With global online sales continuing to skyrocket, it's more important than ever for companies to offer their international customers relevant, localised transactional websites. Those that don't will get clobbered by competitors.
Fortunately, superior technology-driven approaches now make it effortless and affordable to localize your cross-border transactional site.
The Opportunity, and the Stakes
Make no mistake: cross-border transactions and fulfillment represent the future of e-commerce. Under current global trade policies, it will grow to over $1 trillion by 2021.
This includes emerging economies, where online shoppers are increasingly tech savvy. Consider India, the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world, with mobile subscriptions expected to hit 1.4 billion by 2021. Then there’s China, a nation with 751 million Internet users as of July 2017, an increase of nearly 20 million since the start of the year.
With the growth of the middle class in China, India and other emerging markets, consumers are looking to spend on retail goods, and companies are looking to invest in services.
These customers increasingly expect to be able to buy from any retailer, anywhere in the world. They also expect—and can get, from savvy retailers—a quality online user experience, and fast shipments. Coupang’s new “Rocket Jikgu,” a service for South Korea’s online buyers, promises to ship overseas goods to customers in three days.
You need to move swiftly to capitalise on overseas opportunities. That means optimising your website for global customers.
Of course, you need to move swiftly and smartly to capitalise on these overseas opportunities. That means optimising your online experiences for those global customers, making it easy and enjoyable to interact with-and buy from-your website, rather than a competitor's.
The competition will eat your lunch if you don't. So make sure your websites, shopping carts, product lines, social media streams and other online communications are translated and localised for the global customers waiting to buy from you.
The Answer: Website Translation
How do you get started on the vital task of localising your website for cross-border e-commerce? The steps are straightforward: You translate your site, localize it so it's culturally and linguistically relevant for specific markets, and optimise it for search engine and UX success.
Translated sites meet the needs and expectations of local customers. They'll understand what you're selling, in their preferred language. Translating your content also improves your site's ranking in local search engines, making it more likely you'll be top of page-and top of mind-when customers are searching for the products you offer.
Translating your site improves its ranking in local search engines, making it more likely to be top of page—and top of mind.
Beyond the growth in revenue and customers, cross-border e-commerce also pushes your brand beyond your ultra-competitive domestic market, and into new "blue ocean" markets where competition is less fierce. The slower you move, the more likely your competition will enter those markets, and start building brand awareness and customer trust before you do.
And speaking of customer trust: Great website translation agencies employ translators who are fluent not only in languages, but also in your target markets' shopping preferences and cultures. This helps them craft resonant, persuasive translations that help spark sales. These linguists also use glossaries and style guides to ensure they're accurately representing your industry, products and brand voice.
Ultimately, the vendors that excel at localising cross-border e-commerce websites are digital-first agencies that understand the nuances of the web, and deliver more than just translations:
- They localize metadata and implement other SEO-boosting capabilities such as hreflang
- They offer on-site language-detection technologies that can quickly redirect global customers to your translated site
- They provide swift translation turnaround times, including fully translating websites in as little as 30 days, and translating fresh content in one working day or less
- They offer cost-efficient technologies that maximise the value of your translation investment by enabling you to re-use translations anywhere, at any time, at no additional cost
- They provide turn-key solutions that are easy for your teams to implement, and that can integrate with any backend system you use or switch to
In a nutshell, these best-in-class vendors make your translation experience easy and cost-efficient, without sacrificing quality.
Digital-first agencies excel at localising cross-border e-commerce websites, and understand the nuances of the web.
Today's savvy global companies are expanding into new markets every day. You should be one of them.
To remain relevant and take advantage of long-term, retail growth opportunities in global markets, your online commerce experience should be localised and optimised for global customers-in the languages they prefer.