Using buyer habits to effectively localise your brand
Localisation is key when it comes to building a global ecommerce brand, and providing country-specific websites that give customers a well translated platform to buy on is vital when it comes to finding success in this area. However, translation is not the only thing brands need to be aware of when they are looking to take their company to the world.
Trends are important in online sales, and knowing your audience can help you tap into trends and ensure you’re offering the best website possible for each nation. Remember that buyer habits are not the same in every country, and optimising your website to compensate for different customer behaviours in different nations can be the key to unlocking success across the globe.
It may not be something that immediately springs to mind when it comes to talking about online behaviours, but the languages people use online are important to keep in mind when it comes to creating an effective ecommerce strategy.
Research into user habits in terms of language can be vital, especially given that it’s not always completely straightforward. For example, Remarkety reports that as many as a fifth of all online sales made in France are on websites that do not use French as their primary language, despite it being one of the world’s most well represented languages online.
What this shows is that it’s important to offer real diversity in translation. Give customers choice and effectively translated sites across a spectrum of languages so they can choose which to use, no matter where in the world they are. Knowing more about buyer habits can also help companies know where in the world this is best utilised, giving ecommerce brands the best success of extending their online reach and converting the maximum number of customers.
One of the most complex issues that comes when companies are globalising an ecommerce brand is how to best utilise content. It’s not all about just the language after all; different countries will see users interacting with different content types, or at different times of day, and these are vitally important factors to consider when you’re building a localised online retail strategy.
For example, the Remarkety research into worldwide user behaviours found that while most nationalities interact with content on site more than any other type, in Japan, this can vary greatly. In this country, the majority of people prefer to read content via email than on websites themselves, which can change the strategy in place. Knowing subtle nuances like this can really open the door to success in interacting with customers, which is vital when it comes to nations like Japan, the fourth biggest spender in the world online, according to Remarkety.
It’s not all about content types either. The research shows that different nationalities in countries across the globe interact with content and websites at a range of different times. This can affect strategy when it comes to providing content that customers interact with, so knowing how people behave, and how and when they interact with websites, can open the door to real success.
For example, in the UK the most common time for shopping online is between 6pm and 9pm. However, around the world, research shows that this differs greatly. South Koreans will shop most commonly between 10pm and midnight, while in Germany, the majority of sales actually take place in the morning, showing just how vast differences can be across the world, the Remarkety report shows.
Finding out what times people are most likely to shop online and making sure you’re posting localised content at these times of day can be a fantastic way to alter your online strategy for success in new countries.
One of the most difficult buyer habits to get a grip of in a global sense is the use of new technologies. Smartphone coverage the world over is now at around 1.9 billion as of 2015, reports Statista. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean people are shopping using a smartphone in every country. Given the need to provide optimised sites where mobile use is high, it is therefore vital that companies are able to track buyer habits so they can provide the best website possible to maximise reach and returns.
We can see how behaviours vary across the world by looking at the extremes. According to Remarkety, in South Korea, one of the biggest adopters of new technology, as many as 50 per cent all purchases online are made on mobiles. However, in Brazil this can drop very low, with as few as seven per cent of sales being made on smartphones.
It’s a similar story worldwide, with some nations being slower to adopt mobile purchasing than others. For example, the US, Germany and UK are all still more accustomed to PC shopping, while Japan and other Far Eastern nations are far more likely to shop on the go, with smartphone sales outpacing PC purchases throughout the region.
Knowing which countries and areas of the world are more likely to use a mobile device to purchase can shape an ecommerce company’s strategy when moving into new markets. If people in a nation are far more likely to purchase this way, it can be worth investing in a specially tailored mobile site in order to make sure they’re not alienating potential customers by turning their back on buyers’ preferred spending habits.
With any globalisation strategy, it pays for companies to do research into buyer habits in specific countries. These can help to shape how they move into new markets and what they specifically do to appeal to varied target markets across the world.