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Ecommerce Localization: How To Adapt Your Business For International Markets?

A man and woman are sitting at a desk and looking at a map for ecommerce marketing.

The days had passed when people went to the market to buy their desired products. In today's world, online shopping is gaining popularity. Unlimited opening hours, convenience, and home delivery are why online shopping is popular. 

However, if a company doesn't work effectively on a local level, it's hard to compete on a global level. Particularly Online!!

So, if you want to expand your eCommerce store and enter the international arena, consider e-commerce localization. 

E-commerce localization makes a business's online presence more marketable in a different country. It is more than just translating your websites into another language. 

Whether your online business is related to enterprise microservices, fashion services, or cosmetics, every business needs you to research different cultures, continuously adjust your strategy, and make your product, sites, and services accessible to global audiences.

But how? Scroll down to learn how to adapt your business for international markets.

19 Strategies to Adapt Your Business for International Markets Through E-commerce Localization

The internet not only improves communication but also how we shop. Online shopping is growing day by day, and so is the competition. 

So, to thrive in the increasingly competitive business environment, you must expand your business internationally and diversify your reach. 

Here are the top 19 strategies to adapt your business to international markets through e-commerce localization. Follows the strategy below to attract new customers and stand out from the overcrowded online stores.

This isn't a simple process, but it's worth the effort. And in an increasingly globalized marketplace, it's only becoming more critical. Localization is essential to successfully sell your products in multiple regions.

Conducting Market Research

You must conduct market research to adapt your business to international markets through e-commerce localization. By conducting market research, you can understand the type and demand of customers, competitors, and the laws and regulations of that area. 

You must understand your selected region's aspects, market value, features, laws, taxes, cultural sensitivities, and target audience preferences. So, the first thing you should do to localize e-commerce is conduct market research. 

You can use market research tools, conduct social media analysis and monitor website traffic to identify the target markets. Further, you can check the customer reviews and conduct a SWOT analysis to analyze the local competition. 

By doing market research, you learn the role of e-commerce in that country and how to attract new customers. It will also help you to understand these new audiences' language, local laws, and cultural preferences. And by analyzing this information, you can strategize your e-commerce strategy accordingly. 

Statista, SBA, GAAR, and HubSpot are the best market-analysis websites. You can use any of them for eCommerce localization to analyze the market in the specific region you want to operate. 

Adapting Your Website

To make your website more appealing and accessible to an international audience, you must adapt your website. This strategy involves customizing different aspects of your website to better cater to users' needs from other countries and cultures. 

While customizing website design and layout, make changes to the website's visual elements, such as fonts, images, and color schemes. It will make your site more relevant and appealing to users from different countries. 

The language barrier is something that can cause serious problems. However, content in the local language can engage users and convince them to buy your products. So, translate the website content. 

Overall, adapting your website involves making changes demonstrating an understanding and appreciation of the cultural differences between your target markets. 

By taking the time to customize your website design, translate your content, and offer local payment and shipping options, you can create a more engaging and effective online presence that appeals to a broader range of international customers.

Further, consider what your audience is searching for on your website while customizing your website. Adapting your website is a part of e-commerce localization.  

Providing Local Phone Numbers For Communication

The next strategy to adapt your business to international markets is to provide local phone numbers for communication. 

Customers feel connected to you when they see a local phone number and can call you whenever they have questions or concerns. When there are language barriers, unfamiliar business practices, and time differences, customers may hesitate to contact you.  

So, provide a local phone number for communication. It will help you to be available during local business hours. Ensure you get a custom local phone number that suits your brand image and is cost-effective. 

Further, the local number helps you to build trust and improve customer experience. This can help to make a positive reputation for your business and increase customer loyalty.

Moreover, providing a local phone number also helps to overcome potential communication barriers that may arise due to language differences or cultural nuances. 

