Troubleshooting Your Ineffective International E-commerce Strategy
Enhancing Your Global E-Commerce Strategy: Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Success
Perhaps you initiated your online retail journey on popular platforms like Etsy, eBay, Depop, or Amazon. While your presence on these marketplace platforms propelled your business, you eventually realized the need for a more customizable Content Management System (CMS) that aligns with your brand’s vision. Consequently, you upgraded to a professional e-commerce CMS such as BigCommerce, WordPress’s WooCommerce, or Shopify. Fortunately, there are several options in this category, including ConveyThis, which seamlessly integrates with all major CMS platforms.
When establishing an independent online store, various crucial aspects demand attention. Generating traffic, ensuring effective search engine indexing for your products, and selecting appropriate payment processing and CRM systems are just a few examples. If you have already ventured into creating your own webstore but find the results underwhelming, it is essential to examine overlooked factors with a discerning eye.
The Importance of Localization
Localization, a critical component of the broader internationalization process, refers to adapting your business to different countries’ cultures, languages, logistics systems, and geographic contexts. Targeting multiple international markets necessitates localization for each one, as every market is unique. While the steps involved in localization may differ, they generally involve the following principles, which can be customized based on specific contexts.
The First Step: Localizing Your Website
As an e-merchant, it is vital to make your storefront, i.e., your website, accessible to international customers. Website localization typically involves adapting visuals, text, product choices, and checkout options such as currency, tax calculations, and shipping details. While logistical elements are crucial, focusing on visuals and text adaptation is equally important, as visitors will be deterred if they encounter unadapted content.
Research by Common Sense Advisory, a Cambridge-based internationalization consulting firm, highlights the necessity of translating your site content for international sales success. Neglecting translation could cause you to miss out on potential customers who prefer purchasing products listed in their native language. ConveyThis can be your reliable partner in this regard.
Effective communication extends beyond your website. Engaging with customers across various channels, such as emails, social media pages, and paid advertisements, requires an understanding of popular channels in each target market.
For instance, while Facebook and Google Ads are popular in Europe and North America, they may not be accessible to most web users in China. Adapting your strategies to platforms like WeChat, which dominates the Chinese social media and search engine landscape, is essential to drive traffic effectively.
Adapting your logistical capabilities to new markets can be daunting. Initially, you might handle shipping independently, incurring costs through international distribution services like UPS or DHL. However, as your customer base grows in a foreign country, these costs may become burdensome. At this stage, outsourcing shipping and fulfillment or even securing local warehouse space to ensure swift and hassle-free deliveries becomes crucial. Choosing reliable partners who consider shipping costs, customs fees, and timely deliveries is essential to maintain a positive brand experience.
Elevating the Customer Experience
Customers’ perceptions of a premium experience vary across different countries and regions. To stand out from established competitors in new markets, it is vital to exceed customers’ expectations by offering supplementary services tailored to each market. In China, for example, embracing an “online-to-offline” (O2O) experience, where buyers can order online and collect their purchases from physical stores, is gaining traction.
Alibaba’s omnichannel supermarkets, known as Hema, allow customers to enhance their shopping experience through mobile scans, home delivery, and seamless in-app payments. Researching and incorporating market-specific expectations into your business plan is crucial, even if it entails additional costs.
While the role of robots in translation and other aspects of international business is advantageous, their integration depends on your customer base. During the initial stages of your e-commerce journey, task automation may not yield significant profits due to a smaller client base. However, as you expand and acquire more customers, automation becomes indispensable.
Software solutions exist for streamlining various business operations, including payment systems, international tax calculations, and translation management. By leveraging automation, you can provide customers with a seamless experience characterized by language and currency preferences, instant product information, and swift fulfillment.
Gaining Knowledge Before Expansion
To enhance your localization strategy and successfully expand into new markets, extensive research is paramount. Key areas to focus on include determining appropriate communication mediums, understanding logistical landscapes, aligning with customers’ premium expectations, and identifying automation opportunities without compromising product quality or customer service.
By scaling intelligently and approaching each market with precision, localization can be an affordable investment that adds value for your global customers.
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Translation, far more than just knowing languages, is a complex process.
By following our tips and using ConveyThis, your translated pages will resonate with your audience, feeling native to the target language.
While it demands effort, the result is rewarding. If you’re translating a website, ConveyThis can save you hours with automated machine translation.
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