While several brands are going global with their business these days, it is still not an easy process for most. Many retailers are still looking for ways to make the expansion a seamless process. Speakers at the Global E-commerce Leaders Forum in New York City this week offered a wide array of information with a focus on localizing your global expansion.
Connect with Your Global Customer Locally
Everything starts with the customer. Customer and personal care needs to be personalized based on local markets.
Retailers have to go to those countries to understand the country. Heather Kaminetsky, VP of Global Marketing for The NET-A-PORTER Group, said the company localized based on that. Put someone in the market and engage with the market you plan to enter.
Understand what the consumer is telling you because they are having the experience. Make sure the content is speaking to the customer based on where they are.
“We know where you are based on what country you select, marketing and communications are very targeted,” said Kaminetsky.
When it comes to mobile, people don’t want words, they want video, imagery and a fast experience with the brand. The phone is winning globally.
Choose the Right Region for Your Global Business
When going global with your business, one region to think about is Latin America. Jose Nino, VP of Ecommerce and Marketing for Perry Ellis International, said in Latin America, customers want to see pricing in local currency, VAT and duty charges.
He cautioned that by launching your site globally, you will automatically have traffic, it is important to put in the marketing efforts. Figure out which region in Latin America, the region that will be most marketable. Look at the popularity of the brand in the specific region you are choosing to enter into.
When looking at a region, look at the intangibles that can impact conversions. Evaluate taxes, shipping and the impact it has towards conversion.
Nino said when it comes localizing your site, keep language in mind, there are many words that are similar to one another. Retailers will also want to look at the fraud rates, VAT and shipping plans. Start small focus on localization and dialect.
“LATAM is a journey commitment to a long-term strategy, you will not have overnight wins,” said Nino.
Be Authentic with Your Global Approach
Authenticity is important with the global approach to your business. Authenticity is especially important when it comes to content.
Dev Mukherjee, President and COO of Power Reviews, said the believability of the content goes down when a retailer is not authentic with its content. Make sure the language is translated properly.
“If you don’t have an audience on social media to start, you have nowhere to start, we’re seeing an increase in mobile first reviews,” said Mukherjee.
Tim Lee, Vice-President – Strategy of SP eCommerce said when going global in China for example, the language is so intricate and complicated; missing the slightest nuance in Chinese could impact your business.
Lee said when going into a new country, it is important to focus on what you do well.
George Gallate, Chief Marketing Officer for Merkle said translations need to be fully localized; some subtle changes make a big impact. Language also matters in Australia, simple product names can cost a lot in conversion.
Assess Global Payment Options
Localization and being authentic with your business globally isn’t the only things you need to think about. When taking the global expansion approach, you need to assess payments in that region.
“Having alternative payment methods is crucial,” said Brian Dammeir, Senior Product Manager for Adyen.
Tokenization and one-click payments provide the best return in checkouts across the world. It reduces the friction to move customers from impulse buys to repeat purchases.
Dammeir said in developing worlds cash and installments are accepted. In Europe, credit cards, bank transfers are taken and in Asia, credit cards are prominent.
“You want as many options for consumers,” said Dammeir.
Ahmed Naiem, Chief Commercial Officer for eShopWorld/ Ascendia said a hyper local approach is critical to conversion.
“It’s a matter of matching the pricing locally,” said Naiem.