The ecommerce landscape is changing fast, and international consumers now comprise a substantial portion of your potential buyers.
Consider this: the biggest ecommerce market today is China, with the region’s online spending expected to surpass 1 trillion dollars by 2019. Overall, e-commerce is growing fast in a multitude of economies but research frequently shows that many retailers are missing out on opportunities to attract and convert overseas visitors.
For these visitors, the biggest barrier to purchasing from foreign retailers is trust. Does your website make them feel welcome and cater for their needs?
This should, of course, extend far beyond your site’s home page. Your whole site along with all your channels should cater for your international visitor. The good news is that never before has it been easier to do this.
By leveraging your visitor data, you can now easily optimize your site for your overseas visitors, guiding them through the buying journey and nurturing positive relationships in the process. Here are some ways you can do this.
1. Reassure visitors of your custom and support
Upon visiting your store, international visitors want to know that you serve and deliver to their region. Keep in mind that this group are highly likely to bounce if their informational needs are not met quickly. Answers to their pressing questions should be clearly presented.
An easy way to assure these visitors is by a non-intrusive pop-up on their arrival. Segment your visitors by IP address and display important information. This can be tricky to do in house, but easy if you use a personalization tool like Bunting.
The Bunting website welcomes visitors from around the world, assuring them that their region is served and supported by the company, with a flag displayed to help make the visitor feel at home.
2. Display and promote products from their region
Analyse your customer data: what products and brands are popular in different regions? What trends do you notice? If you’re looking to break into a market, then research what they’re currently buying.
By targeting visitors with products popular in their country, you’ll notice a far higher conversion rate. Your landing page, for example, can display trending products from the region, in conjunction with relevant offers to help acquire customers from the area. Amazon buyers in Japan, for example, will see locally popular products in their country on their first visit.
Then, show relevant product recommendations based on customers’ browsing and transactional data. By doing this, your store will feel like a familiar and welcoming place for your buyers.
3. Be culturally aware
Do some research into the culture of the market you’re targeting. Certain taboos may exist that you should avoid, and the last thing you want is to put off potential customers. For example, in a country where alcohol use is prohibited or frowned upon, it wouldn’t be wise to make references to alcohol in your content and imagery.
Look at popular ecommerce sites from your target regions and get a feel for what local buyers might expect.
You could take this a step further and embrace elements of certain regions’ cultures. Displaying a greeting for a cultural festival or celebration day is a great way to connect with visitors.
4. Speak to them in their language
Several retailers take it for granted that English is so widely spoken in the world today. Non-native English speakers outnumber native speakers, but this does not mean you shouldn’t have an option for shoppers to view your site in their language.
Having this option is one of the best ways to make the visitor feel at home. Furthermore, they are 4 times more likely to buy from you if your store offers their language. Even better, offering support in their local language too is a great way to build the trust of your overseas buyers.
Do consider separate domains for your overseas markets. It’s no secret that Amazon’s international success is attributed to their many country-specific domains, which serve visitors in their local lingo.
If this is not currently an option, then translate site content. Notice how China’s large online retailer JD allow users to change the language. By using IP data, you can display a translated version of your site on your visitors arrival. However, the only way to ensure a good translation is by hiring a professional. A lower-cost option is to allow a free translator plug-in such as Google, but remember that it will result in an imperfect translation.
5. Local currency and taxes
It is essential that visitors can view products in their own currency. Leaving them to work out prices manually can result in frustration and even a lack of trust.
Consider using a currency converter tool on your site, but make sure that prices change dynamically in line with currency conversion rates.
Also, be upfront about any additional costs or taxes. Different countries and regions have different duties and taxes which need to be displayed before the shopper completes the purchase.
6. Display local payment methods and shipping policies
Buying from an overseas vendor is generally seen as being a riskier option than buying locally. Assure visitors that their local payment options are available. Do your research – credit card payment, for example, is common in many Western countries but not used in many others.
Above, ASOS made it clear that they delivered internationally, and provided a link for more information, as well a useful feature to change currency.
Shoppers may also be concerned that their purchase could be damaged in transit, or that it may not match their expectations. Such concerns are heightened when buying internationally. Your returns policy should be clearly displayed to alleviate their worries and build trust.
7. Utilize popular channels
What channels are your international visitors using?
Mobile is the preferred means of buying online in China and India, but has not had the same success in Latin America. Make sure all your channels are optimized to cater for your international visitors. In addition, act on data so you can successfully target users by utilizing the most effective channels.
To conclude, international ecommerce markets are growing exponentially and opportunities for your business have never been so abundant. It is crucial to effectively target and cater for international visitors if your ecommerce business is to maximize profits.
By using a personalization tool like Bunting, you can easily leverage user data to optimize your site channels and effectively personalize the customer experience for your overseas buyers.