Product localization may seem costlier than standardization, but it can actually save your company’s finances and brand reputation. Localizing helps avoid expensive mistakes, like misinterpreted messaging, and it makes global consumers feel valued as individuals. The following are three tips to help improve your international demand by developing localized products:
Do Your Homework
When introducing your brand to a new local market, it’s important to consider the cultural demands and needs of the particular region. To find a long-term, solid footing in an international market, you must adapt your product.
When KFC opened its first location in China in 1987, it was viewed not as a fast-food chain but as an American treat for special occasions. Thanks to the company’s adoption of product localization, KFC is now opening an average of one new location a day in China, according to Harvard Business Review. One of the major keys to its success has been swapping out the minimalistic, standard U.S. menu for a much more extensive and locally tailored one with regional dishes.
Whether you’re selling fried chicken or apparel, your strategy needs to appeal to local demand to drive sales. Research local consumer keyword searches to determine what products will likely be bestsellers on your e-commerce site. You might also consider beginning your market penetration efforts with a mini-site, targeting specific localized products and expanding from there, as this will allow for a faster start-up and give you room to grow.
Comfort in Familiarity
According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, 72.4 percent of consumers surveyed were more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. Consider not only the language and the need to accurately translate website content, but also local customs that can make a purchasing experience more personal.
Starbucks recently launched a campaign to localize its products by redesigning its signature coffeehouses. After receiving consumer feedback that its locations had become too cookie-cutter, the company decided to change things up by customizing locations to appeal to the regional demographic of any given market.
Make your e-commerce store an inviting place to shop by developing a site design that appeals to local preferences. Colors, images and even layout should take into account cultural behaviors and significance to not only be more user-friendly, but also to avoid anything that may be deemed offensive.
Currency conversion isn’t the only thing you need to focus on when localizing your e-commerce site. Payment method can also determine your products’ global success. While credit cards are the preferred method of online payment in the United States, the same is not true for several key markets across the globe. In many countries, cash-on-delivery is the preferred payment option, for example. In China, mobile pay company Alipay surpasses PayPal as the preferred platform. It may be costly to support a variety of payment methods, but it can mean all the difference in getting ahead of the competition.
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