Building trust and credibility takes time, but they are essential in ensuring that your company remains competitive and has a sustainable customer base.
Global News Wire reported that 95% of online customers read online reviews before purchasing from a shop, while around 58% have stated that they are willing to pay more for brands with good reviews. If you're a business just starting in a new market, it can be hard to gain customers' trust when there are few reviews.
Before we start, let's define eCommerce localization and what it is. ECommerce localization is the process of customizing and adapting online platforms, content, and user experiences to cater to the preferences and needs of specific global markets to provide a personalized and seamless online shopping experience. Today, we will examine how eCommerce localization can facilitate your business to better connect with your international users.
Let's get started!
How eCommerce localization personalizes your global customer's experience
Now, personalization and localization are two entirely different concepts. Personalization focuses on specific customers or users, while localization targets a broader outreach as it focuses on the foreign market as a collective rather than a particular demographic group. However, these two concepts in content marketing are both needed to enhance the customer's experience. But you might be thinking, why is localization important?
Theoretically, creating multilingual content to gain more users sounds simple and easy to accomplish. Afterward, customers will make a purchase immediately. However, the reality is that a lack of planning and research can negatively affect your target user's perception of your brand. You can search the Internet for examples of poor-quality localization on websites and social media campaigns. Not only is it embarrassing for your brand, but it can damage your credibility as a company.
To avoid blunders, you should do it right the first time you launch your eCommerce localization campaign into your target market. For this reason, businesses must adapt their products, marketing, websites, apps, and services through localization to cater to their users' technical, linguistic, and cultural preferences and needs.
Linguistic and cultural barriers will be your primary issues. For this reason, you will need to work with experts in tech and linguistics, like a native translator or translation company in the localization, as they can offer global consulting and assist in transforming your websites and apps, marketing content, and software. You can collaborate with these experts to create a localization strategy to make it a more personalized experience for your international customers.
While exploring the concept of localization, we were fortunate enough to interview Rachelle Garcia, the Tech Localization Manager of Tomedes. This translation company offers multilingual and localization solutions to small and medium enterprises and Fortune 500 companies worldwide. In our interview, she stated that localization requires preparation, and many companies must realize that coming up with a strategy and implementing it will take time.
The reason many companies in the past failed with their international business expansion and marketing was that they failed to conduct thorough research about their target market, the market gaps, their customers‘ cultural and linguistic preferences, she explained.
We have listed some considerations when planning your eCommerce localization and how you can integrate it into your pre-existing platforms and operations.
1. Creating multilingual websites and apps
When developing a plan to integrate a localization strategy, ask yourself: “Do I need translation or do I need to hire professional localization services for my eCommerce website?” This decision will largely depend on your budget and your market research.
CSA Research reported that 76% out of 8,709 international online customers in their survey have stated that they prefer having information about a product or service in their native language, followed by 65% of the participants saying they wanted content in their mother tongue.
Due to this, we listed a couple of localization best practices for eCommerce websites that you should consider.
- Develop psychology-based web design: This is where your research and understanding of your target audience will come into play. This can include finding a unifying layout and design that make your brand stand out, while it can be localized through its visual and textual aspects based on the preferences of your target markets.
- Create an international SEO strategy: There are several considerations in localizing a website, such as incorporating various SEO practices: hreflang tags, country code top-level domain (ccTLDs), and conducting multilingual SEO keyword research. After implementing these changes, you must test them and ensure the web content you create will be visible on the geo-target SERPs. How you integrate will affect the traffic and outreach of your multilingual eCommerce website.
- Conduct localization testing: Lastly, it's essential to test out your localized website before you launch it to ensure that everything is functioning correctly and that there are no errors.
2. Create a localization strategy for your content marketing
A 2021 study conducted by DemandGen reported that 62% of B2B purchasing decisions were made due to valuable content, like guides, webinars, visual content, and case studies, due to the trustworthiness of the material.
Implementing eCommerce localization requires creating content to facilitate the customer's journey by grabbing their attention and convincing them to purchase the product and service. You can work with native language professionals specialized in marketing who can create relevant and engaging content based on your target market's tone and cultural preferences.
3. Being active on the social media platforms where your users are
Depending on the market, there will be social media platforms where your target market will be inactive, and some will use local-based social media platforms. The trick is identifying where your users usually “hang out.“
For example, Japan's go-to social media platforms are LINE and Twitter. Twitter is where Japanese users stay up-to-date with current events and trends, while LINE functions like Facebook, where users can message and post content. If you plan to promote your brand and want to build an online community in Japan, you would have to focus your marketing efforts on the mentioned social media platforms instead of TikTok or Facebook.
