Translating Your E-Commerce Journey For Cross Border Growth

ecommerce translationReaching customers around the world has never been easier. With smartphones, social media and e-commerce websites, businesses can find customers anywhere in the world.

  • Scottish whisky brands are proving popular in Japan.
  • Japanese whisky is increasingly popular in cocktails in London and Edinburgh.
  • English tailoring, watches and cufflinks are often found in offices and business lounges in Dubai.
  • Soft drinks from Poland are often found in corner shops in Manchester and Birmingham. Hundreds of similar examples can be cited all around the world.

Thanks to the Internet, the dream of globalisation is a reality. You can buy almost anything, from almost anywhere, and get it delivered to your home, office or inbox. And more people than ever are inclined to search further afield to buy from brands they know and love, or to find new products and services. We are no longer limited to one city, region or country when searching for our next purchase.

Great news for anyone selling products and services online, and even better news for those who could sell their goods to customers in other countries. However, although online shopping is a global experience, we can’t hope to break into international markets with the same website the world over. Local customers expect local languages, currencies and payment options.

Benefits Of Website Translations

Although English is the universally accepted ‘language of business’, as close as we have to an international language, customers in other countries respond better when content is presented to them in their own language. According to a Common Sense Advisory survey, 55% of consumers only make a purchase when a website is presented in their own language.

The same survey also found that 84% of B2B customers are more likely to make a purchase or request a callback when a website is in their local language.

It’s not just your product information that needs to be translated and localised either. Failing to present pricing in a local currency, or making shipping timescales and costs confusing or overly expensive are two common reasons baskets are abandoned. All of these problems could be solved with a translation and localisation strategy, and a professionally translated website.

Customers want to know more about your product/services, and they want to know the price (including shipping) in their currency, without needing to attempt to work out conversion costs. Even if it takes a several weeks to ship to a country halfway around the world, giving them that information upfront means they’re able to make an informed decision, instead of throwing in surprises just before or after they’re about to complete a purchase.

How To Implement An E-Commerce Translation Strategy

#1: Work with a professional

Google Translate or other third-party plugins aren’t the answer. Not only do these negatively impact the user-experience (making potential customers click away, especially on mobile devices), but also the translations can be inaccurate and confusing. Native speakers will know this and feel they aren’t being treated as a priority, encouraging them to source a local supplier or a competitor who’s invested more in a localisation strategy.

Work with a translation provider who understands how to translate not merely the words, but the context, meaning and your brand voice into another language. Once approved, the translated copy should be uploaded to a local version of your website, which should include SEO tailored for the most popular local search engines.

The local version of the website, under a region-specific domain, must be mobile friendly especially if you are focusing on Asian, African or Latin American markets. Your m-commerce user experience should be tested in-country, to ensure customers on mobile devices can easily buy your products or services from a smartphone.

#2: Have local payment options

Not every card scheme – including Visa and MasterCard are universally popular everywhere in the world. PayPal isn’t the default third option wherever you go. Tailor your payment options to what is popular in local markets, such as Alipay in China. Make it easy for customers to pay in their local currency, using payment options that are trusted and commonly used in those countries.

Speak to your payment service provider about alternative payment methods. They will be able to provide you with detailed insights into the market and preferred payment methods so that your payment pages are localised with market specific payment options.

#3: Price in the local currency

For pricing, you have two options. You could fix your pricing in the local currency. Or you could implement , so that the price is fixed at point of sale, changing according to exchange rates.

Pricing in Euros or GDP when exploring cross border trade with countries out of the EU is not a good policy. Customers want to know exactly how much a product or service will cost them in the local currency, allowing them to make a decision based on information that is relevant to them. There is also a higher risk of chargebacks when pricing is in your domestic currency. Customers reviewing their bank or card statements may not recognise the transaction or be surprised by the amount after conversion and initiate a chargeback.

#4: Translate payment pages

Your payment pages, including the forms used to process payments and landing pages after a transaction has been processed, should all be translated into the local language. Every point of contact should show that your brand cares about customers in each market by ensuring pages are localised for their needs. Conversions is always going to be higher when you deliver a truly localised payment journey, from the checkout to the email thanking them for their purchase and confirming delivery details.

Secure Trading’s payment gateway is available translated into 7 languages so that our clients can localise their cross border payment journey for each market they do business in. Currently our payment pages are available in French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

To find out more about cross border e-commerce get in touch with our payments experts. Call 0203 691 2697 or email [email protected]