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Ecommerce is big business. Worldwide retail ecommerce sales are worth US$4.28 trillion. By 2024, ecommerce is predicted to account for over one-fifth of all global retail sales.
When looking at the benefits to both consumers and retailers – particularly in the post-COVID world – it’s easy to see why online sales have exploded. Consumers can shop anywhere at any time without leaving their homes. Goods show up on their doorstep, and contactless delivery makes shopping a safe, pandemic-proof activity.
For retailers, overheads are down, and the barrier to entry has dropped. Start-up brands don’t need a hefty upfront cash investment to get off the ground. They can reach global audiences cheaply and quickly – that is, if they get their localization strategy right.
Of course, the pros don’t come without the cons. The marketplace is saturated, and competition is fierce. As a result, businesses must continually refine their content, marketing, and customer experience strategies if they are to survive. And if they want to win the hearts and dollars of customers in different countries, they must localize their ecommerce stores.
It’s the process of translating and adapting all content on an ecommerce website – think product listings, FAQs, demonstration videos, and articles – to meet the needs, expectations, and cultural norms of different countries.
Localization is about much more than translating text from one language to another. It’s about translating culture. It touches everything from language and graphics to measurement units, customer service, model choice, humor, colors, videos, and beyond.
In short, it’s about doing as the locals do so your brand can connect with new audiences in meaningful – and profitable – ways. And it works. Three in four shoppers want to purchase products in their native language, and a staggering 92.2 percent want to make purchases in their local currency.
In today’s competitive retail marketplace, localization is not a nice-to-have. It’s a must. Here’s how properly executed ecommerce localization can push your sales to all-new heights.
Everyone likes to feel seen. If a consumer stumbles upon your website only to find text they can’t read and featured products that don’t resonate with their lifestyle, they’ll quickly click away and take their business to a competitor.
Localization improves the customer experience, and 84 percent of brands that improve their customer experience note an increase in revenue. Better yet, localization helps you enhance the experience of audiences across the globe – not only do you reach more people, but you have the strategy in place to win their trust and convert, too.
For many ecommerce businesses, Google holds the key to more customers. You want to rank for as many high search volume keywords as possible, and localization can help you do just that.
When you localize your content, you introduce a whole range of brand-new, country-specific keywords to your website. The localization process might include other search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, too.
A quick note: Google may have a monopoly in English-speaking countries, but not every country. In China, for example, the most popular search engine is Baidu. That being said, localization-enabled SEO techniques work across the board.
Repeat customers spend 67 percent more than new customers, and that means thriving in ecommerce demands customer loyalty. Excellent service is one pull that keeps shoppers coming back, and you simply cannot deliver frictionless customer care without localization.
For one, ecommerce localization minimizes confusion across your site. Regardless of where they are, visitors can navigate your website with ease. They can find what they are looking for and reach out if they need help.
When visitors reach out, they are spoken to in their native language. Communication is fuss-free, which means problems are resolved faster.
Another benefit of ecommerce localization is the potential for customer reviews. Good service may compel a user to leave a glowing testimonial, and that testimonial can be translated in the localization process. Reviews can push up your conversion rate, which means a higher bottom line.
It’s no secret spending jumps around shopping events and holidays – Black Friday sales in the US hit a record high of US$10.42 billion in 2021, up 15.8 percent in 2020. However, it’s not just North America and Europe that spend big when specific dates roll around, and by localizing your ecommerce site, you can capitalize on other shopping events.
Special days and events drive sales in many cultures and countries around the world. Examples include Singles’ Day in China (which generated more sales in 2021 than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined – Alibaba and JD.com drove US$139 billion in sales across their sites), El Buen Fin in Mexico, and Diwali in India.
Businesses are about more than dollars and cents. They’re about people. When you localize, you open the doors to deeper connections.
Language, imagery, and content all play central roles in establishing your brand in the context of a culture unfamiliar to you. When you speak and write in the local language and maintain sensitivity to cultural practices and expectations, you show your audience you care. It’s personalized, and that personalization fosters something money can’t buy – trust.
You also position your brand as a global leader. You set the standard, winning a higher proportion of the market share.
The world is getting smaller, and retail companies are capitalizing on new opportunities in untapped markets. But, to retain your competitive edge, you must invest in the people who hold the keys to your global success.
Localizing your ecommerce content allows you to establish authentic relationships with shoppers worldwide. It helps you earn their trust, and in turn, they spend their money on your products. If you are ready to take the first step toward global expansion, reach out today.