business to the global level. Make sure you’re prepared for it, by researching your target markets and adapting your content to meet the needs of your foreign customers.
Dorota Pawlak is a localization consultant for digital brands. She enjoys helping businesses enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages, and technology.
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