eCommerce Localization: All You Need To Know

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By: Sagar Sharma

eCommerce Localization All You Need To Know

A few years back, more than 90% of the commerce activities were done offline. But now, things have changed dramatically. The majority of consumers prefer digital shopping and digital media platforms to interact with brands and stores.

This enforced businesses to digital transformation and eCommerce opened the gate for entering into the global market. However, succeeding in the global market isn’t easy. It requires a lot of adoption and influence which can be done through eCommerce localization.

This article elaborates on eCommerce Localization and the challenges involved in it.

What is eCommerce localization?

Ecommerce localization is the process of resonating your eCommerce store completely as per the acceptance of the local market, this includes content, products, product details, product assets, blogs, marketing, and everything needed for doing online business.

The main objective of doing eCommerce localizing is to adopt the local market culture to drive the attention of the local target audience. Through localization, eCommerce can gain several benefits. Here we have enlisted a few of them for your attention, take a look.

  • On multiple markets, your eCommerce business will be local and generate more revenue
  • Your eCommerce will grow as a global brand
  • Helps to beat the local competition
  • Capitalizing local opportunities and gaining a competitive edge
  • To deliver a personalized eCommerce shopping experience

What can be localized in eCommerce?

Localization in eCommerce websites isn’t ending with just the homepage. It requires a holistic approach and a better understanding of the local market nature along with the behavior of the local target audience. By localizing every aspect of eCommerce, you can able to gain familiarity from the local audience and that doesn’t vary the nature of your eCommerce.

Adapting to localize eCommerce will always create the same impact on your target audience that your original version does. Here are the lists of a few key aspects that you need to concentrate on localizing.

Product Descriptions

Localizing your eCommerce product descriptions will create a significant impact on the local target audience. For some things, the product itself needs to be localized according to the local market culture for acceptance.

Branding

Branding always plays a key role in eCommerce success. However, it is difficult to say that branding with the same sentiment will attract shoppers from around the globe. So, eCommerce should focus on conveying the brand’s attitude rather than simply portraying a translated version of brand campaigns.

Customer Support

Providing seamless customer support is the first line priority of eCommerce. So, offering such service in the local language is very important to attract a more local audience.

Product Assets

Localizing digital assets of eCommerce products according to the local market culture is important to gain popularity and trust among the local audience. Localizing product image, video, catalog, and so according to the tastes of the local market is essential to grab the international market.

Localizing Mobile Apps

As smartphone is growing as the largest platform for shoppers, eCommerce should focus more on localizing their mobile applications according to their local market tastes instead of focusing only on websites.

Social Media

Social media becoming the most successful platform to engage with the target audience for target audiences around the globe. Localization of social media platforms becomes essential to gain popularity in the local market.

Best practices to follow for better eCommerce localization

On considering the difficulties and interrelated aspects of performing eCommerce Localization, many think the localization process is a formidable process. However, it is not like that, if planning certain things along with better understanding localization of eCommerce Multistore can be done through the ongoing way of your business process.

If you integrate the localization process with your business process, then the localization of your eCommerce multi-store will be easily manageable. Also, here we have enlisted a few best practices to follow for carrying eCommerce localization.

1. Framework

When it comes to localization, the business framework plays a key role. The establishment of your business framework must be done in a way to ease the content delivery process in a multinational, multilingual, and multicultural way.

This can be done, by making this vital decision on your business process.

  • Structured business management
  • Creating a balance between central & regional
  • Localization of product assets
  • Enlisting supported languages

2. Business Workflow

Businesses should have a well-organized and structured process. So, that business workflow will always tend to move forward.

This can be done with these aspects

  • Planning & scheduling content workflow including content creation and publication.
  • Creating a collaborative work environment between teams
  • Planning business financials
  • Offering excellent services & support

3. Understanding Local Market

Often brands make mistakes by enforcing themselves to take control over the new market. However, this may cause negative effects as time goes. Rather than influencing the market with control, try to understand the local market culture and influences, which starts building your business reliability. By doing so, you can able to gain the advantage of ‘on the ground’ market opportunities.

Things to pay attention

  • Do in-depth research over local competitors and list all their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Encourage sharing/distributing optimized content in all available channels in a proactive manner.
  • Make use of the local social media influencers to cultivate relationships among potential or target audiences.

4. Content Management System

Having a structural Content Management System (CMS) for your business will enhance your business growth and play a key role in pushing your business into the global market. Apart from picking the right content management system, you need to manage the CMS process under the supervision of CMS experts for building your international growth.

Things need to do

  • Make sure your website receives a constant flow of accurate, up-to-date, and well-optimized content.
  • Ensure your customer touch point’s interfaces are highly user-friendly.
  • Having a CMS along with a top-notch application interface programming interface (API) will give you a significant advantage of taking control of every business aspect.
  • Make sure you have an eCommerce multistore with responsive designs so that consumers will engage from various touchpoints.

5. Utilize Efficient Machine Translation (MT)

Machine Translation (MT) is often referred to as a computer technology that eases the language translation process with minimal human interference. Recently, top brands using neural machine translation (NMT) which performs speedy and accurate translation for eCommerce.

