We live in an era of globalization in which the physical boundaries between countries are blurring and it is easier than ever to cross borders. In fact, today, with all the technology available to us, it is possible to do so without even getting up from the sofa. The business internationalization is a great opportunity for ecommerce; let's not forget that more than half of the world's population has access to the internet as stated in the Data Reportal report which means that there are more than 4.95 billion people surfing the web, which corresponds to 63%, performing informational and transactional searches (these are the ones we are interested in).
How to adapt your website to foreign countries
Now, how can you avoid making mistakes when internationalizing your online store? From Geotelecom, we tell you 5 keys to prepare your website abroad:
- The domain name: It may seem obvious, but if we are going to create a new website for foreign markets, choose a domain name that is adapted to the country, the language and that users do not perceive it as a "foreign" domain name. foreign will be one of the first things to pay attention to.
- A correct translation: We continue with another basic but key aspect when internationalizing our online store. We must make sure that the texts in the target language are appropriate for the context and that there are no errors. The best option is always to have a native translator take care of translating our texts into their mother tongue, so that our website perfectly mimics the target country and so that users feel that they are in the right language. home. Of course, Google translator is not an option.
- Location: Following on from the previous point, we would like to place special emphasis on the importance of localization; just as translation is the process of translating a particular text into a new language, localization is a process that goes beyond this: it makes a website or application culturally relevant and appropriate. This process often includes changes to the design, communication style or the way users enter data, even as basic as colors. Making this cultural adaptation as seamless as possible will be a determining factor when it comes to conquer to our foreign users.
- Usability is critical: our website should be adapted to the browsing patterns of users in the target country. There are some really interesting and useful analyses that explain what patterns users from different parts of the world follow when scanning a website. The most famous is probably that of Nielsen Norman Group, which highlights the F-shaped pattern and explains its implications. For this I leave here the link to the NNG study: nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/
- Adapt your platform for international sales: Finally, it will be of little use that we have followed the above points to the letter if, at the time of purchase, we do not give confidence to our customers. To avoid this, we will need to incorporate into our site the payment gateway most trusted by consumers. In our country, for example, PayPal and Visa are the most common and most trusted payment methods, but depending on the country, they may be more adapted to Google Wallet or Apple Pay.
Why adapt a website to other countries?
With so many diverse markets within reach, it is only logical that the ecommerce to conquer them, very often without taking into account the specificities of each market. A website poorly adapted to the target country can be synonymous with total and resounding failure in a shorter period of time than you might think.
Language: it is estimated that the 90% of Europeans visit websites in their own language native speaker, but 43% of them make purchases only if the page they visit is in their language.
This may be due to the fact that it affects users' confidence as it raises questions such as "will my package arrive," "is the price correct," "how long will it take to ship," and other questions.
Market adaptation: Another aspect besides language is cultural adaptation. Sometimes, a translated website may not adapt to the idioms of certain languages, for example: Spanish websites may not work well in Latin America and vice versa. Payment methods also play a role, as they can have a considerable influence on the purchase decision.
Can the design be the same?
Fortunately, not all cultures are the same. Each one has something unique that makes us human beings and we see it also in web design. Websites like Aliexpress offer very flashy designs and loaded with visual elements that are not common in Europe, which bets on more minimalist websites. This is a factor to take into account when going to other countries, as banners, ads, videos, may need to be adapted to each country.
In this example, we see how the web design is more eye-catching with multiple calls to action and the use of different colors for each section. This is a common design in Asian countries.
On the other hand, in this other example, we see the adaptation to Spain of Alibaba's website. The colors are more familiar to each other and the calls to action are smaller.
This is something to take into account when preparing a web design for certain markets.
As you can see, each local market has its own particularities and the local markets are retailers online must know them all in order to penetrate a foreign market. It is not an easy task, but from Geotelecom, we encourage you to go abroad and tell us about your experience in the comments.