Australian online retailers could be missing out on a world of opportunity by selling only to other Aussies. However, it is possible to be successful overseas – it’s all about localisation.
Today’s infographic (see below) clearly demonstrates something that some Australian retailers may have forgotten.
The world is a big place.
Not only that, but there are a lot of people in the world these days, and many of them ‘get’ online shopping. In fact, as the infographic shows, Australia’s online retail market doesn’t even show up on the radar of the world’s largest.
However, isn’t that the beauty of the internet? Retailers in Australia have the chance to go beyond their backwater surrounds and reach out to a much broader audience elsewhere. Of course it isn’t the easiest thing to do, given our strong dollar and remoteness – but it’s nonetheless possible. Brands like EMU Australia have managed to stay profitable while also increasing the scope and scale of their business by selling to international consumers. Even eBay sellers can choose to sell internationally and some of them do it very well.
Setting up a shipping process to move your product such long distances is really only one thing that needs to be considered when setting up shop for international trade.
According to research from the European Commission, 82 percent of people are unlikely to buy from a site that isn’t in their native language. Yet this is also only another piece of the puzzle. True localisation is what really sells online, and there is more to a localised site than simply text translation.
Country-code top-level domains (ccTLD) like .au, .de, .fr and co.uk appear at the end of a URL to denote the region a site is targeted at. Setting up a site under a local domain will increase your customers’ trust in your brand.
This idea applies to anything that is displayed on your site. Is the text not only translated correctly, but is it relevant to the culture it is targeting? Are the photographs and other graphics also tailored for your intended audience?
Site Structure and Design
Even acceptable website design seems to change from place to place. In many countries in Asia, sites tend to be more text and image focused, whereas Western audiences often prefer a more simple, regimented feel.