Ecommerce Growth

Going international. How to adapt an e-commerce site to a global market

There’s been a lot of talk about website localization and how to build a site or multiple versions of a site, so that it adapts to different countries, languages and cultures. But what if you could go the other way, make an international site that corresponds to general expectations, a site that uses the most popular language and is easily accessible for users from all over the world.

world atlas

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This is especially true for websites that have managed to rank well on Google.com on high competitive words. If you have done such a great thing, and users from all over the world are arriving on your website, it would be nice to welcome them and offer them relevant information. It would be kind of disappointing to start adding products to a cart, only to find out at the end of the process that the shop doesn’t deliver worldwide.

For example, someone searches for “tea” on Google.com and they arrive on an online tea shop that doesn’t make it clear from the begging if it’s shipping worldwide or just in the original country. This can be a lost moment for the visitor, as well as for the site. Especially if the shop is actually shipping worldwide, but the message isn’t visibly displayed.

Here are a few suggestions about how to respond to international visitors and possible customers. We are not going to talk here about the expansion of a business, but more about making your website friendly for all visitors.

1.    Write accessibly. If we think about demographical statistics, English may not be the most spoken language in the world, but it is the most popular foreign language and the dominant one on the internet. Write universally, don’t use regional expression. Nevertheless, make sure you don’t over simplify and lose expressivity.

2.    Display shipping details from the beginning. Even if they represent one of your competitive advantages, shipping details should be visibly displayed. They are one of the information visitors search firstly. See how Asos.com displays them on the main page:

e-commerce site going global

3.    Paying options. Different countries, different paying systems and cards. You should make sure your visitors understand that you offer a secure paying platform and that they have multiple international paying options. The most common are Visa/MasterCard/Eurocard, PayPal but there can be many other cards available worldwide or online-banking based payment systems.

4.    International personalization. You can combine tracking analysis with segmentation and personalization to greet your international visitors with messages in their own language. It’s just a way to make your site friendlier and to make visitors from all over the world feel welcomed.

greetings

The above list shows just some ideas about how to make your e-commerce site responsive to a cultural change and a new way of using the internet for shopping. It’s not about localizing your products on new market, about translation and new domains; it’s about talking to an international audience.

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