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Five golden rules when localising for international ecommerce

Understanding what local customers really expect when purchasing from an ecommerce site is an essential factor for success when it comes to international expansion. Failing to properly localise a website to be in line with local conventions will not only impact how users perceive a brand and feel about using a website, but ultimately effects how likely they are to buy from it.

Conducted by native speaking experts based in-country, we’ve reviewed everything from labelling convention and local UX preferences through to payment processes and the delivery options available.

Here are five handy golden rules for you to consider;

Be clear on local laws and regulations

Understanding and complying with local laws and regulations for each market you enter is essential. Failing to comply with these rules can result in hefty fines and also the loss of purchases due to not appearing trustworthy.

Ensure sizes and measurements are properly converted

Don’t forget to convert your clothing, furniture and fabric measurements to the local systems for every country in which you operate. This issue is particularly prevalent in marketplace websites where users list their own items such as Amazon and eBay.

Labelling and language

Literal translations of text often make the tone of voice sound unnatural or even nonsensical to local users. When the same language is adopted across regions ensure that spellings have been adapted to regional customers. This is important from brand perception and familiarity.

In each market you must decide whether you use ‘basket’ or ‘cart’, call items ‘shipped’ or ‘disptched’ and decide whether to provide a ‘favourites list’ or ‘save an item for later’ option.

Payment methods and delivery options

There are a surprising number of websites that fall short when it comes to catering for international purchasing requirements.

In addition to including all relevant credit and debit card options, it is important to be aware that some markets expect to be able to pay in different ways such as direct debit, cash upon delivery of an item or even by invoice after they have received it.

Don’t underestimate the importance of feeling local

Different businesses employ different methods of creating a familiar and local feel to their international websites. eBay welcomes Australian customers with a playful ‘G’day!’ and Amazon’s international sites use the homepages to promote products relating to local seasonal events and celebrations.

Click here to read the full version of the article on Econsultancy.