Insights: Organizing your localization program

March 21, 2017 by
Janine Nothlichs

2017-03-21_1153The cross-border ecommerce market is expected to more than double within the next five years, reaching $424 billion by 2021. In response, more and more businesses are stepping up their international strategies to increase visibility and sales in new markets. Localization is a necessary step for growth, but where do you start? In a handbook called Guide to cross-border localization written by Salesupply  in conjunction with gengo, both expert companies  help you lay the groundwork for a successful international strategy.

In order to meet the expectations of your visitors, translation of all your content is not enough. Localizing your online shop has many evident advantages for sellers: Localization drives engagement. It increases organic traffic, makes advertising easier and cheaper and increases the overall relevancy of a webshop. But does it really drive sales? The answer is yes. A localized website requires more than meets the eye. Selling in multiple markets through various channels, driving local branding while still maintaining a global identity—it’s a  hallenging conundrum that many brands and sellers have to tackle. This is especially true in an age where cross-border selling has shifted from being a retail trend to a part of many companies’ DNA.

The Basics of Localization
Localization aims at making your website functional to users from different geographical locations, countries and cultures. There are many localization decisions you have to make when selling overseas.

Localization embraces (any or all of) the following elements:

• Local conditions: Terms and conditions,
legal requirements
• Translation of contents
• Currency
• Pricing
• Fulfillment
• Customer service
• Address and Phone number
• Local return address
• Local (social) marketing

Levels of Service
Furthermore, you’ll need to choose the level of internationalization that your site will offer. Depending on the level of service you choose, your investment and customer accessibility will vary. The idea behind the internationalization grid is that you decide the level of investment depending on the market performance of the website and other channels in each market. With the grid, you can divide your markets
into four distinct categories that differ in the degree of localization effort. The grid is a dynamic concept; and markets can move up based on their performance.

Level 1:
A fully localized webshop, with a locally embedded
fulfillment system and native customer support, delivery
options and preferred payment methods. This approach
is viable for markets with huge potential or that show
steady growth.

Level 2:
A localized website, which is backed by an international
customer service team. Local payment methods and
delivery options are offered.

Level 3:
An English dot-com website backed by an international
customer service team that offers international payment
and delivery options.

Level 4:
A shop at an international marketplace such as Amazon
or eBay. The product catalog is translated, and there is a
native speaking customer service agent available.

2017-03-21_1159Download the Whitepaper here

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