6. Avoid eCommerce Localization Pitfalls

As the market keeps evolving, finding a loyal customer base from multiple locations from all over the world is a big challenge for eCommerce stores. Also, providing a user-friendly interface according to the local market is a daunting task for several eCommerce. This is where several eCommerce stores have pitfalls when it comes to multistore localization.

Here are a few suggestions to avoid localization pitfalls.

  • Text Expansion: Translation may lead to an increase in the space occupancy of text, so your eCommerce should be flexible enough to provide space to tackle such text expansion.
  • Avoid simple word-to-word Translation: Performing casual or colloquial word-to-word translation may lead to unintended results. Prefer to recreate the meaning with the local language.
  • Keep Your Content Fresh: Always keep your eCommerce site with fresh and relevant content by updating those frequently. This will attract more target audiences and boost your site’s search engine ranking.
  • Proper Testing: Prefer an external team who is familiar with the local language and aware of local market conditions to conduct testing operations on your eCommerce site. By doing so, you can ensure your site is 100% perfect.

Challenges You Would Face On Multistore Localization

Ecommerce has enabled small and medium-sized businesses to take initiatives to have a global footprint on their business. Earlier, doing global business was possible only for the corporate giants now with the arrival of eCommerce strategy things have changed.

Businesses don’t need to have brick-and-mortar stores for selling their products to consumers worldwide. This gives a golden opportunity for small and medium-scale businesses to compete in the global market.

At the same time, before stepping into a global market you need to be aware of the fact that it isn’t easy to launch your products in the global market in a matter of time.

As an open thought, launching your products on BigCommerce and marketing them in a new country is an intricate process. To achieve that, you need proper localization on your eCommerce.

Localization of your eCommerce involves various optimizations among those translating your business and product data resonating to the local market is pretty vital. Also, your eCommerce store needs to adopt certain things in order to meet the local market expectation. Take a look over the aspects on which your store needs to adopt.

  • Language
  • Pricing
  • Sizing
  • Product offers
  • Customer Support (Chat boxes & FAQs)
  • SEO & Marketing Tactics
  • Product Descriptions & Digital Assets

Apart from those, here are a few more challenges you will face while implementing localization on your eCommerce multistore.

1. Communicating As Per Cultural Norms

While expanding your business to different countries, direct translating your brand marketing campaign will go wrong. You need to be more cautious about determining the exact meaning of your marketing campaign in the local language before starting promoting your product.

In addition, do some research over the target audience and cultural norms and launch your products in the local market accordingly.

Example

While launching PEPSI products in China, they started their campaign as they did in the US by portraying “Come Alive! You’re in Pepsi Generation”. But this doesn’t go well among the locals as those wordings mean “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave” and people start thinking that by drinking Pepsi, they would bring back their ancestors from death. Meanwhile, in the land of China, people worship their ancestors.

2. Store Redesign

Wordings and phrases won’t be in the same length after translation to local languages. Hiring a comprehensive language service provider becomes essential, also according to the translation your website needs to be flexible enough to have such words on the web pages. This will be handy for having consistent brand messages along with seamless content management.

Example

Almost every online shopping portal will have a button with the label ‘Buy Now.’ While translating the word Buy Now in Spanish it will be “Comprar Ahora” now the label length in the Spanish language would be large, so your buy now button needs to adopt such a lengthy label.

Similarly, you need to choose a flexible eCommerce theme when you are planning to enter the Israeli market because in Israel people read text from left to right, so your eCommerce store must have such adaptability.

3. Automation Won’t Work All Time, Manual Work Needed

As per the study reports, localization of eCommerce multistore requires a lot of manual work instead of automation. Understanding of local market requires manual work which can’t be done through automation tools. Manual analysis of the customer buying process is required to predict what strategy works and what may cause hiccups.

Example

Coca-Cola faced some severe challenges when introduced in the Chinese market. The direct translation of the brand name Coca-Cola (Ko-Ka-Ko-la) is referred to as “bite a wax tadpole” in the local language. This is one of the popular and classic examples of brands going wrong while localizing their eCommerce.

Usage of right Product Information Management platform for eCommerce localization

Having the right Product Information Management System is handy for brands to store their product data in a centralized location and to manage them effectively. PIM tool helps small and medium-sized businesses to reach their multichannel eCommerce goals.

It simply optimizes your product data which are retrieved from the ERP system, product details, product digital assets, and so in an efficient possible way to reach the global market. It allows you to manage your product content efficiently for your multistore and multi-channels.

Bottom Line

If you have thought of taking your business to the global market, then plan yourself in all possible ways and make sure you are well-prepared for eCommerce localization on your multistore. In addition, having a PIM tool is essential to face all those challenges your eCommerce multistore may face during localization.

eCommerce localization may seem to be expensive but, it delivers numerous fruitful benefits to the brands and stores like increased customer engagement, enhancing the customer shopping experience, and increasing sales targets. And for marketing teams, generating more leads becomes so easy through multistore localization.

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