Besides translating websites, e-retailers must accept local payment methods, meet local expectations and provide in-language customer service.

Craig Witt, executive vice president, MotionPoint

Craig Witt, executive vice president, MotionPoint

International online retail is where the action is, and where it will stay. With global e-commerce on track to hit $4 trillion by 2020, the time is now to be relevant in international markets—especially online.

While going global has its opportunities, you need to consider two major challenges: generating awareness of your brand among new global consumers, and converting website visitors into paying customers.

Don’t miss the mark with global consumers – leverage social and search

The best way to serve your global consumers is by providing websites in their preferred languages. However, language alone will not drive visitors to your localized sites. To successfully enter a foreign market online, you’ll need local brand awareness.

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One way to achieve this is by leveraging your translated content on local social networks. With the world’s active social media users now exceeding 2.5 billion, retailers are incorporating social-media marketing components into their global consumer outreach. The omnipresence of these networks—and the business opportunities they facilitate—are undeniable.

Identify and correctly translate high-impact keywords to boost your site’s rankings in regional search engines.

Localized Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns can also attract your ideal customers. However, it’s not enough to run PPC ads on Google exclusively. In fact, choosing Google might be a misstep altogether. These ads should be placed on regionally-appropriate search engines. For instance, Yandex is the No. 1 search engine for Russia, while Naver is the primary search engine for South Korea.

This approach also extends to your local site’s SEO efforts. Make it a priority to identify and correctly translate high-impact keywords to boost your site’s rankings in regional search engines. Apply this best practice to your URLs, too.

Customer-engagement tactics can boost your brand’s visibility within a new global market and drive consumer traffic to your local websites. But once customers are there, how can your site—and your company—ensure those shoppers can trust it, and transact on it, without worry?

Your website is attracting visitors. How can you build credibility?

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Credibility is a key ingredient for building trust. If the market doesn’t believe in the quality of your company’s products or services, you’ll face an uphill battle from the start. From in-language customer service to localized payment methods, you can build trust in several ways.

For example, does your company provide customer service in the form of e-mails, phone calls or “contact us” forms? If so, be prepared to provide those same customer feedback opportunities in-language for new global markets as well. This means translating e-mail correspondence, providing customer service phone numbers in global markets, and having “contact us” forms that are appropriate for the target market.

Trust is a key currency

To build trust, you also need to understand the global consumer’s expectations. For instance, did you know that posting special on-site verbiage called an “impressum” is an essential trust signal for German customers? Companies based beyond Germany’s borders don’t need to include this content, but German users expect it—and often lose trust when they don’t see it.

You can also encourage further consumer trust by clearly displaying the acceptance of local payment methods. In fact, conversions and revenues skyrocket for retailers when local consumers can easily see their preferred payment methods are accepted on-site. In South Korea, for example, global brands usually generate only 20 percent of what they’d otherwise earn when they don’t support local payment types.

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In the end, launching translated websites in new markets is a great start for reaching your global customers. However, it’s just the first step. Retailers seeking success in new markets must not only translate their websites, but also build brand awareness in these regions and convert website visitors with localized, trustworthy tactics.

MotionPoint provides translation services to online retailers.

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