E-commerce site for international sales: 9 tips

Today, one of the major challenges for an e-merchant is its international expansion. According to a recent study carried out by OC & C with Google, country based e-commerce sites are not yet sufficiently internationalized.

Indeed, cyberstores only display 15% of foreign customers. Their British counterparts are much more globalized, as are the German or American sites.

There is a strong potential for export growth for e-commerce sites. But this requires adapting its visibility and sales strategies. In this article, offers you 9 tips for successful international development.

1. Evaluate with precision the internationalization marketing costs

Duplicating a local model abroad is not enough, you have to think of all the marketing costs that will come into play to make your site known, and evaluate them with the greatest possible certainty to avoid unpleasant surprises and unforeseen increases in costs. This requires a well-defined web marketing strategy in advance.

2. Impeccably translate your site into the local language

It is illusory to think that a site translated only into English will be sufficient for your internationalization. In addition, it is very difficult to reference a website on Google that is not fully translatedand localized in the language of the target country. Although most online buyers speak enough English to understand your site, your customers will prefer to buy from a trusted site, which communicates in their native language.

3. A mobile phone number and address on site

Reliable customer service adapted to the target country is another success factor for the development of your e-commerce site internationally, regardless of the country you are targeting. This is why a telephone number and a local physical address are essential; they generate proximity and trust, reassuring the consumer before purchasing so that he can be sure that he has a contact to reach in the event of problems.

4. Locate the means of payment

It is essential to set up local means of payment on your site. In some countries, the lack of local means of payment offered to buyers results in drops of 70% in transactions. For example, the French are used to paying by bank card, but in some countries this is not the case; as in Germany or the Netherlands, where bank transfer and the most used means of payment.

5. Adapt deliveries to local specificities

Sending and delivery are vital points for any international e-commerce project. Shipping costs vary greatly depending on the country to which the delivery takes place. Delivery time expectations differ from country to country. The more the consumer realizes that the product and the delivery services are distant, the higher the risk of basket abandonment.

6. Adapt communication and marketing to your target

You may find yourself confronted with cultural, political, climatic changes which modify the approach of online sales. It is therefore essential to identify these differences in order to adapt your communication strategy. The marketing keywords used must be recognizable by local buyers. Improper vocabulary can be fatal to sales. The marketing channels used in France are not used in the same way abroad. Do not hesitate to offer customer reviews in each language; and prepare discounts and offers that match local customs.

7. A domain name strategy

The domain name and url structure of a website are very important choices, to be taken into account to ensure international referencing.

8. Locate the presence on social networks

Social networks will play a key role in the internationalization of your ecommerce site . Take the time to create specific Facebook, Twitter or Google+ profiles for each language version of the site, and start interacting with your potential customers. Pinterest is more visual and lends itself to universality. You will have to adapt and not just translate the content you publish.

9. Set up online advertising campaigns

During the launching phase, you will have to invest to make your website known to your potential customers, using solutions such as Google Adwords and Remarketing. But you must also take into account the search engine that your target uses.


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