With the acceleration of digitalisation, in part due to the pandemic, e-commerce sales have hit an all-time high and have become an indispensable part of the global retail industry. In 2021, retail e-commerce sales reached approximately 4.9 trillion USD worldwide, forecast to grow by an incredible 50% to 7.4 trillion USD by 2025, making up 24.5% of total global retail.
More and more consumers have adapted to shopping online and enjoying the benefits of being able to get what they want without having to leave their homes. E-commerce is great for businesses too. Fewer set-up costs and overheads, combined with access to markets worldwide, mean companies can engage consumers quicker, easier and more cost-effectively than ever before.
However, to make the most of this opportunity of reaching global audiences online, brands need to adopt an effective localisation strategy.
The importance of localisation for e-commerce
It may be relatively straightforward and affordable to set up an e-commerce site, but for this reason, more brands are doing it. And this is leading to market saturation. Getting noticed online is a lot harder today with so much competition.
Trying to attract non-native markets can be even more challenging. To gain engagement, you need to connect with them like a local brand while still showcasing your unique brand identity that makes you stand apart from the competition.
Research by the Common Sense Advisory revealed that 40% of customers would not make a purchase in another language, and 65% prefer content in their native language. So, by localising the content on your site and your marketing strategies to reflect local tastes, preferences and expectations, you can show your new audiences that you’re in touch with their market and care enough to adapt your brand strategy to connect with them. Gain their engagement, and you’ll see your sales increase.
What does e-commerce localisation involve?
To implement an effective localisation strategy, you need to address all the content on your e-commerce site as well as your marketing strategies across social platforms or search campaigns. This process includes evaluating product and company descriptions, blogs and articles, videos, social media posts and ad content.
A successful localisation strategy does not just mean running your content through Google Translate. On the contrary, for a localisation strategy to be effective, it needs to consider the context of the local market, which an automated translation tool is unable to do. A professional translation service will engage native, in-country linguists who have in-depth knowledge of your market and can localise your content so that it is appropriate for its culture.
Furthermore, localisation involves much more than just translating your text. Images, formats, units of measurement, currencies and more also need to be considered.
You can read more about localisation at our blog.
For marketing content, you may want to consider transcreation. This process involves a more creative approach to the translation of your content. It assesses what makes your brand identity, style and messaging special and seeks to recreate it to be appropriate for a different market.
Learn more about transcreation here.
How localisation can gain you a greater share of the market and drive sales
In today’s competitive market, localisation is a necessity if you want to maximise your global growth. Here’s why:
Localisation helps you connect with your audience.
We’re all aware of the importance of personalisation in today’s hyper-connected world. If your brand doesn’t resonate with a consumer because it’s in a foreign language or doesn’t reflect their wishes and expectations, they’ll click through to an alternative site to find one that does.
Localisation boosts your ranking.
Localising your content introduces numerous new keywords and search terms to your website, gaining your site more recognition from search engines and helping your website to appear higher in searches by new audiences. Go one step further and include localisation in other areas of your SEO strategy, and your online visibility will increase.
Increased loyalty from a better user experience
Consumers are more likely to be loyal to brands that deliver a high-quality customer experience, and that includes the experience on your website. If they can navigate with ease in their native language and access customer support without any extra effort, they will return to your site in future. Give them the opposite experience, and they won’t be clicking your way again.