Localizing Your Product Catalog

While crafting your product catalog, consider the local product preferences. It's essential to consider your target audience's cultural nuances and preferences, as this can significantly impact their purchasing decisions. So do market research, understand popular products in each region, and tailor your offering accordingly.

Offer promotions and discounts on your product catalog during local festivals and holidays. By doing so, you can show that you understand and value the cultural traditions of your customers, which can help to build a positive relationship with them and increase sales.

And sometimes, you have to change product descriptions and imagery to localize your product catalog. You can use local idioms, slang, or phrases that resonate with the local customers. 

Similarly, use images that are culturally relevant or appealing to the local audience or make minor adjustments to existing images to better align with local preferences.

Providing Customer Support

Providing customized customer support plays a crucial role in adapting your business to international markets through e-commerce localization. Customers' entire e-commerce experience will depend on the quality of customer support they receive. 

So ensure you provide localized versions of your return and refund policies, localized FAQs and informational pages, and multilingual customer support via phone, email, and chatbots.

AI-powered chatbots must also be modified to recognize and respond to different languages and cultural norms. This can involve incorporating features such as local currency units and systems of measurement.

Creating a Marketing Strategy

Adopting a strategic and well-thought marketing strategy is essential to flourish your business in the international market.

So start with identifying popular local marketing channels, such as social media, local media outlets, search engines, etc., to successfully reach your target audience in regional markets. Be aware of the local marketing trends and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly to reach the target audience.

Building relationships with local partners and collaborators, such as local distributors, suppliers, or complementary businesses, can effectively gain traction in new markets. 

You can negotiate local legislation, customs, and trends with the help of local partners, as well as obtain vital market insights. 

Optimizing for Local SEO

It means nothing if potential customers in a market cannot find your website. You may have the best product catalog, prices, and descriptions – but you don't sell anything if they can't find you. 

Thus, investing in multilingual SEO is crucial as it helps your site to have more online visibility and reach a wider audience internationally. Optimize your search terms when creating an e-commerce site to ensure it easily appears on local search engines.

Start optimizing the website for local SEO in meta data and website content. Conduct local keyword research and find all the keywords popular in that area relevant to your business. Then incorporate those keywords or key phrases in your website content to make your website visible to targeted customers.

Remember that there are several popular keywords for each market, and the ideal SEO approach, which was developed for a particular region, might not work for another. Also, certain words may be used in various ways in other languages. 

For instance, biscuits are referred to in the UK but are known as cookies in the United States, so conduct analysis and incorporate the keywords accordingly, considering the local pattern.

Lastly, don't forget to build local backlinks on quality websites that help in boosting your website ranking and visibility.

Compliance and Legal Considerations

Online business laws, taxes, and trade laws vary depending upon the country; some might even differ from region to region, so before starting any website in a new market, it is critical to understand the local laws and regulations of that area or country.

Consult legal experts, research industry-specific regulations, and develop a compliance plan to assess local laws and regulations. Be sure to adhere to all local data privacy regulations and all applicable laws.

Establishing International Shipping and Logistics

Planning and execution are essential to ensuring your business's smooth and successful transition to the global market. 

Conduct thorough research and identify the best international shipping carriers and options for your business. Consider the speed, tracking ability, price, and more while choosing the logistics.

Calculate the shipping costs and duties for each target country by accounting for factors like the weight and dimensions of your goods, the shipping location, and the shipping method. It would be best if you also were mindful of customs fees and taxes, which may vary depending on the country.

Streamline international logistics and fulfillment to ensure a hassle-free shipping process. So set up a system for ordering, stock, shipping, and tracking needs.

Analyzing and Measuring Success

Analyzing and measuring success plays a vital role in adapting your business to international markets, so set local e-commerce metrics and KPIs relevant to the target market to measure business success.

Analyze website traffic, average order value, and conversion rates to identify KPIs and modify them to meet your business goals in the global market.

After identifying KPIs, analyze local e-commerce data from different sources such as customer feedback, social media, and website to gain insight into how your business is performing in the new market.

