E-commerce localization - big guide to driving growth
E-commerce is the best way to sell any product worldwide without live communication with customers. Classic online shops and new trends (an example is the metaverse development) provided easy ways for customers to find relevant products and buy them in a few clicks. By 2026, researchers expect 24% of retail purchases to be online.
The schema of e-commerce product success is straightforward - the more target audience you attract to the web resource - the more profit you will get. To find more and more potential customers, the stakeholders often decide to expand to new markets and start to scale the business. Here we come to the e-commerce localization.
Сonstituents of the e-commerce localization
E-commerce localization is a process of adaptation of an online store to other languages, cultures, and regions. From the first eye, translating the product's description and preliminary information can look relatively easy. Like - “it will take time but nothing critical”. The truth is not so rainbow-ish. Text adaptation is only a part of localization, although the most important.
As in the example of fintech, any place where people add their credit card information or pay for something requires maximum confidence from the user side. The e-commerce localization should be precise, accurate, and professional. No way that vital information like composition, rules of care, etc., can be missed or added in other languages. Let's go through the main steps to localize the e-commerce product perfectly and drive growth.
Strategy and market research
The strategy is the first important step to reaching success. We described this broad question in a separate article about starategy development, but here let's overview the central theses relevant to e-commerce. The deep-developed strategy answers the list of questions from "Who will be your customers?" to "Where will you promote the product?" and "How will you be promoted?"
During strategy creation your business will understand the cultural peculiarities of the locale to predict if the product(s) you are selling is relevant and corresponds to the customers. For example, South Korea has beauty standards as a part of its national identity (it has the highest percentage of plastic surgeries in the world,) which could mean that the products related to the body-positive movement can be less interesting for Koreans.
Each region has its salary median and purchasing power. The correct differentiation of user groups is a key to success because you should compete in the market and, at the same time, sell your products with profit. As an example, Spotify - a music service provider, has different plans for different countries:
- USA - 9,99$
- Switzerland - 12.95₣ (~14$)
- Ukraine -4,99$
Also, remember about currency signs' spelling and separators usage. In some countries like the USA, the correct price spelling is $1,234.56 (currency sign before the amount and comma as a thousand separator). At the same time, in the French part of Canada - 1.234,56 $ (currency sign after the amount, non-breaking space, the comma is the fractional separator, decimal is a thousand separators). Learn more about this in our article about numbers localization.
Remember about other figures like date and time, metric or imperial systems of units, etc.
Build convenient payment and shipping cycles
Each region has strong and weak payment processing and shipping players. Some providers are habitual and reliable for local customers, while others are less trustworthy. Consider this point when you will build the customer service cycle.
Remember about multilingual customer support
The ability to get fast responses in the native language raises the entire trust and boosts loyalty. The e-commerce industry implies a huge amount of questions about goods, parcels, delivery dates, defects, etc. The work with customers will reduce the number of negative reviews, help solve issues from the first stage, and will make your business competitive in the market.
Update UI/UX design
During localization, more likely, you will have to update your design (more or less) for the biggest part of new languages. Because some languages are longer than others, some symbols are not appropriate for the particular culture, or even the text direction is different.The best way is to think about design from the start.
During adapting the visual, consider the following things:
- cultural nuances - colors, symbols, images. Remember that the meanings of colors, emojis, and photos could differ based on the locale.
- fit the design to the cultural context, tastes, and rules. Research the locale trends and habitual color palettes. Remember to keep your unique style.
- avoid tangling users by hard-for-understanding user flows or various animations - the simpler - the better.
Benefits of e-commerce localization
Undoubtedly, the correct localization will grow the sales performance and the entire company's profit by the easy formula - more customers - more sales. But let's look closely at the reasons driving positive consequences of e-commerce localization.
Growth of user experience quality by personalization
The positive user experience raises the sales conversion rate by 15%, and a unique approach to each client is one of the major factors for user satisfaction. Based on the Epsilon research, 80% of consumers will choose a business that offers a personal experience.
