In this three-part series, Wirecard discusses global trends in e- and m-commerce and offers ideas and tips for leveraging those trends – AI, the Internet of Things, and more – to scale your business and provide a truly 21-century customer service experience that consumers worldwide are coming to expect. In Part 1, we looked at some innovations that will be key to answering consumers’ demand for speedy payments. In Part 2, we presented ways to leverage the entire customer journey to present payment opportunities and strengthen relationships.
In Part 3, we provide tips on optimizing UX (user experience) for diverse global markets and processing payments within a framework that has to accommodate numerous currencies and regulations.
So you’ve had some success with your local eCommerce endeavor, and you want to scale up. Way up – to an international market. It’s a tremendous opportunity in a world where globalization is inevitable and barriers to international commerce are getting lower and lower. And it’s an ambitious goal, with a lot of moving parts and vitally important regulations around currency exchange, residency requirements, data security, and legal compliance (a subject in itself that we’ll save for another time). Further, doing businesses in other parts of the world requires a firm grasp on brand identity and cultural preferences so you can ensure your brand connects with diverse audiences. To get you started on your journey to global eCommerce, we’ve put together five key tips to consider when building an international eCommerce site.
Be Clear About Price and Payment Offer local payment transaction types and currencies, and make them available without passing foreign exchange (FX) fees to the consumer. The only thing more frustrating for a consumer than not knowing how much they’re paying (because the transaction takes place in your currency, not theirs) is completing a payment online only to find an exchange fee show up a few days later on their statement. Find out how to process and settle locally, and learn how to move funds back to your HQ location while remaining compliant. Happy customers mean fewer disputes, returns and logistical challenges. Leading us to our next tip.
Consider logistics If you offer a physical product, think about how shipping, returns, and guarantees will work with local payment types – will you have to have different return policies in different areas? Will the process to reverse payment work differently? How will you have to adjust your budget to be able to provide a uniform experience worldwide? Thinking through the physical fulfillment process, including contingencies, will help you prepare for anything that arises and provide the best customer experience possible.
Make the Right First Impression McDonalds, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola don’t lose their essence when they show up all over the world; on the contrary, their extraordinary global success is evidence of a distinct brand identity. What they’re able to do is adapt that identity to fit within cultural norms: The name and logo don’t change; how and where they’re placed often do. For example, the Starbucks that opened in Kyoto in 2017 is housed in a 100-year-old Japanese tea house. Its designers, committed to blending into the neighborhood’s aesthetic and the city’s cultural significance, placed the famous logo on fabric panels nestled well inside the shop’s entrance. The same goes for your eCommerce site. Understand how your brand performs in your target markets, and adapt your site design to local aesthetics, sensitivities around imagery and language, navigation habits, and checkout preferences.
Create a site that responds to the user Just as your mobile site may already make suggestions by identifying where an opted-in user is, geolocation tools can also help determine the appropriate way to present your site. The ability to determine and display the correct currency may have the most impact, but it’s also helpful to auto-display imagery and products that are either meaningful in the target region or available only in that area. If you’re selling soccer jerseys in France, for example, you’ll want to make sure the price is conveyed in Euros and the football jersey on screen says Mbapé, not Messi. On a related note…
Break Through Language Barriers It’s safe to say that nearly every online retailer with any presence outside the US will have language options for the countries where they do business. But that’s the lowest common denominator. To provide a seamless customer experience on an international scale, language preferences must be accounted for consistently and automatically throughout the site. This can include detecting a device’s location and loading content in the country’s reference language, or adapting to communication preferences in chatbots and other dialog. A critical step here is to hire a local to review your site – and employ local customer service. As you do with visual branding, when you communicate with people in their own vernacular, you open the door to earning their loyalty.
Wirecard (GER:WDI) is one of the world’s fastest growing digital platforms in the area of financial commerce. We provide both corporate clients and consumers with a constantly expanding ecosystem of real-time value-added services built around innovative digital payments by using an integrated B2B2C approach. This ecosystem concentrates on solutions in the areas payment and risk, retail and transaction banking, loyalty and coupon programs in addition to data analytics and conversion rate enhancement across all sales channels (online, mobile, ePOS). Wirecard operates regulated financial institutions in several key markets, in addition to holding issuing and acquiring licenses from all major payment and card networks. Wirecard AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (TecDAX, ISIN DE0007472060). Visit us at www.wirecard.com, follow us on Twitter @wirecard and on Facebook @wirecardgroup.