Complete Guide to E-Commerce Localization

Jul 14
2022
E-commerce Localization

E-Commerce localization is the process of adjusting your website, marketing collateral, and customer support to better suit the needs of local customers. This might involve translating your website into different languages, ensuring that all of your images are geo-tagged correctly so that users in a particular country can see products relevant to them, or even tailoring which payment methods you accept based on local preferences. To succeed with E-Commerce localization, you need to understand who your target audience is in each country and tailor your digital presence accordingly. 

E-Commerce localization will help you sell more products by accommodating users from different cultures. In this blog post, learn more about how to effectively localize your E-Commerce business.

What is E-Commerce Localization?

Localization is the process of adapting marketing materials, services, and products to better suit the needs of a specific region or language. For E-Commerce businesses, it’s a way to make your online shopping experience more appealing to customers in different geographies by tailoring your website, product descriptions, customer service, and marketing materials to the specific culture of each region. 

When shopping online, customers want to feel like they’re buying from a company that understands and respects their culture — if they don’t get that kind of experience, they’ll likely go somewhere else. Localization is just as important for E-Commerce businesses as it is for brick-and-mortar stores. Customers want to feel like they’re getting a personalized experience that’s tailored to their specific needs.

Who Should be Involved in the Localization Process?

If you’re thinking about expanding your E-Commerce business to new markets, localization is one of the most important aspects to consider. By getting a better understanding of your target audience, you can better tailor your digital presence to suit their needs and preferences. In order to make sure your localized efforts are successful, a team effort is often necessary. Here are some of the different functions that should be involved:

  • Marketing – The marketing team, including the product manager, public relations manager, and marketing director, will help you find out what customers want and how to reach new audiences through digital marketing activities. 
  • Product Management – The product manager will help you tailor your product and service offerings to the local market. This team can also help you select the most appropriate payment methods to use in each country or region. 
  • Sales and Customer Service – Sales and customer service representatives are a great resource for getting a better understanding of your customers’ preferences and needs. They can also help you tailor your customer service approach based on the culture of your customers.

Know Your Customer

E-Commerce localization starts with getting to know your customers. When expanding your digital presence to another country, selecting the correct country or language, and understanding local customs and culture, all start with knowing your customer. When taking inventory of who your customers are, keep a couple of things in mind: Who are the typical customers in your market? What is their location? And what is their buying power? 

The first step is determining who your typical customers are in your existing market. This will allow you to tailor your digital presence based on their needs and preferences. Below are a few ways to get a better understanding of your customers: 

  • Interview your customers: The best way to get to know your customers is to talk to them. While you obviously can’t talk to every single customer, you can survey a select few to get a better sense of what they like and dislike about your product and service offerings. 
  • Create customer personas: A customer persona is essentially a profile of your average customer. It allows you to better understand your customers’ needs and wants, which will help you make more informed decisions in the future.

Language Localization

No matter what language your customers speak, the first step towards E-Commerce localization is to make sure your website is translated into their language. While you may have an English version of your website, customers who prefer to shop in their native language may be turned off by having to search for products in a language they aren’t familiar with. Having a translated version of your website will help reduce this issue and encourage more customers to make a purchase. 

There are a few things to keep in mind when translating your website: 

  • You don’t want to simply replace all English words with the same amount of words in another language. You need to make sure that the language is well-written and grammatically correct. 
  • You also don’t want to simply translate your product descriptions into another language. While you can use the same words, you don’t want your descriptions to be too literal, as it will make them sound stilted and awkward. Instead, you want to keep the same tone as the original website and just substitute the words.

Image Localization

When marketing your brand, you want to make sure you’re targeting customers in the local area. You can do this by geo-tagging your images. Ideally, all of your product images will be geo-tagged using the latitude and longitude coordinates of the location where you took the photo. This will allow potential customers to search for images based on where they are located, which will make the products more relevant to them. 

You can use tools like Google My Business or Bing Business to tag your images correctly. While you can manually tag each image with the coordinates, you may want to consider automating this process. If you’re using a visual content marketing strategy, image localization is an important part of your strategy. If you’re marketing your products with images, you want to make sure the images are attracting customers in the area. 

Automating the process can allow you to have the same images appear in various platforms, including social media, without having to manually tag each image in every platform. If you’re using stock images or images you’ve purchased from a third-party supplier, make sure they’re also tagged with the correct coordinates.

Payment Mechanism Localization

If you’re targeting customers in new markets, you may want to consider accepting different payment methods. Credit cards are the most common form of payment in the United States, but in other countries, the preferred form of payment is different. If you’re trying to sell in those markets, you may want to consider accepting other methods. 

You want to select the payment methods that are most common in the region you’re targeting. If you’re selling to customers in Asia, you probably don’t want to select a payment method that’s primarily used in the United States.

Schedule a Consultation With an Expert E-Commerce Team

E-Commerce localization is important for every E-Commerce business, but it’s especially vital for businesses that sell internationally. It’s essential to understand your target audience and how they want to shop online. If they’re familiar with shopping at a physical store in their area, then localizing your website, marketing materials, and customer service will help them feel more connected to your brand. At KitelyTech, we can help. Contact us at (800) 274-2908 to get started.

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