Internet and smartphones rapid penetration in the MENA region have made massive game-changing developments in the e-commerce sector. Aside from the big whales that are already pumping the market with their enormous funds, the continuous launching of e-commerce startups has moved the industry forward to be considered as the fastest growing industry in the region assembling 16% of the investment bargains in the first half of 2017. As per PayFort report, the e-commerce market will be doubled to reach around $69 billion, with UAE taking the wheel and estimating a 27$ billion from the charge, followed by Saudi Arabia with 22$ billion.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
To grow your sales and revenue, you need to get out of your comfort zone and take your E-commerce business global. Without considering the cultural standards in each country you’re trying to break through, don’t expect to reach your target audience effectively as, by nature, consumer behaviors differ from a country to another according to a lot of factors that we will illustrate later. A basic translation won’t help you to be internationally successful, localizing your content is your key here.
E-commerce Shopping, The Precedent Buying Behavior
Online shopping acquired $2.3 trillion in sales in 2017, expected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2021 (according to Statista report). On average, the millennium generation now makes 54% of purchases online (vs. 49% of non-millennials). Consumers now shop on their own time, in their preferred channels and compare across many various stores and prices. KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services) has released a new report, a more detailed research highlighting consumer’s purchase psychology:
Why Localization Matters to You and to Your Consumer?
Localization is a form of personalization, through which you provide your target consumers with more contextual merchandising and content. You simply want to expand globally, get into an unfamiliar foreign market and speak to its audience, increase the ROI for your marketing efforts with targeted promotions that fit their local practices, and we know it’s all about increasing your market share and so your revenue, thus you need to consider that now consumers demand more personalized digital experience-a recent survey showed that consumers are more likely to shop online if the website they’re buying from is in their own language.
“Can’t Read, Won’t Buy”
Common Sense Advisory, a global business and commerce research provider, published a report titled “can’t read, won’t buy”, addressing the fact that your consumer want you to speak directly to him/her, and you need to do so or you will be marked as a non-reliable stakeholder and they will look for another one who would make them feel as a sought after consumer. Furthermore, they proposed a normal question that might be asked by many; “How long will this behavior last?” The proper answer is, “Until the best version of a product is made available in the local language.”
Now, you understand that online shopping is the new favorable trend, and how consumers tend to engage with the personalized content rather than the standardized so, localizing and adapting your presence will promise you a competitive edge, more visibility and the effective lasting impression that you look for.
What to Consider When Go Localizing Your eCommerce Website?
When translating and localizing your website, including your product descriptions, driven content, images and even the proper layout into your target consumers’ language of the new market you want to penetrate, you must be careful and take care of the cultural sensitivity.
Mentioning the MENA market, you need to understand that the Arabian community is conservative and sensitive by nature to certain topics, like religion and gender. Also, you have a rigid barrier between you and your Middle Eastern consumers, ‘Arabic,’ the first and most common used language for more than 420 million people, and one of the most complicated languages; a single word can have various different meanings. A comprehensive Arabic glossary is what you need for a successful e-Commerce localization strategy.
Take Your Time
As experts look at e-commerce localization as a profitable investment, it won’t happen just in one night, you need to be patient, prioritize your steps and take the right appropriate decisions. Not only to take care of the language used, but culture’s values and perceptions, currency, prices, proper transfer of dates, holidays, local law and regulations, buying behaviors and payment preferences largely vary from a country to another, you need to do a wide solid market research to understand all of these factors and act accordingly.
These cultural norms can not only affect how customers shop but also can speed up your sales as, for instance, Cyber Monday sales are some of the highest sales through the year in the United States, but it’s not the same for countries that don’t celebrate Christmas.
Amazon’s Successful Case
Amazon has a great localization strategy that we can learn from; Amazon put a lot of consideration on the cultural norms that we have mentioned before, from the design in each targeted market-beholding the fact that 38% of people will leave a website if they find the layout unattractive, according to a recent survey-the currency, pricing strategy, shipping methods and local regulations.
As we can see below in the pictures, the design in the UK’s website differs from the USA’s, Japan’s and India’s, each presents a certain country&culture suitable context, same for the other values and focuses on presenting a diverse range of products according to each market consumers’ preferences.
Amazon Japan’s localized website focuses on electronics and entertainment.
Amazon India’s localized website focuses on mobile phones.
Amazon UK’s and USA’s both localized websites focus on eBooks and Kindles.
Learn From Other’s Mistakes
Not all of the e-commerce companies think and act like Amazon, some got lost in the shuffle of marketing wise, doing a poor job that cleary lacks professionalism. Below, a failed localization attempt, intended for the Japanese’s consumers:
It doesn’t show a small similarity to other local Japanese websites. It looks like it targets Western consumers; aside from the English language that dominates the ‘Japanese localized’ website, the model is even Caucasian. Offhandedly, as a Japanese consumer, when you enter this website you will not consider going further. The failure of localization and adapting the local culture made it look like a non-trusted website.
Choose The Right Translation & Localization Partner
Your e-commerce localization does not only need accurate translations but it needs a professional reliable partner that can provide you with specialized, experienced natives to let you go global successfully. Consider Torjoman’s translation and localization services as a resource to assist, with our team of native experts who deeply understand the culture traits and your target consumer behaviour in each country you want to penetrate its market, we assure supporting you with the best professional quality service, achieving an effective website localization for your e-commerce business and allow you to engage correctly with your target consumers and strongly compete with the local market leaders.