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For small businesses, it might be challenging to do cross-border ecommerce, where you go beyond your borders to reach a global audience. As referenced by BigCommerce, cross-border commerce can generate about 200% of revenue, so there's a lot you can do with an international audience. But you're probably thinking, "I'm a small business; how can I do that? It seems impossible."
Yet, it's not as impossible as you think. With small steps, you can reach a global audience by building a multilingual website, setting up international shipping methods, and navigating peer-to-peer transactions. We'll look at ways to leverage your ecommerce business on an international level without leaving the comfort of your home.
For those who want to do all this and more, you may consider hiring a team specifically for this. Or, you can opt to outsource to a translation company that will do the necessary work for you. If not, some freelance translators may be able to help set your ecommerce brand up to reach a global audience.
It's possible to build your multilingual website with a limited budget. Here are three ways you can do this:
Here are some considerations to keep in mind while building an ecommerce website with multilingual functionality:
You'll have to perform localized domestic market research to find out where best to extend your ecommerce offerings, what that target market needs, and what products are best suited for them. This includes creating an audience profile if you're targeting audiences in a specific region.
Once you've decided what areas you're going to target, your website needs to be appropriately structured to suit different multilingual needs. You'll be concentrating on:
ccTLD codes: the first step to creating a multilingual website to make sure your ccTLD is formatted correctly. Here is a list of ccTLD codes for almost every country.
Subdomains or subdirectories: The second step in your website structure is making sure you're utilizing either subdomains or subdirectories.
With your localized market research done and your website set up for multilingual use, you'll have to provide the website content. With ecommerce sites, this includes product offerings and maybe a blog. Your main ccTLD will have this content. A good content strategy will keep your focus on what you're producing, as well as answering the "why." You also must make sure that it's SEO optimized, so your page can be crawled by search engines, as well as knowledgeable and engaging so that they can rank.
With a multilingual site, it's not enough to just have general content; you'll want localized content too. This means optimizing your content to be translated into different languages in your subdirectory or subdomains. This is probably when a translation company would be of use, as well.
Suppose you don't want to go through all these steps to set up your website. In that case, there are multilingual ecommerce platforms where you can set up an account and access their multilingual website capabilities, such as Shopify and BigCommerce. WordPress is also a good alternative with multilingual capabilities.
For all businesses, marketing is essential. But for online businesses, personalized marketing is critical. Ecommerce personalization is the process of delivering personal experiences dynamically through content, product recommendations, and special offers. They can do this through user data such as previous actions, browsing history, purchase history, and demographics.
For small businesses, there are cost-effective ways to utilize research on a multilingual level. For example, there's Weglot for all things ecommerce, Ahrefs for SEO, and your friendly neighborhood Google Analytics.
International ecommerce shipping needs an excellent strategy since not all shipping methods are free. You'll need to keep in mind some goals that your plan should be targeting: decreasing costs, increasing conversions and average order value, and expanding the market audience. For considerations, you should know:
Last updated on November 14th, 2022.