The ability of an e-commerce business to augment its earning potential is heavily dependent on how effectively it can reach a global market. Consumers respond well to brands that speak their language and understand what matters to them. Through their web or app interface, e-commerce businesses have just one opportunity to capture the interest of their target market, which makes it crucial for that interface to be strategically developed. In the midst of planning for logistics and product or service delivery to end consumers in various countries, operators should employ resources to develop an e-commerce presence that is relevant and relatable.
Localization is an effective tool that e-commerce businesses can use to tailor their online interface to appeal to specific markets. It contemplates not just language differences, but unique culture and social landscape from one country to the next. Research shows that consumer engagement is usually much higher when the content or interface that they are viewing is localized. Here are a few localization strategies for online businesses that can aid in global expansion.
Incorporate Localization in the Design Phase
One mistake that some global e-commerce brands make is leaving localization until the end of development. Because localization involves more than translating from the source language to the target language, it ought to be run in parallel with the early stages of a project. This is when the project team starts thinking through cultural nuances of a particular market and develops an interface that this market will respond well to.
If, for example, consumers from a particular market tend to switch from one currency to the next during their e-commerce experience, this would be a valuable insight to share in the design phase of the project.
Update Localization Efforts Consistently
Another key approach to ensuring e-commerce expansion across global markets is keeping localization as a consistent part of website and software updates. The social, economic and political environment constantly evolves regardless of the country and it would be helpful for an e-commerce business to keep abreast of the changes. This allows them to identify possible enhancements in their online presence that could speak to the target market in a timely and relevant way.
Including localization as a consistent part of the development cycle can help any online business to not just retain customers but gain new ones who identify with a brand that understands what matters to them.
Gain a Deep Understanding of the Target Market
The most reliable way for a brand to communicate with its target market is through gaining a deep understanding of the market’s consumers. Several e-commerce brands are guilty of making generalizations about a market because of where it is located. South American countries, for example, have very specific cultural identities tied to unique histories. It would be a mistake for a brand to assume that because Spanish is the main language of many South American countries, they all understand and use the same colloquial expressions.
To avoid failed attempts at localization, it is crucial to spend time understanding the deep cultural differences between markets. The efforts made to do this in the beginning will result in an e-commerce presence that speaks directly to the intended audience.
Skriavanek can work with your design and development team to structure a strong localization plan. With our team of linguists, marketers and localization managers who understand the core principles of localization, you can feel confident in our ability to help your e-commerce brand to expand globally.