With the continuing spread of the internet across the globe, businesses both large and small have an unprecedented opportunity to tackle international customers. Obviously, your website will be your first point of contact for many customers, so it needs to be suited to the global marketplace you are aiming to target. With the ruthless nature of the web, people are likely to switch to another site if they don’t find your website user-friendly from the get-go. So, here are a few top tips for making your website more global.
First and foremost, customers need to be able to understand what you are offering in the first place! You need to think about how your website theme will cope with multiple languages. If you have identified a specific country to target, then this is the language you will obviously need to get right to begin with. But the process of online localization also involves making sure the site is right from a cultural perspective too. This will require a little more research, but the time you commit should pay off in the end.
Accepting Visa, Mastercard and PayPal doesn’t cover you for every country in the world. For example, in Japan, a lot of people still prefer to pay with cash on arrival. Making payments easier in as many fields as possible will obviously increase your sales. As well as accepting different payment types in the first place, you also need to streamline the checkout process to accommodate them all.
Delivery is another potential headache as you need to make you costs competitive while also making it commercially viable for your company. You need to make your shipping costs clear from the outset as a lot of consumers will abandon checkout if they are hit by unexpected costs. Make sure you do your research on courier companies as this can be another potential minefield which other major retailers have walked into in the past
Bear in mind that different countries vary when it comes to how often they send back items. The volume of returned goods places strain on your delivery infrastructure, so you need to look closely a long distance selling regulations. Whatever returns policy you settle on in the end, it should be easy to find on your website and includes detailed information on international returns.
You need to ask how you are going to deliver great customer service to people living in far-flung corners of the world. Do you require native speakers or will you outsource operations elsewhere? Real native speakers who can handle international customer requests can be a major boost for your business, but you also have the option of using digital service desks which handle queries from social media, email and other online channels.
Remember that going global is a tricky process that involves numerous obstacles that you have to overcome. However, if you get them right from the outset, you will find yourself with access to a world of opportunities.