Six Best Practices for Checkout Page Localization on Global Websites

Six Best Practices for Checkout Page Localization on Global Websites

shutterstock_229253272So, you’ve taken great pains to localize your company website. Your international visitors now have a great, in-language experience waiting for them. They’re so happy with the website, its content, and everything else that they actually decide to buy something and proceed to check out.

That’s the last you see of them.

What went wrong on the checkout page? Why do global website visitors abandon their shopping carts at the penultimate moment?

There’s more than one reason, and checkout page localization is an important one. Here are six best practices that will encourage your visitors to actually complete the transaction on the checkout page.

1. Translate

It may seem like an obvious question, but have you translated the checkout page along with the content on the rest of your website? Many times, when companies translate website content they neglect to also translate the checkout page into the local language. And, as a result, when the customer lands on the page, there’s a gap in the user experience. This makes the user hesitate, stall or abandon the purchase decision altogether.

2. But Don’t Just Translate

Just as for the rest of your site, mere translation will not be enough. In fact, content localization is perhaps most important on the checkout page, where the visitor needs to see a familiar currency, address and date formats, courtesy titles, and so on. This is really the page where you cannot afford to lose the shopper’s trust by saying zip code rather than postal code or pin code.

3. Locate the Page on the Local Site

Is the checkout page housed on the same country/regional website or does it go back to the .com? Because if it does, the chances are high that it will not be a localized page. Again, this creates doubts for the visitor who may feel that perhaps there’s an error somewhere because they’ve landed on the .com, rather than remaining on the country site. It may lead them to wonder if they’ll be catered to appropriately on the .com? Would there be any shipping delays if they ordered from the main website, rather than from the country branch? How would transaction-related disputes or returns be handled? Ideally, you don’t want these kinds of questions to pop up just before someone clicks on the buy button.

Is the checkout page housed on the same country/regional website or does it go back to the .com? Because if it does, the chances are high that it will not be a localized page. Again, this creates doubts for the visitor who may feel that perhaps there’s an error somewhere because they’ve landed on the .com, rather than remaining on the country site. It may lead them to wonder if they’ll be catered to appropriately on the .com? Would there be any shipping delays if they ordered from the main website, rather than from the country branch? How would transaction-related disputes or returns be handled? Ideally, you don’t want these kinds of questions to pop up just before someone clicks on the buy button.

4. Get Them to Buy, Then Register

Are you asking people to mandatorily register before they buy? That’s a surefire way to lose people. Always provide options for people to register later and continue with the transaction, like Louis Vuitton does on its Brazil site (see below). As it is, people need to give you their phone number, address, and email to complete the transaction. All you need to do when they complete the purchase is to ask them if they’d like to go ahead and register, and if yes, a simple field for a password can be provided. Or, you can provide a registration form with the previously provided data already populated and urge the user to complete the registration.

checkout page localization

 

 

 

On the contrary, if you insist that they register before they buy, it irritates the visitor who’s perhaps in a hurry to just get a transaction done.

5. Go Easy with the Questions

Yes, you’re hungry for data on your consumers, but ask them too many questions when they’re just getting to know you and you’ll simply scare them away. Also, there may be different levels of information that you need and people are willing to share from one country to another. Don’t treat the checkout page as the only way to get information out of visitors. Focus, instead, on helping the visitor complete the purchase quickly. Try innovative ways in subsequent steps, like email marketing, to build the buyer profile.

6. Facilitate Payment

Lastly, what payment options are you offering on the checkout page? Credit card is not a widely used payment method in all parts of the world. In India, for example, ecommerce wouldn’t have taken off if not for the cash-on-delivery option (see Amazon India’s checkout page below).

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Even where payment gateways are used, be sure to provide those that are popular locally. For instance, if you’re selling in China, Alipay should definitely figure on the checkout page.

Implement these best practices for checkout page localization and you’ll be able to see a hike in the number of visitors completing the transactions on your website.

 

About Vijayalaxmi Hegde

Vijayalaxmi is a member of the marketing team at Smartling. Prior to joining Smartling, she led the language services market sizing project at industry research firm, Common Sense Advisory. She is also a trained journalist and has written for publications in India (where she lives) as well as abroad. She is a plain language and tech enthusiast and speaks Kannada, English, Hindi, and Bengali – listed in the order she learned them.

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