rDuty LAST UPDATED ON JUNE 15TH, 2021
PREPARING THE LAUNCH OF AN E-COMMERCE SITE INTERNATIONALLY (ENG)
Statistics are now unanimous: more and more e-merchants are choosing a cross-border strategy to develop their sales and increase their visibility abroad. Cross-border e-commerce sales, estimated at $276 billion in 2015, are expected to reach more than $424 billion by 2021 according to Forrester. Securing payment methods, standardizing regulations and simplifying cross border logistics are all factors that drive consumers to buy across borders. The key then is how to implement a solid international strategy to conquer new markets.
Analyze your internal resources
Before embarking on new markets, every company must ensure that it is ready to take on the challenge of international expansion. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
-Is my company sufficiently stable in its domestic market?
-What organizational and operational model should I put in place?
-Do I have the necessary skills in-house?
-Is my IT infrastructure easily locatable?
-What resources am I able to devote to my international deployment?
-How many employees can manage content localization, especially over the long term?
-Do they have in-depth knowledge of the target markets?
-An analysis of needs and available resources will help you define a realistic international strategy.
-This avoids launching into an inordinate number of markets simultaneously: it is better to focus on a few countries rather than scatter without results.
Define your objectives and target markets
It is then fundamental to clearly define the target markets most suited to one's business. Here are a few tips to follow:
-Customer analysis: analyze your customer base to see which markets are most represented. It will be easier to develop in a market where you are already recognized.
-Selection of target markets: Avoid targeting the most popular market, it is not necessarily the one with the most potential.
-It is important to precisely define the criteria to assess the relevance of a market: population, GDP, Internet penetration rate, regulations, etc.
-Competition: who are the local competitors? How many and what is their position on the market?
Once the priority markets have been identified, the localization work can begin.
Assemble a localization team
Preparing your e-commerce site for new markets goes beyond simply translating existing content. It involves localizing and maintaining product information in multiple languages, as well as images, multimedia content, metrics, currency, marketing materials, and more. That is why it is important to set up a team to handle the localization work, including :
-An in-house project manager who will be able to provide localization instructions and send the content to be translated.
-An external project manager can take care of recruiting the right translators and ensuring that deadlines are met.
The selection of translators is an important step to ensure convincing translations and good conversion rates. It is advisable to choose professional translators with expertise in the relevant field of activity (fashion, beauty products, leather goods, etc.), in order to arouse the interest of the potential client. Good organization and a balanced distribution of tasks are key elements in order to carry out the localization work correctly.
Think about assistive translation technologies
There are two conflicting options when it comes to translating product information into multiple languages:
-Traditional human translation: a translator will be able to provide high quality content and adapt it to the target audience, even if it means moving away from a literal translation. However, this is a relatively expensive option, difficult to industrialize and poorly integrated with modern localization solutions.
-Machine translation: Fast, cheap and industrializable, this method does not allow for the style of a brand or the nuances of a message. Machine translation cannot replace a person's knowledge and expertise.
Combining expert translators with translation tools is the best option for effectively translating product information. For example, translation memory is one technology to consider: using previously completed translations, it suggests segments that have already been translated to the translator. Since most e-commerce sites have catalogs with a lot of repetition, this technology can be used to ensure the accuracy of the translation.