With the introduction of Shopify Markets, it is becoming possible for brands to expand their target market and grow their businesses internationally. But when you’re taking your business to new markets, you also need to take into account the local audience’s shift in behavior and purchase preferences, among many other factors.
That is where localization comes in.
Localization is a cost-effective way to expand your business and increase your brand awareness. Localizing your e-commerce website for international markets can help you to reach new customers, drive conversions and increase your brand loyalty.
But it’s not just about translating content - it’s about making sure that every aspect of your site is tailored to local audiences.
We're living in a global economy. People around the world are buying and selling goods and services to one another, and they expect their digital experiences to be as seamless and easy as possible. As e-commerce continues to grow, so does the need for localization of content.
What is ecommerce localization?
Localization is the adaptation, translation, and execution of an eCommerce store to a new geographical market. Using this, you can convey your brand’s message in multiple languages so you can reach out to a wider audience. This includes translating the text into different languages, translating images into different languages, and even adjusting coding elements like currency symbols and dates.
And hence, localization helps promote cross-cultural translation and multilingual features in online shopping. This process primarily involves understanding, tweaking, and managing the following pointers -
You can even translate your site into multiple languages. For example, if you have a Spanish website and want to target French customers too, then you can translate it into French as well.
Cultural value refers to the perception of people from different cultures about your product or service. People from different cultures may have different perspectives about products or services that are similar but unique in their own way. Therefore, these perceptions need to be understood thoroughly before marketing your products or services globally.
Another important aspect is the design of your website and its navigation system. The design should be appropriate for every culture that you target because every culture has its own preferences when it comes to colors, images, etc.
What are the benefits of ecommerce localization?
Ecommerce localization is one of the best ways to increase your business's reach. The internet is a global marketplace and it's getting bigger every day. This means that you need to think globally if you want to keep up with the competition.
Here are some of the most important benefits of eCommerce localization:
1. Increased worldwide engagement
Localization can help you connect with customers all over the world.
According to Statista, there are around 2 billion internet users in China alone, making it one of the most important online markets in the world. If you sell products or services in English but don't have them translated into Chinese (or any other language), this means that millions of potential customers are being left out.
With localization, however, you can reach these people by translating your website into their native language and engaging them in their preferred language on social media channels like WeChat or Weibo (China).
In addition to China, other emerging markets include India and Brazil - both countries with large populations and active eCommerce industries.
2. Connect to new target customers with localized content
By using localization, you can also improve sales and expand your customer base.
The internet provides an opportunity for companies to reach new customers all over the world. However, if your website is only in English, you're missing out on opportunities to connect with potential customers who don't speak English well enough to use your site in its original form. This can cause lost sales and even damage your brand's image if people have trouble finding information about your products or services on your website.
Many companies decide to translate their websites into another language for this reason — and it can pay off! According to studies, using localized content can increase conversion rates by up to 86%.
3. Drive more conversions
Localizing your e-commerce website will help you increase sales by providing a better user experience for your international customers. It has been proven that providing localized content increases conversion rates by up to 70%.
4. Personalize your customer’s shopping experience
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about e-commerce localization is personalization. You want to make sure that your visitors feel welcomed and at home. That's why you should use their native language, local currency, time zone, and other specifics that may be important for them.
Localizing your website helps improve user experience because it allows people to find what they are looking for quickly and easily, without having to spend too much time searching through hundreds of pages trying to find what they want. It also means that there won't be any mistakes or misunderstandings between you and your customer when it comes to how things should be done, as everything will be clear from the start.
5. Improve your SEO rankings
The best SEO strategy is one that is tailored to each individual market.
If you want to rank well on search engines like Google or Bing, then it's crucial for you to have a localized version of your website available in different languages. If you do so, your website will get ranked higher in local search results than if it were only in English.
This way, people from all over the world will find it easier to find exactly what they're looking for in their language and demographic.
6. Build better relationships with your customers
E-commerce localization allows you to meet the needs of your target audience. It helps in building trust among customers, who are more willing to buy from an organization that understands their language and culture.
Cultural elements to pay attention to when localizing
Cultural elements are an important part of e-commerce localization. These elements will attract customers and make them feel like they are shopping in their own country.
It includes everything from language and text to images, colors, and even sounds. When it comes to localizing your website for international markets, there are many considerations that may go beyond the obvious language translation. We’ve enlisted a few to get you started with your Shopify localization strategies.
