With every year that passes, the world becomes more connected. And thanks to cheaper and more accessible internet services, online shopping is becoming the norm since it offers conveniences like 24/7 shopping hours and home deliveries.
But as the service grows in popularity, so does the competition within the industry. But there is a way to get ahead, attract new customers, and grow your store: eCommerce localization!
What Exactly is eCommerce Localization?
Localization services are similar to translations. In essence, online commerce localization is the act of translating your brand’s eCommerce website into the language of the country you’re targeting. However, localization services go above and beyond mere translations since it also accounts for the cultural and local habits of the target demographic.
So, what’s the goal of localization? In short: to provide international audiences with an online shopping experience that feels like it was created with their language and cultural traditions in mind!
Why You Should Focus on eCommerce Customers!
💡 55% of consumers prefer shopping in their own language and local currency.
💡 French, German, and Turkish customers are the customers that are most inclined to stick to shopping in their native language.
💡 53% of eCommerce customers say that purchasing products and services in their native language is more convenient.
💡 Site navigation, reviews, and customer support are the most important localizing content.
💡 74% of consumers will purchase from online stores repeatedly if they get support in their own language.
If those stats alone are not enough to help you understand the importance of localization services for your eCommerce website, perhaps the benefits will!
Benefits of eCommerce Localization
It Helps Brands Penetrate the Local Market
All local markets have preferred sellers. These sellers have the upper hand because they understand the buying preferences of the locals.
They also have brand messaging that appeals to the local target market. When eCommerce websites research the market and better understand the needs of locals, they gain a competitive edge over the local sellers.
It Builds Brand Trust with Online Shoppers
According to CSA Research, 30% of customers from Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, and Turkey have never bought anything from English-only sites or avoided these sites altogether.
And while you can attract people’s attention with translated content, localization services will help you gain repeat customers!
It Reduces Customer Service Issues with the Target Audience
Miscommunication is the leading cause of customer service issues, but localization services reduce these issues.
Why? Because when various elements of your eCommerce site are culturally relevant, the possibility of customers getting lost on translation is considerably lower.
A Quick Guide on How to Localize for eCommerce
It is essential to follow the proper process for localizing your eCommerce site. It’s no use localizing for a few popular languages without first researching the online shopping behaviors of your target markets. Here’s a look at the two most essential aspects of starting a localization strategy:
Start with Market Research
If you track traffic sources on your website, that data can help you determine the markets and geographical regions that you can target for maximum conversion opportunities.
Once you’ve selected your target markets, you need to ensure you’re targeting the suitable languages, languages your new target audience prefers to use when surfing the web.
If, for example, you’re targeting the U.S. market, you might assume that an English-only site would suffice. But that isn’t always the case.
There are plenty of U.S. customers that don’t speak English as their native language. These include the Spanish, Chinese, and French communities, to name a few.
With an English-only website, you’d be missing out on interacting with a huge market segment of non-English speaking customers.
Choose Localization Resources
It’s always advisable to use a professional localization service provider with a bouquet of services. However, starting small with machine translations might be tempting.
You might even think it’ll save you time and money. But this will only create issues in the long run.
Many eCommerce brands use machine translations but have their translations checked by human translators to ensure accuracy. As a result, they’re essentially wasting time and money.
If you want to get it right from the start, invest in professional localization services to help your brand transcend the language and cultural barrier.
What eCommerce Aspects Can I Localize?
Did you know that you’re not limited to your eCommerce site’s home page when it comes to localization? Yep! By taking a holistic approach, localization can create a level of understanding for your audience that goes beyond mere words.
Here’s an overview of (some of) the aspects of your eCommerce site that can (and should!) be localized for every new target demographic.
Let’s say you’re an online business that sells clothing. First, you’ll need to localize the sizing system and use appropriate terms for your target audience and local market. A simple example is pants (used in the USA) versus trousers (used in the UK).
And localizing the product’s description is much more sophisticated than simply translating the text. For example, along with localizing product descriptions for foreign markets, you’ll also need to pay attention to elements such as local currency, as this can also influence the customer experience.
Any successful eCommerce brand understands the importance of strong and consistent branding. So instead of using a literal translation for your branding material, you need to localize it and convey the brand’s attitude.
This, together with providing customers with timely and on-brand communications, will make locals feel like your brand is part of their community and vice versa.
FAQ and virtual assistance are the essential elements of customer support, and consequently, commerce localization. Sure, you’ll have to localize all your written guides, but you also need to ensure that AI chatbots are adapted to understand and respond to various languages and cultures.
Audiovisual components of your eCommerce site also deserve attention in their own right. Videos have to be localized according to tastes and cultural norms. The process might seem daunting at first, but with the help of audiovisual experts, the results are worthwhile!
Apple is an excellent example of a big difference this can make. The brand is world-renowned. But did you know that even though it might appear nearly identical in many regions, their video components contain subtle differences that reflect specific target markets? These differences include on-screen text and voice-over languages.
You already use precision-targeted SEO strategies and techniques in your home market, and growing your eCommerce store globally requires the same effort. In addition, you’ll need to localize your search terms because some terms might be phrased differently in different regions.
Word choices also differ between countries that speak the same language, for example, couch vs. sofa.
Your eCommerce sites blog is what drives continual engagement with your audience, so it’ll be crucial for international expansion. By localizing it for each target region, you’ll provide culturally relevant content that resonates with them through locally targeted SEO and newsworthy stories from their region.
You’ll need to do more than localize your website to be considered multinational to really engage with your audiences around the world; you’ll need to build a presence within the local social media communities.
This is where you’ll post tailor-made content and boost the popularity of your posts with localized images, videos, captions, and hashtags!
Bespoke eCommerce Localization Solutions
eCommerce localization is a varied and continual process that involves comprehensive insight into native markets.
To succeed, you need linguistic expertise and the latest technology. At Day Translations, we deploy these specialties to provide an all-inclusive localization service for online retail.
The Five Key Steps for Any Localization Project
Creating a Roadmap of Your Global Strategy
Where is your brand right now? Where do you want to be in the future?
Certain languages are more suitable for eCommerce localization depending on where you’re expanding to and the potential of target markets.
Use Languages to Gain Customers
Regardless of which language you choose, you need to provide the audience with the ideal customer experience through expert localization services.
Use One Language in More Than One Country
Did you know that a single language can help you reach customers in more than just one region? French, for example, is essential in 31 countries. Likewise, Spanish is an important language in 24 countries.
Determining Your Tech Needs
You can work with a central CMS connected to a translation management system and CAT tools.
As you can see, effective localization solutions can help you flourish in international markets, helping your brand reach its global potential. Are you ready to apply to them in 2022?