4. Localizing payment options and using local currency
Localizing your payment options and converting the price and currency of products and services based on your target market will make your Commerce website and app more appealing to users. Imagine this scenario: you're a user on a budget. You came across a foreign brand that you find interesting. However, it can only be bought in USD, and the payment options aren't available in your country.
Then, you find another brand and purchase from them because their payment option is more accessible, and they allow purchases made in your currency, so you can make sure your purchase is within your budget. If your goal in creating and integrating a localization strategy is to enhance your customer experience, then making the purchasing process easy to understand should be your priority.
5. Providing customer support in the local language
The CSA Research stated that even though international users were confident in their English fluency, 60% still preferred customer care in their native language. One way of having a multilingual customer care system is by localizing chatbots and hiring multilingually talented individuals who can speak two or more languages.
By making your customer support more accessible in another language, you can better accommodate them. According to Help Scout, 70% of dissatisfied customers who had their problems resolved are willing to shop from the same brand again, which builds brand credibility and trust.
6. Localizing data privacy for legal compliance
Legal compliance is crucial in data extraction. Many companies over the years have been fined significant amounts due to not complying with data privacy laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There is no universal law for data privacy. Each region and country has its own set of limitations and expectations for eCommerce businesses on extracting, using, and storing their users' data.
So before you launch your website and app to a new market, be sure to discuss with legal experts alongside the native translator or translation company that specializes in eCommerce localization to avoid penalties and bad publicity.
7. Leveraging customer reviews
Customer reviews are like a litmus test of the quality of a brand's product or service. The more positive reviews a brand receives, the more likely users will trust and purchase from it. It is especially true if the reviews are written in their native language.
You can translate the reviews to ensure the multilingual content remains faithful to its source text. You can have the review translated through automation. However, automated translations can have mistranslations, negatively affecting how your users perceive your brand. It's better to have language professionals handle it.
eCommerce localization is broad as it considers various factors and considerations to ensure that your business is prepared to accommodate and gain the trust of your international users. For this reason, you will need a localization strategy that ensures your eCommerce websites and apps, operations, marketing, and social media accounts can attract and engage new clientele from your target market, persuade them to purchase from your brand, and build new relations with them.
Why is localization important for ecommerce?
Localization is crucial for eCommerce because it allows businesses to adapt their products, services, and marketing to specific local markets. By tailoring content, language, pricing, and user experience to different regions' preferences and cultural nuances, businesses can create a personalized and trustworthy experience for their global customers. Localization helps overcome language barriers, builds customer trust, improves user experience, and increases conversion rates, ultimately driving international business growth.
Why is consumer trust important in e-commerce?
Consumer trust is vital in eCommerce because it directly influences purchase decisions. Trust is built upon a positive brand reputation, secure transactions, reliable customer service, transparent policies, and high-quality products. Customers who trust an eCommerce business feel confident purchasing, sharing personal information, and recommending the brand to others. Trust fosters loyalty, drives repeat purchases and helps companies to establish a competitive edge in the online marketplace.
How important is trust in e-commerce, and how can it be built up?
Trust is paramount in eCommerce as it directly impacts customer confidence, credibility, and long-term success. It can be built up through various strategies, including:
- Clear and transparent product information and pricing.
- Secure payment gateways and robust data protection measures.
- Prompt and reliable customer support to address queries and concerns.
- Positive customer reviews and testimonials.
- Honoring refund and return policies.
- Authentic and engaging content that resonates with the target audience.
- Collaborating with trusted partners and displaying trust badges or certifications.
- Consistently delivering high-quality products and services.
- Building trust is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort, open communication, and a customer-centric approach.
What is a localization strategy for ecommerce?
A localization strategy for eCommerce refers to businesses' systematic approach to adapting their online platforms, products, and marketing to specific international markets. It involves understanding local cultures, languages, preferences, and legal requirements. The strategy typically includes translating website content, localizing product descriptions, optimizing SEO for different regions, offering localized pricing and payment options, providing multilingual customer support, and tailoring marketing campaigns to resonate with specific target audiences.
How does localization help in making products succeed in international markets?
Localization is crucial in making products succeed in international markets by ensuring they are relevant, accessible, and appealing to local consumers. It helps businesses overcome language barriers, cultural differences, and user experience challenges. Localization allows products to be marketed effectively, reflects an understanding of local customer needs, and instills trust in international audiences. By adapting products to suit the preferences and expectations of each market, localization increases the chances of success and customer acceptance in global markets.