The increasing size of the international ecommerce market offers significant opportunities for online businesses who are ready to gain global marketshare, particularly those involved in the sale of digital goods and services.
When incorporated correctly and strategically, several key elements within your website, and particularly your cart, can localize users’ experiences and result in better conversion rates, increased average order values and higher lifetime values.
The potential impact on sales when effective localization is implemented – like translating the user interface, displaying prices in local currency and localizing payment and ordering functionalities – are absolutely critical for the creation of an effective global website.
Localization is a Big Deal – This is Why…
Studies show that cultural differences impact the way customers perceive your business, which, in turn, affects your bottom line. Failing to adapt your user experience accordingly can discourage potential customers from completing a purchase and from referring their friends.
Localization affects every touchpoint of your users’ experience. If a visitor finds a product they love and continues all the way to checkout only to be presented with a price in an unfamiliar currency, your cart abandonment rate is likely to be unnecessarily high. International shoppers hesitate when there is a mismatch between expectation and site content delivery, especially when it comes to payments.
PayPal’s Cross-Border Consumer Research report stated the folowing:
- 73% of shoppers want to pay in local currency
- 45% of shoppers feel uncomfortable making a purchase in a foreign currency.
It’s pretty clear that displaying prices in a shopper’s local currency is one variable of the shopping experience that plays an important role in ensuring successful cross-border market penetration and sales.
Seamlessly offering international customers a localized experience with a cart in their own language and currency along with relevant payment options creates an experience that feels local to them. This helps conversions by increasing confidence and decreasing hesitation, ultimately facilitating your business’ global growth agenda. It also faciltates your recruitment and retention of top global performance based resellers who are looking for both high payouts and high converting offers. The abilty of your ecommerce platform to automate partner management and payouts on a global scale is also a key consideration.
Successful localization also requires that you plan to accept more than just credit card payments. While credit cards are the most popular payment methid in tht euS, that is not true of the rest of the world, and fully 1 in 6 shoppers will abandon their cart if their preferred payment option is not available. The average number of payment options offered by most ecommerce platforms is 8. We offer 16. The graphic below courtesy ecommercenews.eu clearly shows the not insignificant differences in terms of preferred payment methods just within the EuroZone and neighbouring ussia.
In a nut-shell, localization plays a vital role in reducing friction and anxiety for your shoppoers as they complete their online purchase. The results are higher conversion rates, lower cart abandonment rates, and revenue growth.
Other thing to consider when designing your cart for success:
We know a lot about what causes last minute hesitation and what causes people to bounce before hitting the final checkout button. As the final step in the ecommerce sales funnel, your shopping cart can often either make or break the sale. While there is no secret formula that will work for every business and customer segment, most high-converting cart pages have a few things in common:
Most important, your cart page needs to have a clean, uncluttered design. This means including as few fields as possible to make it as easy as possible to pay. Items added to the cart should be clearly displayed with product descriptors and the final price (including shipping if applicable).
Though it’s tempting to get more information from shoppers so you can engage and/or retarget them, do not require them to create a profile to check out. Instead, offer that option after they have made their purchase. Another way to help shoppers along towards the purchase button is in-line validation and providing a progress bar so customers know where they are in the checkout process and can anticipate how much more time it will take.
They Speak Customers’ Languages
To reach customers overseas, your cart needs to speak their language. Making sure your checkout instructions are localized, meaning that they are displayed in the prospect’s native language, will reduce anxiety and frustration. The more languages you can display your cart in, the more customers you can effectively convert around the world, and the ability to transact globally is key.
Similarly, your cart also needs to display a price in their local currency and have the most widely used payment options available. It’s important to note that this means you need more than just credit cards accepted in your cart. Be fully prepared to process payments on a global scale.
People are no longer just buying on their desktop. Purchases made on mobile devices continue to increase so you have to make sure your cart is easy to use no matter what device your shoppers are using.
As the last step in the purchase journey, any remaining anxiety or hesitation about the purchase needs to be overcome. Security and privacy seals have been shown to help increase confidence with customers and improve cart conversion rates. But only 65% show these seals at some point in the checkout process. Other ways to enhance social proof and assure shoppers that they are making a good purchase include displaying customer ratings, testimonials and return options if they are not satisfied.
By removing both anxiety (a) and friction (f), the two negative variables in MECLABS Conversion Heuristic, you will experience a natural and progessive increase in yourr conversion rates.
They Save Orders
Even if a customer doesn’t purchase at first, they may reevaluate later. Make it easy for them by saving their cart information for when they return to your ecommerce store. If you have their email, you can also send their abandoned order to them to entice them to finish their purchase.
2017 and Beyond: Continuing to Remove Friction
When it comes to encouraging conversions on your ecommerce site in 2017 and beyond, streamlined is in. Focus is on user experience and continue to keep up with tools and features that can remove barriers to purchase and boost your cart conversion rate. With fierce competition, it’s more critical than ever for ecommerce companies to master the checkout experience.