Localization is one of the steps to qualified personalization. When businesses spend time and energy on market research, understanding cultural nuances, and talking to the customer in their native language, the chance to create even better text, CTA's, and propositions, use the best communication channels, etc., are growing.
40% of users will not buy something if the content is provided in another language. Communication in a native language helps businesses to be "one's own" and simplify the user journey. Just imagine that the user should read the terms, guarantee conditions, and other important information in the foreign language (even if he knows it well.) Some misunderstandings or unknown words can move users from the website because they have a variety of propositions that do not require translating text or using unfamiliar systems.
Fast and understandable delivery cycle
41% of global shoppers expect to get their order within 24 hours. An essential part of the localization process involves regionalizing inventory. Local delivery allows not only fast sending of the goods to the customer but chooses any of the existing local shipping companies with a reliable reputation to close the pain point of some part of the users.
E-commerce localization. Best practices
The best practice will always be taking care of your customers, but let’s take a look at the important parts that can bring success.
Deal with multilingual SEO
First, you need to choose which type of multilingual URLs you will use - country-specific domains, subdomains with gTLD, or subdirectories with gTLD. Each way has its pros and cons described in the Google documentation. Use the recommendation or (it will be much better) hire the SEO specialist who will help you from start to release.
Whatever you choose, the next step will be content creating. Remember that one thing in one language can be called differently in world regions. For example - the German language in Austria and Germany or Portuguese in Portugal and Brazil, English in UK and USA, etc
The next important thing is correctly adapting the main information like meta tags - titles, and descriptions. They are considered by the search engine when ranking sites and are one of the leading indicators for determining the relevance of a page to search queries. Use the keywords for them (but only in a natural manner, do not spam.)
Hire native translators or consultant
To adapt your e-commerce project perfectly, you must rely on something more than foreign experience. The employees "from within" can provide much more information because they live in the same cultural and digital environment as your customers and can bring both statistics and personal experience. They are familiar with slang, the latest language features, and trends.
An example, if you are not an English native speaker, have you known or have you used the OSASCOMP? What is that? OSASCOMP (Opinion, Size, Age, Shape, Color, Origin, Material, Purpose) is an appropriate order for writing a string of adjectives in a sentence. The native speakers do not learn it - they use it naturally, so the text or speech feels familiar to others.
Remember social media.
Around 55% of consumerslearn about new companies and brands through social media. The good tone will be to create separate accounts for each popular social media and, at least, add the appropriate subtitles to existing videos.
Keep your unique brand voice
Of course, some of your messages and the design across regions can differ. But leave for each region something that will make you recognizable. Your unique style will help keep the brand's consistency and the unique style.
Use the Lingohub TMS to reach the localization goals without additional hassles
E-commerce localization is challenging and requires much attention, team hours, document unification, and control. This massive task can bring a list of troubles and stress without an appropriate tool. That is why choosing the right TMS (translation management tool) is essential. We at Lingohub are continuously developing our product with customers' needs in mind and combine all the needed features to localize any product type, including e-commerce:
Figma plugin** - **for fast design file translation. You can pull the texts from the prototype to Lingohub or push it back to Figma with one click.
Robust management tools - control the edits within text segments, progress for each project, and activities inside Organization.
**Variety of **integrations that will save team time and reduce manual tasks. Connect your project with GitHub, Gitlab, Zendesk, Azure, etc., and let your team forget about constant files export/import/forward.
Easily connect external translators by creating contracts and automatically calculating transactions.
Keep your voice brand **consistent with a style guide **and ensure that all titles, names, etc., are **used correctly with a **term base feature.
Avoid issues with quality checks by providing predeterminate rules for translators.
These tools and many more are ready to support you with localization needs and your business growth.
Let us know more about your project, goals, and requirements by scheduling a demo, and our team will do our best to provide high-quality service to bring your business to the top.