If your company is looking for new growth opportunities online, it's time to expand to international markets with translated websites. But which countries and customers fit best with your expansion aspirations?
Here are five quick tips:
1: One Site to Rule Them All
Maximize ROI by launching one translated website that can serve multiple markets. Consider a Spanish-language site for U.S. Hispanics. Hispanics' buying power will hit $2 trillion by 2020. They spend 20% more per order online than the U.S. average.
But customers in Latin American markets will transact on this site, too. And they’ll often spend more. For instance, Mexicans spend nearly 95% more than U.S. Hispanics do.
Another example: Launching a Russian-language site will serve more than Russian customers. It’ll also resonate with Russian-fluent consumers in neighboring markets, such as the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
2: Fulfillment Is Critical
Companies that fulfill international orders can increase their revenue by nearly 20%, but delivery infrastructures are more stable in some markets than others.
Navigating these nuances is essential for success. Your fulfillment solution must play nice with import and export laws. Understanding which markets are prone to corruption, natural disasters or other risks are equally important.
Have processes in place for reliable e-commerce transactions and delivery. Alternately, partner with a vendor that's fluent in these marketplaces, and their unique challenges.
3: In-Language Customer Support
As you leverage translated websites to expand into new global markets, be aware that to effectively serve these new customers, your organization must invest in local-friendly customer support resources.
Translated FAQ pages will certainly help many consumers in global markets via self-service, but they won't have answers to every question. You'll want to translate support e-mails and "contact us" forms. Phone representatives should also be fluent in local languages, too.
Examine your company’s resources, with an eye for overcoming these challenges by enlisting expert outsource solutions.
4: Address Technical Concerns
Many companies believe their new global sites must be hosted by servers based in those international markets. This is often unnecessary. Latency issues are uncommon in developed regions, where hosting solutions easily distribute server loads.
However, the need for local hosting is high in other international markets. Content Delivery Networks and geo-load balanced servers are often used by companies to improve their domestic sites' speed or reliability. But they can also play nice with governmental requirements of restrictive international markets, too.
Finding a localization partner that provides insights into these issues, and can accommodate geo-load balancing when appropriate, is very important.
5: Social Is Powerful
Don't underestimate the marketing value of social networks as you target new markets. Regions with high social adoption rates can often supercharge brand awareness and sales. Increasingly, social networks are the easiest way for customers to share brand information and sales, and recommend products, with friends.
Integrating regional social network functionality into your localized site can lead to more revenue. For instance, after integrating networks WeChat, Weibo and QQ into its Chinese site, one of our clients saw 30% of its referral traffic and 10% of its total site revenue hail from those networks.