eCommerce localisation can connect online retailers with customers around the world. That being said, the days of simply translating a website and waiting for the customers to come to you are over. Today’s customer journey involves a growing number of digital channels and retailers have to localise them all to create genuinely engaging, omnichannel customer experiences.
eCommerce localisation drives customer engagement by making experiences more relevant to every user. One of the biggest market opportunities for online retailers is having the potential to sell to customers around the world.
The problem is, you can’t provide the same experience for everyone, showing product descriptions in English to users from other language markets or displaying all of your prices in £GBP or $USD.
To keep customers from overseas markets engaged with your website, products and brand, you have to optimise experiences for their language, location and any other unique market factors.
This is where eCommerce localisation comes in and here’s a quick list of some of the most important things that need to be optimised:
- Website localisation: Translate page content for the native language of every market you’re targeting.
- Number localisation: Ensures all numerical formats and values are shown in the correct way for each visitor: pricing, dates, phone numbers, addresses, etc.
- Language/location selection: a reliable method of selecting the right language/location version for each user needs to be provided – typically, eCommerce brands use geo-location detection to automatically select the default language and include a simple language selector interface, allowing users to quickly change language/location settings.
- Pricing information: This ensures the correct pricing is shown to users for products, in their local currency (where available) and payment method available to use.
- Delivery information: Shows the relevant delivery services, pricing information, estimated arrival dates and all other delivery information for users in their market.
- Product specifications: product specifications can vary for different markets (e.g. sizes, voltages, safety advisories, etc.) as well as numerical formats – so you need to show the correct information to every visitor.
- Contact information: when having regional addresses, contact numbers, email addresses, etc., the relevant information should be displayed to every visitor.
This is a very short list of some of the elements and aspects that need localisation on eCommerce websites in order to increase customer engagement. A complete eCommerce website localisation strategy involves a lot more work, but we’re not only discussing websites in this article.
Customer journeys don’t start and end on your website; they’re omnichannel experiences that can take place across Search, Social, E-mail and several other channels.
To maximise online sales, you need people to know your brand exists and motivate them to buy your products and bring them to your website (or to other online channels such as Instagram and Facebook that support online purchases).
Depending on the nature of your business and the markets you operate in, you could need a mix of the following channels – and, potentially others too:
- Social media
- Paid advertising (PPC)
- Marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, local alternatives, etc.)
- Content marketing
- Customer support
- Influencer marketing
- Mobile app
- TV, radio and streaming
- Digital signage
- Print media
It is important to keep in mind that the ideal mix of channels could vary across different markets. For example, customers in some markets may adopt channels like chatbots for customer support than others – so you need to cater for these preferences. Likewise, Amazon might be a major player in some markets but local marketplaces like Alibaba (China) and Coupang (South Korea) are, sometimes, more important.
Whatever your omnichannel mix looks like, for any given market, you need to localise each channel to create a seamless, engaging customer experience for every target audience.
For example, if you’ve created a series of video ads for social media that perform well in your home market, to replicate these campaigns overseas, you’ll first need to ensure you have profiles on the relevant social channels for each market. Instagram and TikTok might be perfect in the UK and the US but alternatives like Sina Weibo would be more relevant in China, for example.
When using the same platform in multiple language markets, separate accounts would be required ideally for each language. This way, you’re only publishing in English for English speakers and Spanish for Spanish speakers, for example.
Next, for these videos ads, you will most likely need video translation to make sure each audience can understand them. You have several options here: namely, subtitles, closed captions and voice overs. You might even want to consider a mix of translated subtitles and voice overs so that viewers can understand your ads with the volume turned off as well as hear them in their own language when audio is activated.
Website localisation is only one aspect of creating a multilingual eCommerce brand. The list of channels bringing customers to online stores is growing all the time and retailers need to keep up and optimise every touchpoint. Any channel or market gaps in a brand’s eCommerce localisation strategy not only leak potential customers, but also allow existing ones to escape instead of buying again next time.
To develop an eCommerce localisation system that keeps customers engaged with your brand and triggers purchases, our team can help. Get in touch with our eCommerce localisation specialists by filing the form on our contact page.
If you’re also visiting the eCommerce expo in London next week, make sure to make a stop by our stand as our team will be there to discuss any questions you may have around eCommerce localisation.