Apr 29, 2024

Localization in e-commerce: how to expand and localize an e-shop

In today's globalized digital economy, localization is a key factor for the success of an e-shop abroad. Offering quality content in multiple languages and adapting it correctly to local markets is essential for conversion and customer experience.

Localization in e-commerce: how to expand and localize an e-shop

What is localization in e-commerce?

Localization in e-commerce means adapting the content and functionality of an e-shop to the local language and culture of the target market. This includes e.g. translation of texts, prices in local currency, taking into account local customs and customer preferences.

Why is it important to have a localized e-shop?

A localized e-shop provides many advantages for both customers and sellers. Customers are able to shop in their native language and local currency, which creates trust and convenience. If they can choose payment methods and delivery methods as they are used to with other local e-shops, they are more easily committed to making a purchase. For retailers, this means expanding market potential, increasing competitiveness, and overall, fewer orders left unfinished in the online shopping cart.

💡65% of customers prefer to shop at e-shops that are in their native language.

Benefits of localization

  • Improved user experience. Providing content in a language and format tailored to the local market and customer preferences increases customer satisfaction and convenience during the purchase process.
  • Increased credibility. Communicating in the customers' native language and offering clear information creates an impression of trust and professionalism.
  • Expanding market potential. Content localization allows e-shops to reach new customer segments and expand into new markets, which can lead to increased sales and revenue.
  • Reducing the rate of abandoned purchases. When customers understand you, they are more likely to buy from you.
  • Improving SEO. Localized content will help improve your e-shop's position in search results.
  • Better communication and marketing. Localized content allows you to set up targeted marketing campaigns and communicate with your target audience more effectively.
  • Customising the menu and content. Localized content contains locally relevant products, events and information, increasing the chances of success in a given market.
  • Competitive advantage. E-shops with localized content are better able to withstand competition in international markets and maintain customer loyalty more easily.
💡73% of buyers prefer to read customer reviews of their chosen product in their own language.

What precedes localization?

Think and plan before you decide to locate. Be clear on the basic business issues of your business, develop a plan and stick to it. Successful and effective localization is preceded by answering a series of questions in ten basic areas:

  1. Determining target markets: which market(s) do you want to target and expand? What languages are spoken there? What are the cultural practices and preferences?
  2. Competitor analysis: who are your competitors in the selected market? What makes them different? What strategies are they using? What is its content, products, communications?
  3. Selecting the appropriate languages: which language serves as the preferred language in your chosen market? Can you localize into it? Is this a logical decision?
  4. Content preparation: Have you prepared a content localization plan? What will the localized content look like? What will the product content look like? What about the terms and conditions, FAQs and static parts of the site?
  5. Optimizing technical aspects: have you checked whether your e-shop is technically ready for localization? Does your chosen e-commerce platform provider offer the features you plan to use, such as multiple language options or foreign currency support?
  6. Budget planning: what is your budget for localization? Have you included localization costs, software tools, personnel costs, etc.? Do you have a financial reserve?
  7. Choosing localization tools: localization tools make your job much easier. Do you know what tools are available to you? One of the smart tools is the LOCO localization platform.
  8. Time: How long do you expect the localization of the entire e-shop to take? What will be your time management of each step? Do you consider the time aspect in your business plan sufficiently, or rather with a reserve?
  9. Testing and validation: do you allow time for testing and validation of the localized e-shop before the official launch? Do you plan to make a few dummy purchases to verify that everything works as you expect?
  10. Support: can you provide quality customer support for local shoppers? Do you know how to communicate with them? How to solve questions and potential problems?

E-commerce localization strategy

If you are going to localize your e-shop, your strategy should include adapting these aspects to your chosen market and local customs:

  • Domain. A local domain is more trustworthy. You can use the code of a national top-level domain ( business.com becomes business.co.uk in the English market), create a subdomain(uk.business.com), or deal with a localized website in the form of a subfolder on the main website(business.com/uk/).
  • Currency. Localized websites display prices in local currency. This gives the customer a clearly understandable price message without having to convert or recalculate the price in any way.
  • Pricing. On the one hand, it is understandable that you are entering new markets to increase your sales profits. On the other hand, the pricing of the products you offer needs to take into account the price level of similar products in that market so that you don't simply overprice.
  • Payment methods. Customers in specific markets have their favourite payment methods to persuade them to buy. We recommend that you stick to them.
  • Methods of delivery. Again, related to the popularity and convenience of your prospective clients. If you want to give them the convenience they are used to, find out which delivery methods they prefer and include them in your localized e-shop.
  • Pictures. Product images attract attention. At the same time, they inadvertently reflect cultural practices and standards that can influence how customers receive them. Focus on making your product images truly relevant to the local market.
  • Product description. Leaving aside linguistic correctness, which goes without saying, think about the content of your product description so that potential clients understand it as well. Choose words and phrases that allow them to do so.
  • Customer support. Customer support needs to be staffed by people that local customers will understand. But wait, does it have to be people? Consider implementing AI chatbots.
⚠️ Please note that localization does not mean a literal translation of the website.

