Tommy Kelly, founder of ESW, talks about Cross-Border Ecommerce and Glocalization
Location, location, location – that’s the mantra of realtors everywhere to convey the number one factor in determining a property’s desirability. For cross-border online sales destinations, its glocalize, glocalize, glocalize. When it comes to international e-tailing, glocalization is arguably the most important factor for success.
Glocalization for B2C ecommerce brands is much more than translating the text on a website; although translation is an important component. The goal of glocalization is to make online shoppers in your target geography at least as comfortable, if not more comfortable, purchasing from you than from a local vendor or other international competitor. With glocalization, potential customers are much more likely to find your site in the first place and then stick around to make a purchase.
So what exactly does successful glocalization encompass? Below is a checklist:
Language and currency translation
You can’t glocalize without translation. U.S. retailers, if American English is not the predominant language for your target audience, then it is imperative that you translate the text on your web pages and marketing communications into the local language. Dates and prices need to be in the local format as well. You also need to account for cultural nuances; word-for-word translation is not enough.
Your U.S. customers may pay with credit cards or PayPal but customers in other countries may prefer different payment methods. In Germany, for instance, most consumers prefer to pay by bank transfer or direct debit. In Russia, cash on demand is still one of the most common forms of payment, followed by “e-wallets” funded by bank accounts or cash deposits into local kiosks. If you want people to buy from your website, you need to offer the local payment options they prefer.
Your international buyers will want to know how much extra they have to pay for any customs fees or import duties and shipping. They will appreciate being able to discern that information up front as soon as possible in the buying process.
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