The keywords used on your website help search engines such as Google find it easier, especially if they match the language of your target audience. In most cases, they are the same in all locales, but there are some differences. For example, a search query “tires” may be translated as “pneus” in France, but as “automobile tires” in Brazil.
2. Idioms and jokes
Localization is not just about translating words — it’s also about understanding cultural differences between countries. Idioms and jokes can be difficult to translate without losing their meaning or cultural context.
Idioms and jokes often have no direct equivalent in other languages and also because they may not be understood by local customers. However, companies try to translate them into their local markets as much as possible so that they can be integrated into content on their websites or social media accounts.
Think about where your customers live.
The location of your store is a major factor that influences the way you conduct your business. You need to make sure that the language used on your website is appropriate for the country where your online store is hosted.
It is important to note that different countries have different ways of doing things, and even though the content may be identical, it can be interpreted differently depending on where it is hosted.
For example, if you are selling products in Germany and your store is hosted in the UK, then you should not use British English (BrE) terms like ‘pants’ or ‘trousers’ because these words mean different things in different parts of the world. In Germany for instance, ‘pants’ implies undergarments while ‘trousers’ refers to formal wear such as suits or slacks.
Currency issues may have an impact on payment processing fees and shipping costs.
So, if you're selling goods or services on a global scale, it's important that payment options match up with the customer's native currency. This will ensure they don't get confused when making a purchase and will also help avoid any issues with currency conversion fees or conversion rates changing mid-transaction.
Apple's website, for instance, has separate stores for each country it operates in — and they all have different prices and features.
5. Dates and Time
Different countries have different ways of writing dates and it is important that you are consistent with how you present them on your site.
Here are some of the questions that need answering when considering dates in localizing an e-commerce website -
- does the date appear before or after the month?
- How many digits do you display?
- Is it written using words or numbers?
- Are there any special characters used when writing dates?
Time is another area where it is important to know what format people prefer when displaying time so that they can easily navigate around your site without confusion.
What aspects should you localize?
The domain of the UK Amazon website is www.amazon.uk, whereas the domain of India Amazon is www.amazon.in. While this could be a pretty small integration, it makes a huge difference in how local audiences perceive your brand. It acts as a psychological trigger to consumers that the business is present locally.
Shopify Markets help make setting region-specific domain strategy easy by automatically creating subfolders when you create a new market for your business.
2. Product descriptions
The product description is the most important part of your e-commerce website. If your product descriptions are well written, you can easily convert your visitors into customers. The first thing a visitor will do after landing on your page is read the text. If it's not engaging, then they will leave right away.
Localizing your brand is important because it helps people recognize your company and products. It also helps them relate to you on a more personal level and increases loyalty and trust.
4. Customer Support
Customer support is one of the most important aspects in any business because it helps you build a bond with your customers. Being there for them in the language and preferences of their geographic location is a major plus point.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another aspect that needs to be taken care of while localizing your website content or blog posts.
If you want your website to rank higher in search engines like Google, then you must make sure that the keywords used in your store content match what people search for on Google. The keywords should also match those used by other websites in their content as well as titles and descriptions of products/services offered by them.
6. Blogs and social media
Blogging and social media marketing are excellent ways of communicating with customers and providing them with useful information about your products/services, deals, etc., which in turn will help improve brand loyalty.
While blogs and social media can be great ways to connect with customers and keep them updated on new products or promotions, they can also take up quite a bit of time if they need translating into every language you support.
7. Purchase motivations
The best way to attract customers in any market is to show them what they want to see.
However, what appeals to or entices a buyer in a certain location may vary; some may be fans of discounts, others of shipping, etc. Conduct thorough market research to understand and leverage this while you try to sell internationally on Shopify.
Are you looking to expand your business into a new market?
Are you looking for a localized solution for your Shopify store?
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is finding a way to grow without having to hire more employees or rent more office space. But today, with the help of Shopify Markets, expanding into new markets and reaching out to customers who aren't familiar with your brand has become so much easier.
Localization is an essential part of running a global business, but it can be tricky to get right.
We provide localization services for e-commerce websites. You can use our expertise to simplify your Shopify localization process.
Reach out to us today and we'll help you expand your business into new markets.