Once you conduct the analysis, evaluating your performance and improving the critical business areas is essential. You can make adjustments like modifying your marketing strategy, product offering, customer service technique, and more to ensure your business is on its way to achieving its goals.

Localizing Your Marketing

Besides localizing your website content and product catalog, it is also important to localize your marketing strategy. For that, conduct an in-depth study of marketing trends in different regions.

The marketing technique in the USA might not work in an Asian country, so adapt marketing messages to local culture and values.

Find out what social media platforms are popular among your targeted customers and start advertising there. Also, create local advertising campaigns.

Create a custom calendar with all the local holidays in that region and put your marketing ideas in place around that time. You may offer discounts, giveaways, or gift hampers during that time to attract more customers.

Also, using local influencers or brand advocates can be a powerful way to reach local audiences.

Cultural Considerations

To adapt your business to the international market, it is essential to understand the local cultural norms and customs, such as their language, religion, social traditions, and business practices.

After you take the time to research and understand their local customs, you need to adapt your product and marketing strategies to local culture. For this, you may tailor your product name that appeals to local customers and adjust your packaging and features to suit the locality. 

Along with this, marketing strategies should also be put into place, keeping the local language, tone, and advertising channels in mind.

Also, keep in mind that cultural miscommunications can be a massive problem for businesses operating in international markets, so be extra careful of cultural sensitivities and avoid cultural faux pas and miscommunications. Interacting with potential customers or partners requires awareness of language barriers and communication styles. 

For instance, specific phrases, hair, or clothing style might be considered offensive depending upon the region.

Mobile Optimization

In today's age, almost people of all age group have a mobile device and pretty much knows the basics of it. People today find it more convenient to conduct different tasks on mobile devices than on their computers. So, it is more than essential to switch to mobile optimization.

First, understand the mobile usage trends in local markets and adapt your website and marketing content for mobile devices.

Ensure your website is well-optimized for mobile devices and has mobile-friendly payment and checkout options.

Social Media Localization

Simply localizing their business website is not enough for a business in the international market. Consider using localized social media to interact with prospective customers with specific needs in this social media era.

A localized social media profile will encourage customers to leave feedback in their native language, increasing the site's visibility. This will help in building a positive brand image and attract more local customers.

Thus, edit your social media hashtags and captions to reach more target audience. You may also create social media localization by making tailor-made content, such as modifying images and videos that suit the local market. This helps you in building a social media following in local markets, ultimately leading to increased customers and sales.

Language Considerations

If you want to excel in your business in the global market, you must consider language considerations. 

Remember to adapt content for local markets by switching to the local language and tone, incorporating culturally appropriate imagery and references, and being aware of the prevalent trends and customs.

Provide multilingual website content or ensure accurate website translation and marketing content for local customers so that it's easier for them to understand and engage in your business.

If you are unsure if the website content is translated accurately, hiring local translators or language experts for quality assurance is best to prevent miscommunication.

Payment and Fraud Prevention

It's crucial to display costs in each market's native currency. If not, customers will have to go through the hassle of converting the prices themselves or wait until checkout, which might result in abandoned carts.

Selling the same goods in various regions of the globe will result in different costs. Along with localizing the currency, it is also necessary to set prices according to the market trend of that specific region.

And it is essential to offer local payment options and currencies as there are still regional variations in the preferred payment methods despite the growing globalization of payments. So you should provide as many payment choices as possible if you don't want to lose clients just because you don't accept their preferred way of payment.

Additionally, protecting against local fraud and scams is critical to maintain your brand image, so always offer authentic products and prices to your local customers. Comply with local payment regulations and standards to prevent any issues in the global market.

Supply Chain Localization

Supply chain localization involves modifying a company's supply chain strategy to satisfy regional markets' particular needs and desires. It enables businesses to deal more smoothly with local rules and regulations, cultural differences, and logistic difficulties.