Language and translation are essential

The most important point, which complements the above, is the correctness of the language in the translation and localization of the website. Errors, typos and unintelligible phrases will reliably put your customers off. At the same time, you are also undermining yourself by reducing the credibility of your own brand. You can only continue to build on an error-free website.

LOCO as PIM for localization

It's not easy to successfully localize an e-shop, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. You can make the whole process much easier by choosing the right tools to use for localization. For product content, PIM (Product Information Management) based programs and applications seem to be ideal, where you can manage the various sub-steps of the entire process simultaneously from one place. Another tool for smart localization of your products is LOCO - a platform that uses a combination of AI know-how and a human check.

💡 Up to 90% of online shoppers will only shop where they feel you understand them.

If you offer dozens of products on your e-shop, it is worth using a tool that can localize them in bulk. The LOCO application is intuitive and developed precisely for the needs of e-commerce businesses. It works on a simple principle: you connect your e-shop to LOCO, upload products, choose the target language, specify other parameters and let the selected products be automatically localized.

Using the technology of professional CAT translation tools, you don't just get an automatic translation like Google Translate or DeepL. You get a quality translation that draws from your own database (literally speaks your language and adheres to your communication style) and is also enriched with SEO optimization principles. Plus, you can have it final checked by AI and possibly proofread by a human translator (you make the request directly in the app).

💡Save up to 70% of localization costs with LOCO.

Successful product localization

You sell products on your e-shop, so at least the most popular ones must have 100% content. The goal of a properly localized product is for the local buyer to find it, become interested in it, and buy it. How to measure the success of product localization? Keep these four criteria in mind: discoverability, conversion, satisfaction, and number of returns. Successful localization means that:

  • your customers can easily find your products on the local market,
  • Increase the conversion rate on your e-shop (e.g. by the buyer actually completing their order),
  • your customers will be satisfied with their orders, buy repeatedly and like your brand,
  • you're getting fewer and fewer returns.

What makes it easier to find products in international markets?

Having a correctly localized website in the right language does not guarantee that you will also be a successful salesperson. The answer to the question in the title is therefore a marketing strategy. You need to think like a potential buyer, not a dictionary. Find out how your target audience commonly refers to the products you offer. For example, if a German wants to buy a new phone, he rarely searches for the grammatically correct "das Handy". More often, they google e.g. Android, iPhone, or smartphone.

💡If you want to achieve the best results in the foreign market, it is essential that your e-shop is fully localized. Localization is about overcoming barriers for the buyer to make the purchase as easy as possible.

Localization on marketplaces

If you are entering foreign marketplaces, preset filters that allow people to search for items they are interested in can help you significantly. Take into account real customer searches, develop your analytics and work with them when creating your product names and descriptions. Keyword analyses that match your offer and the focus of your e-shop are also a good tool. This will boost your SEO and make the search engines like you a little more.

If you choose LOCO for localization, you will ensure a quality translation enriched with SEO. We can help you analyze your target market and localize your products in such a way that you are visible in searches. We also know the specifics of foreign marketplaces. With LOCO, you can safely enter Amazon or eBay and generate special optimized descriptions for these platforms during localization.

Think also about the translation of static parts of the website

LOCO has its main use in product localization. Keep in mind that when localizing an e-shop, you need to adapt the language of the unchangeable parts of the website (terms and conditions, navigation bars, all additional texts, etc.). You only need to translate these texts once at the beginning, but at good quality, so it is worth approaching a professional translator.

Localize in just a few clicks

Fortunately, nowadays you don't have to be a developer or e-commerce wizard to localize your e-shop. With the right tools, using automation and AI, you can do it in a few clicks. Chances are that tens, hundreds or thousands of international customers are interested in your product. It's just a matter of helping them discover it. With a properly localized site, you can do just that. And with the help of LOCO, you can do it faster and easier than you ever thought possible.

💡Full automation and export directly to the e-shop. This is LOCO.

Interested in the LOCO app? Email us at loco@expan.do or register on our website and try the free demo version. Try out all the LOCO features on 50 products for free.