5 Steps To Build A Global Ecommerce Site
Launching an ecommerce site and presenting it on Global platform often requires more than just translation. A global site caters to different countries. This involves – localizing shipping providers, tax calculations, payment methods and much more. But before you open your doors to the world, you need a plan.
If you’re new to the international ecommerce – you may want to start small by selling a few items in a few markets. Then, you can further expand your reach into these markets, even if only to test selling specific products.
There are tools which offer free planning tools and downloadable templates. These serve in finding best markets for your products, develop pricing strategies and more. To help develop your target markets, research the top countries that have strong demand for your products or niche specialty. Try learning as much as you can about consumers’ spending patterns and from which countries they typically buy.
Look for a payment provider with a strong global reputation. PayPal, for instance, consistently ranks among the top payment methods for international payments. This is because its more secure, provides purchase protection and ease of use across multiple devices. Generally, people prefer paying in a familiar currency – ideally their local currency. If payment is not offered in local currency, make sure to give a currency conversion. This helps customers see what they’re paying.
A slightly more advanced option is to optimize your existing website for international buyers. You can start by simply highlighting your ability to accept international orders. You can provide information on countries served and the shipping costs. The most advanced option is to build a website designed to appeal to specific overseas customers. This can also include investing in a local domain name.
Here are the steps which you can take to establish your ecommerce site Globally:
Assess Your Supply And Demand
Get a clearer picture of how you are going to score in international market. Assess your business from the local point of view in your product’s new space. Conducting a regional analysis around local competitors, product demand, pricing and consumer behavior, would be great.
Businesses essentially need to make sure they have a full understanding of what they’re selling today and the current demand. This knowledge serves greatly to home in on the size of the market that exists. The supply-and-demand dynamic for the product and the price also takes a boost at which it can be sold.
Building a global ecommerce site takes a lot of work. Retailers have to continually monitor the local competition and customer base – to understand the evolution of the local market. They also need to make changes to the site to sustain growth and profitability. Also, local laws can impact a merchant’s business in a region. This, too, requires continual monitoring and periodic reviews.
Localize Your Ecommerce Site
Most successful global retailers hire individuals who understand the local language and culture, to ensure the site is set up correctly. This is an important validation, as cultural nuances are often lost when a non-native person is responsible. But it is not typically possible to do this for every locale. Hence, global retailers often focus on hiring locals only for larger markets.
For the smaller locales, work with the consumers and partners in the region, to verify the site is set up correctly. The retailer can also incentivize shoppers by offerings discounts to encourage them to help with this effort. Authentic localization is a crucial driver for regionalized sales. Your ecommerce site experience should reflect the time and care you spent customizing the product itself.
Consumers won’t make a purchase if they don’t understand your product or can’t tune in to your message. Unbelievable as it seems – but some companies rely on Google translate to approximate different languages when expanding internationally.
Recruit a local team to help your ecommerce experience adapt to a new market. Make certain your message translates to appeal to consumers in terms of language, style, tone, shopping habits and terminology. It’s also a good idea to include a glossary of terms for translators to keep your brand’s messaging intact.
Localize Your Product
Businesses that launch physical products in international markets usually need to augment or adapt their solutions to support local preferences. Many businesses have failed to bring existing products to new markets because company leaders think that aggressive marketing or pricing can change entrenched cultural appetites.
Every retailer will have its own set of requirements to localize the experience for global shoppers. Doing a complete localization can be extremely costly and time consuming, as it requires ensuring every part of the site is locale specific. This includes the product catalog, the content, the buttons and images, search results, payment methods, fraud checks, tax, and shipping.
Merchants can also survey their customers in the region and even conduct A/B testing to try localization options, to determine which ones get the best response. Determining the extent of localization will educate the retailer on the investment and effort required to be successful in that region. Once the retailer has determined the extent of localization, it is critical to make the localization process mandatory.
When you enter a new market, you must set your prices on your products based on local currency. More than half of consumers give more attention to an ecommerce site that has goods at local prices.
Many factors contribute to local pricing in global markets. These can include – cost to manufacture the product, fluctuations in foreign currencies, price an international customer will pay, your competitors’ pricing, local regulatory or tax environment
It’s also important to support each region’s preferred payment method. While it’s exhausting to track so many purchasing habits, it can positively affect how your product sells. If a customer tries to buy an international product and doesn’t see a preferred payment option, she or he probably will leave your site and look elsewhere. Offering a wide range of payment tools increases your product’s global reach.
Focus On Customer Data
Building a global ecommerce site requires a customer service capability for multiple languages and locales. This extends to all areas of customer service: orders, returns, knowledge base, FAQs, email communications, live chat, phone, and fax. These all should be available during the appropriate time zone – wherever applicable. Customers want to know their privacy is being protected. They need reassurance their personal information won’t be used for unrelated business without their consent.
Cyber safety is a huge problem plaguing modern ecommerce. Putting privacy front-and-center in messaging across your site experience can get rid of these fears. And back up those words by investing in the technology to keep customers’ private information, private.
Expanding into the global ecommerce arena can be a challenging yet profitable new step for established and emerging brands alike. Keep the right priorities in mind to minimize the bumps, and you’ll accelerate your success in a new corner of the international online marketplace.