So, identifying local suppliers and manufacturers is essential before entering the new business market since they can supply the raw materials, components, and finished goods you require. Working with local suppliers and manufacturers helps in establishing a presence in the local market quickly.

Adapting supply chain logistics is also necessary to meet the particular requirements of each local market. You can include modifications in the transportation routes, improve warehouse administration, etc. and customize the supply chain catering to the unique needs of specific local markets.

Ensuring product quality and compliance with local standards is another crucial aspect, so if you want to flourish in the global market, you must make sure that your products adhere to regional quality and safety regulations.

Adapting to Local Holidays and Events

Call it a perk or challenge of having a multinational business – a global company comes with adapting to different holidays and occasions. Learning about other local holidays and events and creating a customized marketing strategy can be a challenge.

However, holidays and events mean more business as people are more likely to purchase during special events. So, with more holidays and events comes more sales.

Do your research and identify local holidays and events in your targeted regions and countries. Learn the market trend in that region during the holidays and remember what sells best during those times.

Once you've researched, adapt marketing and messaging and create local promotions and discounts for these occasions.

Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility

Lastly, sustainability and corporate social responsibility are other crucial aspects of e-commerce localization.

Before entering a new market, it is essential to understand and adapt to local environmental regulations and standards. 

Incorporating sustainable practices such as minimizing waste and energy consumption, using renewable sources of energy, etc., in supply chain and logistics is also necessary as it helps your business grow long-term in the global market while contributing to social and environmental aspects.

Additionally, engaging in local corporate social responsibility initiatives like encouraging sustainable practices, providing education and training programs, etc., can help businesses positively impact the global market by showing their commitment to the regions they operate in.

Conclusion

To sum up, e-commerce localization is not only a wise business decision but a necessary move to ensure your business flourishes in the international market. 

Thus, it is crucial to understand your customer base, their desires, and needs, then modify your business accordingly, catering to the preferences of customers in several countries.

Adopting various e-commerce mentioned above localization strategies makes your website easily visible to the targeted customers, leading to increased traffic, sales, and conversions.

So get started today and create a global presence for your e-commerce business!

FAQs

How do I determine which countries to target for e-commerce localization?

When it comes to determining which countries to target for e-commerce localization, there are several factors you should consider:

  • Market size and potential
  • Cultural fit
  • Language
  • Payment and shipping options
  • Competition
  • Regulatory compliance

What are some common pitfalls to avoid when localizing e-commerce for international markets?

Some of the common pitfalls to avoid when localizing e-commerce for international markets are given below:

  • Unhelpful customer support
  • Incorrect images
  • Lost Keywords
  • Expanding texts
  • Odd Idioms
  • Missing Characters
  • Lost Languages
  • Out-of-Place Placenames
  • Skewed Script
  • Confusing Units
  • Bad Branding
  • Unsuitable URLs
  • Irrelevant Content
  • Missed Sales

How do I handle customer support in different time zones and languages?

You must be time considerate to handle customer support in different time zones and languages. Please keep track of customers from other customers and connect with them anytime.

What are some strategies for building trust and credibility with international customers?

Building trust and credibility with international customers is essential for success in global markets. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Use local phone numbers 
  • Offering Discounts and Giveaways
  • Responding to the client's queries.
  • Share good reviews and testimonials with customers
  • Be honest and transparent with your customers
  • Ask for feedback and act on it
  • Be reachable
  • Offer a secure payment process
  • Localize your website and product offerings

How do I measure the success of my e-commerce localization efforts over time?

Measuring the success of your e-commerce localization efforts over time can be done by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) related to website traffic, customer engagement, and sales. Here are a few KPIs to consider:

  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Customer Engagement
  • Click-through rates (CTR)
  • Bounce rate
  • Customer Feedback
  • Sales conversion rate
  • Shopping cart abandonment rate
  • Product return rate
  • Customer Retention rate
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • Average order value (AOV)
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Stock-to-sales ratio
  • Website Traffic
  • Average Stock Sold Per Day
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