Why Does Localization Matter for eCommerce and How to Make It Right?
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Initially, retail was the driving force behind the market. In the light of recent events, its transformation into e-commerce has accelerated. So, the brands have the opportunity to develop faster and easier while passing up all sorts of bureaucratic costs. Many brands began to compete for the worldwide customers' attention. That means the time when the business localization carried a different context has passed.
Statista estimates that global retail will reach more than $6.5 trillion by 2023 compared to $3.5 trillion in 2019, which seems quite impressive. By 2040, it is expected that 95% of all purchases will be made through e-commerce websites. Shopping demographics suggest that Gen X and millennials are the most active shoppers. These numbers show the growing importance of the global digital experience. The more people shop online, the more critical it becomes to personalize information. Thus, the localization removes obstacles of brand development and increases its importance for customers. It also attracts more customers in new markets. After all, it's essential for potential customers to feel close to your brand. Messaging in their native language is more accessible and corresponds to certain cultural norms.
Read about all the benefits of introducing localization into your marketing strategy further in this article. But first, you'd decide whether you need it!
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Is it the right time for you to localize business?
Based on all the above statistics, ask yourself: are you ready to meet customers' needs living in different countries? If so, you’d read on!
So, what is localization, and why is it needed in business. Let's start with the definition: it's the process of adapting a site, its content, products, and services to specific local markets. Of course, it's not limited to translating text on pages (although this is also good practice). That can include payment methods, color correction, designs, and even interface.
The best time to implement a localization strategy is when you're thinking of expanding your business internationally. That will take commerce to the next level, bringing together culturally diverse customers. Such experience with the print on demand business is significant. Multilingual sites, reviews, product descriptions, price converter, simplified communication with support will gain trust and move forward.
You'd start preparing for global expansion from:
- opening points of sale in new locations
- receiving foreign visitors interested in your products
- seeing opportunities for your business in other markets.
This approach is often used by top print on demand sites when implementing omnichannel marketing. It focuses primarily on the user and improves the exposure experience with any brand channel. The potential client location doesn't matter, but a dialogue with the products' supplier, on the contrary, is maximally personalized.
What are the benefits of localization?
New audiences are often not as familiar with virtual world navigation. Given that 80% of Internet users in the United States have made at least one purchase on the network. So, the localization introduction even in small businesses will bring global success.
Just imagine: you saw the perfect product that you've wanted for a long time. But despite this, you couldn't read the information associated with it since you don't know the language. You'll need some time to find a translator or search for a product on more accessible sites. That's the simplest example of the website localization necessity, but this option's benefits are unlimited. Let's consider them!
Wide engagement of target markets
The most cost-effective way to expand your audience engagement in the international market is by creating customer portraits for each target niche and market. Then you better understand user behavior and site usability, the relationship of which plays a critical role in making a purchase. So, first, set up a localized marketing strategy for the brand - and half the battle is already done!
Increase engagement and attendance
If you launched a website only in English somewhere in the vastness of the Republic of Congo, then most likely you'd lose all its visitors. The official languages spoken by the majority of the population are French, Kituba, and Lingala. Accordingly, website localization and translation will attract the local target customers. By the way, about 86% of e-commerce sites with localization have a higher CTR and more conversions than those in one language.
When potential clients turn to local entrepreneurs, they expect mutual understanding and communication in their native language. Cultural differences in terms of holiday dates, weekends, opening hours, local events, and more, as well as the seller's understanding, gain an advantage over buyers. Take the well-known eBay marketplace. It offers localized shopping, thus expanding sales channels to more than 32 countries, depending on which different advertisements and products will be displayed.
Often, before buying anything, customers look for social proof that confirms their choice. They watch reviews, demos, read forums, and so on - everything that proves the quality of the product and the experience of using it.
The SEO advantage
Conducting a monthly SEO audit and keyword analysis with their subsequent optimization will improve your site's ranking by search engines. The same applies to the website pages’ availability in different languages - by optimizing it for local keywords, the page will appear on SERP. That will increase an international SEO score and thus the website traffic.
International SEO helps pages rank for relevant search queries. But if you're thinking about machine translation of your site, then you shouldn't. And here are some of the main reasons why:
- Loss of context
- Incorrect sentence structure
- Machine translation doesn't provide dialects
- Loss of writing style and tone
Experienced native speakers will ensure accurate and high-quality translation while taking into account the cultural text characteristics. They won't only maintain a style formality but also a tone uniformity and exclude words that can offend due to cultural differences.
The value for print on demand business
The customers’ base growth
An online store website localization isn't just about translating into other languages. It primarily gains the attention and trust of buyers in foreign markets. That lowers the barrier to new potential customers. After all, personalized products better match local market conditions and reduce cultural differences. By effectively scaling trading on platforms like Etsy or Shopify using the PodZa app, you can achieve staggering 400% growth.
Increasing client satisfaction
The content adaptation to cultural and local features provides an engaging user experience for a diversified clientele and increases overall conversion rates. All stages of the purchase journey, including customer support, user guides, payment methods, etc., will help your potential customers make a purchase decision much faster than they'd use the built-in machine translation add-on. Of course, confronting local companies can be challenging. However, localization implies an equalization of the game.
Rapid entry into new markets
Business localization strategy is specific to each region and period. It helps to overcome cultural barriers quickly. For example, Americans like to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Chinese on Singles' Day, and Indians during the festival of Diwali. Due to the fast and flexible product deployment, the sale of POD goods gains a huge competitive advantage in the form of profit growth.
Expanding your audience means huge potential for increased revenue. SEO localization strategy greatly facilitates the POD business to enter new markets. The store website ranks better and gains local recognition (Google Maps, directories affect your brand customers' rating). Also, it helps conduct effective omnichannel marketing. Culturally personalized products increase conversions and give your brand a big competitive edge.