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E-commerce businesses come with the benefit of global reach; however, there is also the need to give a local touch to your enterprise so that customers from different countries to warm up to you. Localization is essential for ensuring that you are able to customize your offerings for different markets within your overall global market. At the rudimentary level, localization may entail providing different language options on your website. However, you can go beyond that to provide a unique touch to each market. Here are some of the strategies which may help you in localizing your e-commerce business.
Why Do You Need E-commerce Localization?
Several studies have shown that online consumers are more willing to buy a product if they are presented with all the necessary product information in their local language. However, merely changing the language does not do the trick as you also need to customize the content to suit local cultural norms. You should also pay attention to various nuances of a language. For example, the French spoken in Paris is vastly different from the French practiced in Francophile regions of Canada.
Localization is equally important for small businesses run online. Despite the size of the business, the owners still need to compete in the international markets as a vast majority of internet users hail from emerging economies such as India and China. The key to success for small online businesses is to optimize their local reach within the constraints of their limited budget.
Know the Local Rules
Chevrolet made a massive marketing mistake while promoting its Nova car in Latin America, where the word ‘No va’ literally translated to “it doesn’t go” in Spanish. So, it is important to ensure that when you localize your online business, you understand the common societal norms, regulations and customs. For this purpose, it is advisable to engage the services of localization specialists, who are familiar with the subtle characteristics of a market. These specialists have the expertise to help you localize your products and services to best meet the requirements of your target market.
Use Social Media the Right Way
The role of social media in promoting online businesses cannot be overemphasized. Similarly, you can also use social media to provide local touch to your e-commerce business. You can create different social media pages or identities for different markets. This segregation will allow you to generate localized content and connect with the prospective buyers in a more customized manner. Again, the hiring of localization specialists may come in handy to ensure that you get the right message across.
Pay Attention to Payment Gateways
The success of an online business depends on a variety of factors, including the ease of completing the transaction. One way to ensure a pleasant online shopping experience is to offer appropriate payment gateways to the buyers. So, when you list down your product or services on your website, take some time to ensure that the prospective buyers are quoted the prices in their local currencies. The use of local currency will help the consumer in making a more informed decision, ultimately earning you their loyalty. Also provide different online payment platforms to suit the current cultural and commercial environment. For example, different international websites have offered payment services like Cash on Delivery in emerging economies such as India, where the use of credit or debit cards is still in a nascent stage.
Strengthen Brand Loyalty
In order to win long term business from your target market, it is imperative to create a unique brand and command loyalty from your followers. There are several ways in which a business can build sustainable customer base. You can focus on providing user generated localized content as it may help you in building credibility. Studies have shown that online customers rely upon the feedback provided by their peers on the internet. Such feedback is even more potent when it is delivered in the localized context. Another strategy to create local brand loyalty is to diversify your products and services. For example, you can expand the menu to include local delicacies or modify your recipe to suit local palate.
Localizing end to end experience for your customer base may seem time consuming and resource intensive. However, the strategy has long term implications and may help you in creating a long lasting cross border online business.
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