How To Deliver Effective Localization for Your eCommerce Customers
Localization is a bit of a delicate process. Simply running your content through Google Translate isn’t going to cut it and may even have disastrous results. Marketing history is peppered with funny anecdotes and cautionary tales of times when brands didn’t get localization right. For example, urban legend has it that when Pepsi tried and failed to localize their content to a Chinese audience. Their slogan in the 1060s “Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi Generation!” was mistranslated into Mandarin as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead!”. This doesn’t quite hit in the same way.
And even when entering a new market that speaks the same language, there is still room for things to go wrong. In another 60s marketing blunder, vacuum manufacturer Electrolux failed to notice that their British slogan “Nothing sucks like Electrolux” would have some negative connotations in the American market.
What these stories highlight is how important it is to tread carefully and deploy a little cultural sensitivity when localizing content. To ensure that your message hits the mark, you should consider the following steps.
Get to Know Your Customers
Before you jump into localizing your content, it’s important to start by understanding the market. Get to know their culture and customs, as well as their language. Think about what resonates with them. Is there an emotion they respond to? What values do they find attractive? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you tailor your message with more culturally appropriate nuance.
It’s also necessary to understand the more practical requirements too. What are the legal and regulatory requirements for business in that market, and how does payment work? Do you need to offer different currencies or payment options?
Re-evaluate Your UX
It’s important to consider the user experience when localizing your website or app. Think about how people in that market use technology and optimise accordingly. Are there any design conventions you should be aware of? Any elements that need to be adjusted due to language length or browser compatibility? Making sure everything is set up for maximum ease-of-use will make all the difference to customer engagement.
Adjust Your Pricing
This one might seem obvious, but it can often be overlooked. Your prices should be displayed in the local currency, with discounts or promotions factored in. But there is more to localized pricing than simply converting your prices into the local currency. Different markets have different buying behaviours, and you should adjust your pricing accordingly. This means considering factors like local competition, the standard of living, delivery costs and local taxes.
Make Sure Your Information is Relevant
When localising your content, it’s important to make sure that the information you provide is actually relevant to that market. Don’t display information that does not apply to that region, as it will be confusing for customers. Make sure you update all product descriptions, sizing information and shipping policies with relevant information for that market.
Provide Customer Support in the Local Language
It’s important to make sure that customer service is available in the local language. If a customer has an issue with their order or they have queries, they should be able to get help in their native language. If your business can’t support live customer service in multiple languages, then provide online resources and FAQs in the relevant language or consider a chatbot service that speaks the local language. This will ensure that customers always feel supported and valued by your brand and will minimise any communication barriers when things go wrong.
Localise your Marketing Content
This process often requires the most effort, as it’s not just about translating content into the local language. It means adapting your brand’s message to a different culture. Every region has its own values, norms, moral code, and sense of humour, so you need to be aware of how your messaging might be received. It’s important to emphasise the aspects that will resonate in that market, and to stay away from any jokes or phrases that might offend. Visuals such as photos, artwork, and videos should also be adapted to match the culture. If you’re trying to reach a new market, you need to show that you understand their identity and values. Marketing content should reflect who your customers are and what they care about.
Start Building Local Credibility
This one might sound a little vague, but it’s very powerful. It’s not always enough to simply step into a new market as if you’ve always been there. You might be a big shot in your original market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything to customers in a new region. It’s important to build up your brand credibility and establish yourself by working with influencers, connecting with local organisations, and engaging with customers on social media. Show that you understand the local market and are committed to being part of it.
Follow Up with Customers Post-Purchase
After customers have made a purchase, make sure to follow up with them using localized content. This is important for all markets, but particularly in a new one. Showing that you care about the customer’s experience will build brand loyalty and trust. You can do this through email campaigns asking for reviews, surveys, or feedback on the purchasing experience (in the local language). Doing so will help build your reputation and assist you in identifying any areas that need improvement.
Analyse Your Performance
Lastly, it’s critical to assess how your localization initiatives are performing. There are several metrics you can use, such as website traffic from different markets, customer satisfaction ratings, and conversion rates. You could also perform local surveys and sentiment analysis of your brand’s performance. Analyse the data regularly to identify any weaknesses or opportunities in each market. This will help you develop more effective strategies in the future and ensure that your business is always adapting to the needs of the local market.
Take the hassle out of localization with LingvoHouse and see your eCommerce store go global. Contact us now to find out how we can help your business.
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