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5 Steps for Using Localization to Grow Your eCommerce Business

December 5, 2018

eCommerce presents nearly limitless opportunities for expanding your sales into international markets. With thoughtful and thorough localization, you can reimagine your product story for each audience, ensuring that it resonates with potential customers everywhere.

While effective translation is obviously an important element in designing and delivering a compelling experience for international customers, it’s just one part of the story. Here are five suggestions for developing and delivering a successful multi-market eCommerce strategy.

1. Consider your product potential in other markets

As you prepare to grow your business, start by taking a closer look at your product. Does the product make sense for other markets? If you make American flags, for example, you may not gain much by selling your product overseas. On the other hand, a product with wide appeal is a natural for international eCommerce. Have a look at what your competitors are doing internationally, and attempt to assess their level of success — it may be an indicator of how you’ll do. Also try thinking outside the box a bit: Is there a specific region or culture where your product could hold additional value?

2. Seek specific market opportunities

It may be that certain untapped markets are already obvious to you, but take some time to consider opportunities in other regions or even missed opportunities in markets you already serve. For example, could you reach a larger local audience if you start advertising in Spanish?

To learn more about possible sales venues, you may find it helpful to engage the services of a market-entry planning or international-market consultant who can provide insight regarding regional sensibilities. They can also keep you abreast of changing market specifics, such as local regulatory concerns or problematic product-delivery infrastructures.

3. Personalize the customer experience everywhere

Website personalization, based on individual preferences, is a powerful tool for eCommerce. Retail giants like Amazon do this tool all the time. Have you ever received a targeted offer based on your browsing behavior or previously entered information (e.g. a birthday special)? That’s website personalization. When done right, it helps sell products, leads to customer satisfaction, and generates brand loyalty that can produce repeat business.

4. Strengthen brand loyalty with strong support

When a customer buys your product, take the opportunity to extend the relationship by developing localized post-sales support. Positive contact can lead a customer to feel personally invested in the company. It can also lead to word-of-mouth that can generate additional customers.

Prepare and deploy responsive local-language email campaigns, social media posts, text messages and/or phone support to address the needs of customers in each market you plan to enter.

5. Make sure you are visible online

When it’s time to launch your expanded eCommerce plans, all of the marketing in the world means little if customers search online and can’t find you. The key to online visibility is the strategic implementation of SEO — search engine optimization. SEO should be localized for each market so that qualified potential customers can find you when they’re searching online for the solutions your product provides.

Something to keep in mind: Localization for SEO involves much more than accurate translations — it also requires a deep knowledge of local sensibilities to accurately anticipate the words, phrases or terminology people are likely to be searching online.

Localization and eCommerce for the win

Inventing an end-to-end experience that succeeds for customers and company alike is always something that requires time, thought, and investment, even when dealing with a single market. In eCommerce, though, it’s an absolutely essential piece of the puzzle for doing business — and connecting — with people in other cultures and places. What could be better, after all, than gaining advocates for your brand, off spreading the word in their own corners of the world?

If you need help localizing your eCommerce content, contact Morningside today.