Localizing your digital business for global commerce is unavoidably complex, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. There are many tools, technologies and proven best practices out there to help you make the most of most markets where you’re selling your products and services. Here are a few ways you can rely on these technologies to help you deliver a stellar customer experience around the world.
Know Where Your Customers Are
Everyone likes to be recognized, right? One of the key technologies you should leverage to deliver a great customer experience globally is GeoIP detection, which lets you identify where your customers are located based on their IP address and localize their experience on your site accordingly. From language to currency to payment method, GeoIP detection enables the first step in unlocking a good customer experience. While IP detection can have its shortcomings—VPNs or proxy connections may make it look like someone’s coming from another location—it’s the best first step toward giving global customers what they need.
Pick the Right Payment Partner
Instead of setting up everything from scratch with a mishmash of systems that can’t all communicate in the same “language” (so to speak), save time and sanity by choosing a proven payment platform. This will make payment processing easy, for you and your customers, no matter where you’re selling. Even if it just means to start with a simple solution and then to upgrade to another as your needs evolve.
Another aspect to think about is additional security options such as 3D Secure, which are accepted in some geographies – for example, in Europe or Japan – but not so much in others, such as the US. Instead of applying some filters regardless of the client location, better let your provider dynamically apply them based on some criteria and get to win-win situations: happy clients and high conversion rates. Technology can also help to automatically retry failed payments, or doing intelligent payment routing to increase authorization rates.
Create Custom Cart Templates and Purchase Flows
Customers in different regions have different expectations when it comes to shopping cart display and purchase flows: shoppers in some countries prefer access to complete order information, while others prefer a streamlined experience. Create a variety of cart templates and localize the purchasing experience with the right template for each region. Your customers and your revenue stream will thank you. How will you know what works best? Start with some best practices, but the rule of thumb is to always test and see what works for your audience.
Adapt Prices to Customer Location
There’s a high chance that the most important variable of the ordering process is the price. It’s no surprise that customers from around the globe have different expectations for the way you present the order price. Besides having it displayed in their native currency, prices also need to be shown in the format your customers prefer. While customers from US prefer a ‘.99’ ending, customers from Europe are expecting to see a ‘.95’ price rounding. Improve your localization strategy by choosing a payment partner that allows you to create multiple pricing configurations based on your customers location.
Don’t Let Taxes Tax You
No one person can become an expert in the ins and outs of every country’s tax laws overnight. It’s just too complex. Payment platforms or other financial providers will have these rules and regulations built in and regularly updated to ensure you remain compliant with the latest laws. A commerce provider that acts as your merchant of record can go a long way toward handling the taxing parts of taxation for you, leaving you with just your products and your customers to think about.
The Bottom Line: No Matter Where You Are, Focus on the Customer
In a global world, where your business is based no longer matters so much to customers. As long as they can order and pay seamlessly, with the currency and payment method that work for them, today’s customer is willing to do business with companies located almost anywhere.
Make the most of a global customer base by delivering an excellent experience that will keep your customers coming back to your site from anywhere in the world. Above all, get to know your customers to provide a great experience. Understand their language, culture, preferences and market quirks. There’s no way to get around doing some work to localize your business, but relying on the right technologies will get you much closer to being a global superstar, faster.