What is e-commerce localization?

E-commerce localization is the adaptation of an online store to different languages and cultures. A fully localized e-commerce site should be indistinguishable from online stores in that market.

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Translation vs. localization

People often confuse localization with translation, with the latter being the process of communicating a message in another language. While translation is an essential part of creating a global e-commerce site, localization goes further by tailoring an online store according to customers’ cultural context and ensuring its accessibility to the local audience.

E-commerce localization takes all the content of an online business’ storefront and adapts it to resonate with individual target markets anywhere around the globe. It transforms a website or app so that it appears made by and for the local market.

While the strategy involves translating the text into the local language, localization is more about modifying all content to suit a specific market’s interests, events, and behaviors, as well as adopting the locale’s regulations, currencies, measurements, and formatting. It’s also about understanding the cultural differences between markets. Doing so will impact all the content on the localized website, including the type of images used, the way products are displayed, and the amount of text shown.

By localizing all website or app content into different languages and contexts, e-commerce brands can build a strong global business and maximize returns across every market.

Why localize?

Any online business has the potential to reach global audiences. Localization strategies pave the way for a brand towards international success. Here are some reasons Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands should consider localizing their websites and apps:

  • Language advantage: One of the advantages that local sellers have over international brands is that they sell goods in the target audience’s native language. A translated website can still generate sales even if the translation isn’t the best quality. CSA Research shows that 65% of consumers prefer buying from stores selling in their native language, while 67% tolerate mixed languages on a website. Business localization means attracting audiences and converting consumers because understandable offers lead to sales.
  • Payment preferences: A Netsuite study showed that 76% of shoppers look for e-commerce sites that sell items in their local currency. If a DTC store has no convenient payment method and doesn’t accept local money, most potential consumers won’t convert into a sale.
  • Rapid penetration: Cross-border e-commerce spending may grow to 2.9 trillion dollars by the end of 2022. With localization strategies, it’s easier for international businesses to penetrate new markets, build trust with potential customers, and gain shares in consumer spending. By providing targeted content, preferred payment and shipping options, and active customer service, DTC brands can find success worldwide.

Cafe24 supports business localization

E-commerce platforms have made it easier for businesses to enter the global market, and Cafe24 is no exception. The company has helped merchants in South Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines broaden their reach. Through Cafe24, merchants interested in business localization have several tools and services available to them that can help with the following:

  • Building global storefronts: Cafe24’s Global Sales Assistant creates multilingual stores, integrates foreign payment systems, sets customs clearances, and charges international shipping fees.
  • Global customer support: The Global Customer Management service provides customer support to foreign markets with the help of local experts who handle product inquiries, recommendations, and orders. These experts also offer insights on local consumer behavior and shopping trends to help merchants understand the market.
  • Market insights: Cafe24’s Specialized and Enhanced Realtime Admin (SERA) provides insights on customer behavior to help merchants identify which areas of their business need improvement to cater to different markets.
  • Multichannel presence: Cafe24’s Market Plus is a channel integration service that connects DTC stores to various online sales platforms, allowing brands to reach consumers wherever they choose to shop. By appearing on multiple channels, brands can gain more consumer awareness in the markets that different selling platforms serve. Some of the marketplaces included in the service are Wish, Buyma, Shopee, and Lazada.
  • Marketing strategies: Cafe24’s Marketing has over 250 global marketing experts available to provide one-on-one consultations with merchants and help them achieve success. Additionally, partnerships with Google, Baidu, and Facebook provide localized advertising and marketing tools to help penetrate global markets.

With the right combination of market research, e-commerce localization tools, and business strategies, Cafe24 merchants have the ability to reach new audiences, penetrate global markets, and achieve worldwide success.

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