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Taking Your E-Commerce Business Global: Seven Localization Techniques With Commercial Impact

by Liam Curley  |  
October 29, 2014

Few e-commerce companies launch with the intention of growing a multinational retail business. However, when their website begins to receive inquiries and sales from abroad, many companies start considering the opportunities available for online export.

Recently, we at Smoke & Croak published an interactive infographic on search engine optimization for an international website. It's a step-by-step guide on how to conduct SEO to grow visibility on international search engines. And although it provides useful insight from sources around the Web on how to promote your business to international browsers, it doesn't go beyond promotion.

If you've spent valuable resources in gaining visibility on international search engines, you should also spend time considering how to optimize the conversion rate on your site for the new audience.

Many view localization as an end-of-project task, purely intended to allow the new audience to browse the site in their own language. That misconception would have a detrimental effect on the conversion rate optimization (CRO) of your international website. Though localization includes elements of translation, when done well it can serve to reduce barriers in the buying process and convert visitors into customers.

I'm a firm believer that the "marginal gains" philosophy behind the recent success of the British cycling team can be applied to most business scenarios. With localization or CRO, we're not looking for one major website element that can make or break your transaction model. We're looking for marginal gains across all the sections of the website—no matter how seemingly insignificant—that will remove a possible barrier from purchase.

On their own, those marginal gains don't look like much, but as you begin to put them together you create a successful international online sale model with a healthy conversion rate.

Here are seven elements of localization ghag can have an impact on your international business objectives.

1. Localizing Currency

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Liam Curley is a director and co-founder of Smoke & Croak, a multilingual digital marketing agency that specializes in website translation and international SEO. He blogs on the Smoke & Croak blog.

Google+: Liam Curley

Twitter: @smokecroakliam

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  • by Marketique Wed Oct 29, 2014 via web

    Hello, Thank you for the article, it has some good basic info to start our research with.

  • by Roger Garcia Wed Nov 19, 2014 via web

    Hi Liam:

    how are you doing?

    It was a nice surprise to find your article at, that is a site that I often check.

    Your advises on this post are very useful, I would share them with my followers.

    Greetings from Spain,

    Roger Garcia

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