What is eCommerce Localization and Why Does it Matter?

eCommerce localization

We're often asked by brands what eCommerce localization means, and why it's important. eCommerce localization is not just providing international versions of a website - it's the entire experience.

Localizing a website for global shoppers means giving a shopping experience that is as close as possible to shopping domestically. Balancing shoppers' needs for localized online store whilst maintaining brand integrity is a significant challenge for many retailers. However, localizing your eCommerce journey should be on your brand's roadmap, especially if your brand wants to remain competitive in the rapidly growing online shopping space.

So why does localization matter?

1. eCommerce localization will increase sales

One of the main reasons global retailers are localizing their websites is because they have identified a correlation between lost sales and foreign shoppers. They are seeing foreign shoppers add items to their cart but fail to convert, and it’s usually due to a lack of localization. This means the shopping experience feels unfamiliar and is inferior to the shopper’s usual domestic shopping experience. Therefore, by implementing localization such as a welcome mat with the shopper’s language, currency and country flag, as well as delivery options and duties and taxes information, the shopper will feel much more comfortable to purchase an item from your site, and be more likely to return again.

 

2. Your shopper expects localization

Thanks to global marketplaces with multiple international sites, there is now a general expectation from international shoppers that a foreign retailer will localize the site.

For example, Australian shoppers are used to seeing product prices in $AUD on domestic retailer websites, with delivery options narrowed down to their postcode, i.e. next day in Sydney NSW 2000. In the checkout, they want to see popular payment options such as POLi or PayPal. They are now, like millions of other global shoppers, expecting this same convenience on international stores, and when they don’t receive it, they will go elsewhere.

 

3. Fewer abandoned carts

Shoppers want a fast, seamless checkout experience with as few steps as possible; the less information they need to enter, the better – and the fewer abandoned carts. Your checkout should be localized with the shopper’s language, the full cost of the purchase in their currency – all duties and taxes included, and with local payment methods offered.

A frictionless checkout must eliminate anything that isn’t relevant or makes the process too difficult, in turn negatively impacting the shopper’s experience and affecting conversion.

Even if the main website is not translated, having a multilingual checkout will also aid shoppers through to buy, as will local currencies with relevant formatting. In some parts of Europe for example, €EUR prices are displayed with commas instead of decimals.

As more consumers shop across borders, there will be a greater demand for a more personally tailored and localization shopping experience, and retailers need to be ready to meet that demand.

A welcome mat, currencies, languages and the checkout all must be taken into account when considering localization of an eCommerce website, and only with the advice of an expert in the nuances of your target market.

Remember: a localized eCommerce website should feel and look like the shopper is at home.

Want to find out more about how to avoid common mistakes when selling across borders?

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