Localize Your E-commerce Business to Grow Faster

Tag: price localization

Localize Your E-commerce Business to Grow Faster

Localize Your E-commerce Business to Grow Faster

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.

How to provide a local flavor to your global ecommerce business

How to provide a local flavor to your global ecommerce business

Think global, act local is the new success mantra for e-commerce players operating internationally.

Localization of one’s global e-commerce business is the best strategy to transcend cultural boundaries and win customers’ trust (and wallet share!). Although e-commerce has wiped away the boundaries of time and place, cultural differences play an important role in customer perception. Often, small changes like localization of language and content can help connect better with the customer. We shall study the ways in which the localization strategy can be effectively implemented:

  1. Speak the same language: One must be aware of the cultural sensitivities of each region before going gung-ho and translating the entire website into the native language. For example, in some regions, an informal address might be acceptable to the customer. In others, a polite and formal tone sends across the message of being business-like and professional. Customers are likely to be impressed with product descriptions in their regional language or websites hosted on country-level domains. Often, there are websites that support multiple languages. One needs to select the country name from a drop down menu and the entire website is customized as per local tastes. However, it is important to note that the meaning should not be lost in translation!
  2. Win at social media: Unless one has been living under a rock, an active social media presence is a must. Effective communication and posts as per regional interests would help easily win potential customers. One should not stick to global platforms like Twitter and Facebook merely. There would be other mediums that would be able to catch the pulse of the local public better.
  3. Reviews by natives: It would be a good idea to include reviews by the natives in the regional website. The readily available peer reviews would convince other customers about the quality of the product. This would result in higher sales conversion.
  4. Utilize local festivals to one’s maximum advantage: This strategy works well in a country like India, where festivals are celebrated on many days in a year. Major e-commerce players like Amazon, Flipkart have successfully adopted this strategy. They offer special discounts for Diwali, Republic Day, Holi etc, which results in phenomenal volume growth in sales. Further, offering customized products with marketing material suited to the occasion can help boost revenues. Thus, one could capitalize on special shopping days by working with local marketing agents to achieve higher sales.
  5. Payment processing in local currency: Customers would prefer to pay in the local currency. Merchants should ensure that the payment gateway supports payment in home currency. Another idea would be to have a flexible shopping cart with a currency converter. The online payment platforms could also offer multilingual support. It would be prudent to have multiple payment options as the preferred and acceptable payment modes vary from region to region.
  6. Familiarity as a branding strategy: Localized content and hosting products that are popular in the target market would help the customer easily navigate the website. Thus, the purchase decision and transaction completion would be faster. A smooth checkout process would ensure repeat customers for further buys.
  7. All-in-one adaptation: One must remember not to restrict localization merely to linguistics or language translation. Localization strategy encompasses the entire gamut of content – text, pictures, currency, delivery channels, brand building, design and cultural alignment. The last would include aspects like avoiding selling products on the e-commerce website that hurt local sentiments. Researching the local market to create a native shopping experience is key to achieving success.
  8. Know the rules: Local regulations on consumer laws and data privacy should be considered before localization of the e-commerce platform. For example, some countries mandate the use of a privacy policy and a disclosure of cookies that store customer information. One must keep in mind the local taxes and other jurisdictional requirements that are to be complied with in the payment gateway process.

Localization of the e-commerce business, operating globally, would allow the message to go across clear to the customer, enabling higher sales conversion, beating competition and reaching out to a wider target audience.

How to use Price Localization for Increasing Global Sales?

How to use Price Localization for Increasing Global Sales?

The price of a product or service is the most influencing factor for a buyer. Of course, there are other factors affecting online sales, such as geographic location, currency, user experience, and so on. When we talk about price localization, we incorporate all these factors to render a customized shopping experience. According to a study, a group of SAAS companies confirmed that sales performance increased by 30% when price localization was implemented.

You can simply make changes in a payment gateway process by accepting local currencies and adjust pricing according to the market demand to successfully implement price localization. In addition to these, there are other ways as well. Here, we highlight the importance of price localization, and how it will affect your international business.

Cosmetic Localization versus True Localization

Price localization happens at various levels, depending on your goals. For example, if you have a product that sells really well, you can apply basic changes to boost global sales. But if you are entering a new market, you have to consider multiple aspects. Based on these two situations, there are two localization types – Cosmetic localization and true localization.

  1. Cosmetic Localization

Currency Exchange – Under this strategy, you can provide competitive exchange rates when converting the price of the product in local currency. Further, ensure minimum payment gateway charges to reduce additional costs, besides the product price.

Local Currency – You can also simply eliminate the need to provide an exchange facility by showing prices in local currency. This will improve the user experience, resulting in higher chances of customer acquisition.

Local Language – Translating website content into the local language is another way of tapping local customers. According to a study by KPMG and Google in India, 68% internet users prefer content in local language rather than in English.

  1. True Localization

Market Demand – You just cannot change the price and currency, and expect a rise in sales. When cosmetic localization doesn’t work, true localization comes in. The foremost influencing factor is market demand, and whether the market is saturated or not. For example, if the product demand is high in Europe but the competition is low, you can sell the product at a higher price.

Buyer Personas – The price is influenced by buyer personas as well. This involves customer’s demographics, buying behavior, and other factors. You have to customize a package, design, or features according to the customer’s preference. For example, some products may work well in the USA but they won’t sell in India unless you customize it according to buyer persona.

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

The price localization depends on the purchasing power of the currency. The purchasing power is determined by considering factors like income levels, cost of living, and so on. The purchasing power parity (PPP) aims at striking the balance between two currencies. In other words, as per PPP, the cost of a product should be the same in both currencies. For example, if a pair of shoes cost $50 in the USA, it should cost Rs 2500 in India, if the conversion rate is 50.

But the currencies, in comparison to US dollar, are either undervalued or overvalued. Now if you keep the prices same for the global market according to the PPP, the sales may get hampered. So on the basis of the conversion rate, exchange rate, and customer’s willingness to pay a particular price; you should adjust the selling price so that customers don’t hesitate to pay the price.

Customer’s Sensitivity

A customer is sensitive to various factors, not just the price and benefits. While pricing the product for a targeted audience, analyze factors like customer’s income, lifestyle, spending pattern, preferences, market demand & supply, the local language, and so on. Conduct surveys or deploy big data analytics to accrue information. The price localization works effectively when you create value according to customer’s sensitiveness and set a suitable price tag.

The Final Words

Price localization is an effective strategy of catering to the targeted audience, thereby, boosting local sales. It’s not just an option but a dire need if you want to tap the global market. Understand the market demand, and step into the market with the right product and price tag before you lose the ground to your competitors.