Are you thinking about taking your e-commerce business global or expanding your already global presence to new regions of the world? More than a billion buyers worldwide were responsible for $1.2 trillion in online sales last year. While a good portion of that comes from North America and Western Europe, e-commerce sales are projected to grow 44 percent in the Asia Pacific region in 2014.
No doubt the opportunities to sell globally are plentiful. In the race to out-do and out-sell their competitors, many global companies are stepping up their e-commerce game plans, adding more languages, exploring localized mobile apps and more.
If you’ve only dipped your toes in the global e-commerce pool, you may want to explore some new ways to ramp up your localization strategy. It just so happens we have four tips to help you get started.
- Grow revenue with website localization
The economic potential of online communication is $45 trillion, according to a recent study by Common Sense Advisory. How exciting! The sky is the limit for your global business.
Or is it?
Without a solid localization strategy that incorporates an e-commerce website in multiple languages, it will be a challenge to get within arm’s reach of this revenue. In fact, the same study found that if you have just an English version of your website, you’re limited to only one third of the pot.
How many languages does it take for global businesses to stay competitive online? The research says a minimum of 14. Global brands wanting to appeal to 95 percent of the world’s online wallet need 20 languages. While it isn’t always feasible for a business to translate online content into 20 languages, it’s hard to deny the benefits of website localization for targeted regions around the world.
Many businesses recognize this and plan to add even more languages to their localization strategy in the future. One example is European-based clothing seller ASOS. They launched a website for the Chinese and Russian markets in 2013 to expand their global footprint. They already had a presence in the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany and Australia. They saw international sales overall increase by 39 percent with their past website localization initiatives—so they knew that additional language sites would help grow revenue.
If you’re ready to get a bigger piece of the global e-commerce pie, like ASOS, consider upping the number of languages on your website. Check out the article, Global e-commerce: Are these 5 items in your localization shopping cart?, for tips on how to approach e-commerce website localization.
- Increase buyer confidence with localized user-generated content
The statistics from the infographic Review of Reviews around consumer behavior and online reviews are astounding:
- 71 percent of customers agree that online consumer reviews make them more comfortable that they’re buying the right product or service
- 70 percent of people consult reviews and ratings before purchasing
- 63 percent of people are more likely to purchase a product from a website if it has positive product ratings and reviews
- Customer reviews create a 74 percent increase in product conversion
Not too shabby, right? If this information tells us anything, it’s that people trust their peers’ opinions over corporate product descriptions—and they’re more likely to buy because of them.
To increase buyer confidence on your global e-commerce website, incorporate a way for customers to rate and review your products in their own language. Reviews will typically be in the language that your website is rendered in—so if you want French reviews, for instance, you first need a French language site.
But what if you have multiple versions of your website, and someone writes a truly stellar review in Spanish? You’ll likely want everyone to see it. In these cases, you may want to translate your best reviews into additional languages to leverage their revenue-generating potential on each iteration of your site.
- Consider adding a localized mobile app to the e-commerce puzzle
Mobile purchasing is on the rise. In fact, 91 percent of all people on earth have a mobile phone. And of these individuals, 50 percent use mobile as their primary Internet source.
Mobile-based purchasing’s revenue potential has gotten so big that it now has a name of its own: m-commerce. There’s good reason for it, too. On Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the United States, mobile purchases made up 40 percent of total sales for the day.
Companies like Netshoes and Ebay are taking notice—expanding into new markets such as Brazil (as this market is especially exploding)—and realizing mobile’s profit potential with localized apps.
If you’re ready to jump on the m-commerce train and increase international sales as well, consider adding mobile apps to your localization strategy. No matter how many apps or languages you require, we can guide you every step of the way.
- Take advantage of important shopping days around the world
Sure, you’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about Single’s Day (China’s version of Cyber Monday)? This major shopping day saw $5.7 billion USD in online sales last year; it generates more revenue than any other national shopping day around the world.
To fully take advantage of these major shopping days across the world, you may want to consider localizing your marketing materials to drive traffic to your website and increase sales in these markets. To do this, you’ll need in-country, native-speaking marketing experts to ensure your messages hit home with locals. Everything from online advertisements to print collateral may need to be part of your localization strategy. When you are ready to localize your content, Sajan can help you. We have the expertise and experience to help you with all your global marketing needs—across all languages and content types.
As you can see, the world is rich with potential for your global e-commerce business. A solid localization strategy and a strong partner can get you on the right path to international success. At Sajan, we’re dedicated to helping our clients with whatever comes their way. So if you’re ready to step up your e-commerce game plan, just say the word, and we’re there.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing international sales and increasing traffic on your localized e-commerce site, check out our article: Multilingual SEO: Taking your global marketing strategy further.