Every customer, whether foreign or local has the same expectations – attractive products at competitive rates with good user experience. However, if you are planning to sell cross-border, you need to take care of a few more things so that your sales are not adversely affected. Online foreign customers tend to compare in their minds with the local experiences they are used to. So adding a novel experience may not always be taken well. Keep them in their comfort zone in order to convert potential customers into loyal ones.
Ensuring a great experience for your online foreign customers start with breaking all language barriers. This means your page or website should be readable in the local language especially in a country where English is not widely spoken, for example, China. 85% of global shoppers buy from sites that display and communicate in their local language. In other words, shoppers prefer to purchase what they can understand and connect with easily. Since the customer’s journey could be across multiple channels depending on your presence, it is important to see that the language doesn’t keep changing.
It’s a great idea to introduce translation management software into your business because online foreign customers would definitely expect a localized flavour. This type of software can provide 90% of your translation solutions. It is a tedious job to copy-paste source strings to excel but the use of this type of software can eliminate such an arduous task every time your website needs an update. It can auto-extract the content, execute the translation and immediately upload the new language to the site without you doing anything manually.
The basic idea is to make your site accessible and acceptable to foreign customers by going in for what is widely known as ‘Ecommerce localization’. The idea behind it all is to make the foreign shopper feel at home, give him an experience which feels close to home. This also establishes you as a player in the local market at par with local competitors.
However, since the aim is to generate revenue, just translation cannot assist in keeping up with the expectations of foreign customers. They need more.
“Market-specific customer care – E-business leaders must understand how customers want to interact with their brand for customer service. Customers’ reliance on different service channels (e.g., call-centres, email, online chat, and social) varies by market, and well-localized websites will dedicate resources to channels with respect to local preference.”
– Lily Varon (an analyst serving digital business strategy professionals and inspiring customer success personnel)
Localize your site completely with expected pictures, colours, and themes. Stick to Omnichannel if possible. Let the customer experience be uniform across websites, mobile and social media.
Pricing should always be in the local currency but the price should be right. Every consumer is price conscious so it is important to give them competitive rates. Whether it is currency rates or shoe sizes do give them a smooth experience by putting price tags in the local currency and shoe sizes in the local language. Customers need familiarity at every corner- payment methods, currency, sizes as well as language. The effort you thus take now will help to overcome barriers for your online foreign customers by giving them a seamless and simple shopping journey.
Foreign customers would look for clear cut product descriptions that are lucid and find things at a glance. So make it a great experience for them.
Take a test run of the entire purchase experience in order to ensure that there are no glitches. Check on the Country-wise requirements for addresses, or whether alpha-numeric codes are being accepted.
To increase the credibility of your products, take into consideration the cultural preferences of your customers.
Consider local markets when using keywords which are very important for search engine optimization especially in different countries speaking the same language but where the jargon varies as ‘trousers’ versus ‘pants.’ The use of the wrong word will affect business if the keyword does not find a match. Sometimes people also use generic words instead of a particular brand so do take care.
Go one step further to bond with the online foreign customer by providing customer support in the local language. This will go a long way in aiding your business. Do your research to identify the most popular keywords and those that generate sales. Use words that have an impact and do away with words that are redundant. The key lies in offering exceptional customer service and catering to the local palate.
Offer attractive shipping rates and multiple delivery options. Tracking is an important arm of the delivery system so include it and ensures that you provide accurate information to the client. Help to match user experience with user expectation in order to get a higher rate of conversion.
Your online foreign customers will thus find happiness through localization and that will help to boost your online sales across borders. The value-added services that you provide will make your brand stand tall and increase your chances of sales. Let us not forget that websites packed with good conversion rates, better product visibility, and customer satisfaction are automatically empowered to generate higher revenue. There may be innumerable customers out there waiting for a unique experience, help them find your store and enjoy an experience that makes them come back for more.