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Vital Aspects of International Expansion

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There are a lot of elements to consider when expanding cross-border. The first (and perhaps most obvious) aspect is product translations. These need to be of a high quality and fully optimised for the marketplace on which you’ll be trading.

Something which retailers often overlook is:

Localisation

Localisation and translation are easily confused, but they are different and both extremely important.

Translation is the conversion of words from one language to another. Localisation is the process of making something local in character.

Here are a few examples of localisation:

Sizing

This can be something of a minefield if not localised correctly. Take shoes for example. If a customer in France is looking at your product on Amazon and wants a size 42 but can only see UK sizes, they will be put off and are more likely to find a seller who has converted this information.

A more serious issue could be for a UK seller selling in the USA. A men’s USA size 8 is a UK 8 and this could be very confusing for a customer, leading them to order the wrong product and having to return it to you (at your cost).

Clarity converts sizes as part of the translation process as standard.

Pricing

A lot of retailers and brand spend hours on building a domestic pricing strategy, but then simply multiply it by the exchange rate when they expand cross-border. This can lead to non-rounded prices, which are extremely unappealing to customers (such as €17.43).

We always recommend rounding prices to .99, .49 or .00 to make them as aesthetically pleasing as possible to customers. It also makes it looks more like the retailer is local and helps engender trust.

Making sure you obtain the best exchange rates is very important, Clarity has partnered with OFX to help you get the best rates and bring your overseas profits home.

Shipping & Returns

Often, it is logistics which is the downfall of companies who are new to cross-border trade. Customers expect a fast delivery service and often the traditional delivery companies’ delivery times are too long and too unreliable, leading to poor customer satisfaction metrics and high returns costs.

We recommend using B2C Europe who offer competitive rates and an excellent service throughout Europe and the world.

Another solution could be using Amazon FBA, then Amazon handles returns on your behalf.

Branding

Can you translate your brand name directly into another language? If you leave it in English will this cause offence to your new target market? Will your brand message be missed?

With native speakers of several languages on our team, Clarity is happy to offer advice on potential branding issues.

There is a lot to think about when expanding cross-border, so don’t do it by yourself, ask Clarity E-Commerce Translation to help you and make your expansion a success.