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5 Keys for Building a Global Ecommerce Website

Summary

In “Language Translation Tools for Ecommerce Sites,” my post in JuneI clarified translation tools for various kinds of ecommerce platforms. But building a worldwide site often requires more than just translation. A global website caters to various countries or locales […]

In “Language Translation Tools for Ecommerce Sites,” my post in JuneI clarified translation tools for various kinds of ecommerce platforms. But building a worldwide site often requires more than just translation. A global website caters to various countries or locales and involves localizing shipping suppliers, tax calculations, drop ship vendors, payment techniques, and more.

In this post, I will review five important factors for building an ecommerce website that reaches a worldwide customer base.

1. Define the Level of Localization

Every merchant will have its own set of prerequisites to localize the expertise for international shoppers. Doing an entire localization can be extremely costly and time consuming, as it requires ensuring each area of the website is locale specific. This includes the product catalogue, the content, the buttons and graphics, search results, payment techniques, fraud checks, tax, and shipping.

Amazon’s Canada website for French-speaking consumers.

Hence it’s important to ascertain what should be localized based on the success criteria for a local industry. This may be accomplished by reviewing local competitors’ websites. Merchants may also survey their clients in the area and also conduct A/B testing to test localization choices, to ascertain which ones get the best answer. Determining the degree of localization will instruct the merchant on the investment and effort necessary to become successful in that area.

2. Make Localization Mandatory

When the merchant has determined the degree of localization, it’s vital to make the localization process required. Say a new product is introduced on the website and, in the rush to market the item, the merchant publishes content without localizing the product info. If the retailer knows that localized product information must be prosperous, then the merchant is truly damaging its business by not following the procedure.

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This can turn away clients. It may also complicate keeping track of what needs to be localized for different areas, once the changes have already been released.

3. Hire a Local to Examine the Site

Most successful worldwide retailers employ people who understand the local culture and language, to make sure the website is set up properly. This is a significant validation, as cultural nuances are often lost when a non-native individual is responsible. But it’s not typically possible to do so for each and every area and, hence, international retailers frequently concentrate on hiring locals just for bigger markets. For the smaller locales, use the customers and partners in the region, to confirm the website is set up properly. The retailer may also incentivize shoppers by offerings discounts to encourage them to assist with this effort.

4. Localize Customer Service

Building a worldwide ecommerce site needs a customer service capacity for multiple languages and locales. This extends to all areas of customer support: requests, returns, knowledge base, FAQs, email communications, live chat, telephone, and fax — all accessible during the appropriate time zone, where applicable.

This form is customized for customers in Mexico.

Additionally it is a good practice to have a backup for one person in charge of a region, to prevent impacting customers in that area if this man is unavailable.

5. Strategy for Periodic Reviews, Tracking

Building a worldwide ecommerce website takes much effort, as retailers need to always monitor the local competition and client base, to understand the growth of the local market and make adjustments to the website in order to sustain profitability and growth.

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Some global retailers provide locale-specific goods, but this should only be done if the merchant is confident about their achievement. Also, local legislation can affect a merchant’s business in a region. This, too, requires continual monitoring and periodic inspections.

Please share your ideas and challenges for building a global ecommerce website in the comments, below.

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