Should you use localization or localization? First, we are just trying to make you think. Now, since we asked the question we better answer it. It depends on who you are talking to. In the United States we tend to use “z” and in the UK, for instance, they tend to use “s”. Our job is to make sure you think about how to best “localize” your customer’s experience, so we choose to use an “s” instead of a “z”.
We understand not everyone has the budget to localize and translate their entire website. However, there are some excellent and easy wins Zonos™ provides so you can achieve the best possible experience on your current website to give international customers an astounding experience when buying from a United States retailer.
In order or your customers’ experience, these are the areas we can help you localize.
- Welcome Mat
- Shipping Policies
- Shopping in Local Currency
- Checkout Translation
- Checkout Form Validation and Descriptors
- Shipping Methods
- Messages specific to their location
- Paying in Currency
- Local Payment Methods
- Post Order Email Communications
1. Welcome Mat
The Zonos GEO IP Welcome Mat is triggered and displayed to any buyer outsides the United States, and it is the perfect way to let the shopper know what the buying experience will be like from your website. Welcoming the customer to your site is a prime opportunity to let them know how localized their shopping experience will be. For instance, you could set their expectation they are buying from a US website, and they will shop and pay in their currency with local payment methods. You can also mention you will calculate duties and taxes and they can check out in their local language. The welcome mat also supports translation so you can set expectations in their native tongue.
2. Shipping Policies
Many times international customers visit your shipping policy page to find out if you even ship internationally. Hopefully, we reduced that fear with the Welcome Mat, so you can use your shipping policy page to tell them more in-depth information than presented on the Welcome Mat. You can even link to your policies from the Welcome Mat if you want to make it easy to find. In your shipping policies you can speak to deliveries in their country, your offered shipping methods, international returns, shipping costs and make your store policies easy to find.
3. Shopping in Local Currency
According to PayPal’s Cross-Border Consumer Research, when international customers were asked, “Which, if any, of the following would make you more likely to buy from a website in another country?” In their answers, currency was a major factor. The Zonos API, as well as Shopify and Magento apps support currency conversion for 142 different currencies.
4. Checkout Translation
Translation is a fundamental component of offering a localized experience. Zonos Checkout supports translation from English into 18 different languages. Zonos Checkout comes translated, and you may even see 37% of all your customers checking out in a different language than your website displayed. International shoppers are persistent, removing barriers to purchasing will help you acquire more customers and more orders.
5. Checkout Form Validation and Descriptors
If your address fields are not dynamic by country, then you have not completed the localization experience for your customer. Zonos Localization API and Zonos Checkout supports localizing the address fields to your customer by hiding fields like a postal code field where they do not use postal codes. Also, it will supply correct terminology for that label.
Below are a few examples where countries use different labels than the United States and in some cases don’t utilize a city, state or postal code. Also, you will notice how their postal code field is validated. Any bolded field indicates their label differs from the standard label. e.g. The United States ZIP code is bolded because it differs from the norm.
|Country||City Label||State Label||Postal Code Label and Format|
|United States||City||State||ZIP code 99999|
|Bahamas||City||Island||doesn’t have postal codes|
|Belize||City||doesn’t have states||doesn’t have postal codes|
|Greece||City||doesn’t have states||Postal code 999 99|
|Hong Kong||Area, エリア||doesn’t have states||doesn’t have postal codes|
|Ireland||Town||County||Postal code D99|
|Jamaica||City||Parish||doesn’t have postal codes|
|Japan||City, 城市||Prefecture, 県||Postal code, 邮政编码 999-9999|
|Korea, The Republic of||City, 시티||Do 도/道||Postal code, 우편 번호 99999|
|Mayotte||City, Ville||Commune||Code postal 99999|
|Russia||Gorod, Город||Oblast, Провинция||Postal code, Почтовый индекс 999999|
|Singapore||doesn’t have cities||doesn’t have states||Postal code 999999|
|Sweden||Locality||doesn’t have states||Postal code 999 99|
|United Arab Emirates||Emirate, الإمارة||doesn’t have states||doesn’t have postal codes|
6. Shipping Methods
Zonos provides the ability to describe the shipping service level differently at checkout for each individual country. Localizing shipping methods can prove powerful and give the customer peace of mind knowing which carrier will be delivering the package. For instance, if you use DHL eCommerce International Mail service and Canada Post does the final mile of delivery in Canada you can set your shipping description inside of Zonos to say “Canada Post 4-14 Days”, instead of DHL eCommerce International Mail.
7. Messages specific to their location
Setting custom messages at checkout is a great way to give additional information specific to the customer’s location. For instance, the 2019 Chinese New Year is on Tuesday, February 5th and if a customer is checking out late January, the Zonos Checkout can set a message for the slower service levels to China and say “This shipping service can take 1-3 weeks for delivery. Due to the Chinese New Year, your order may not arrive until after the holiday when courier services resume delivery.” You can also say it in Chinese with our translation capabilities.
8. Paying in Currency
Zonos localizes all 142 supported currencies. Localizing currency isn’t just changing the currency code from USD. It also involves using the correct fractional separator and currency symbol in the right locations. For example, Japan Yen is a zero decimal currency, $50.00 USD converted to ¥5704 without the fractional decimal.
9. Local Payment Methods
Zonos Payments and a select few 3rd party payment gateways offer local payment. Consider when you choose your payment processor for international orders that there may be preferred payment methods you are not offering to your customer. In Brazil, only 30% of the credit cards support international purchases. Also, in China, only 1% of online shoppers pay with the typical foreign credit card brands like Visa. So offering Boletos in Brazil or Alipay in China can have an influential impact on your sales into those countries.
10. Post Order Email Communications
If you want repeat international customers, don’t let them forget that they purchased from your website. Zonos email order confirmations are translated as well as the shipping and email notifications.
Invest time and effort into the tools Zonos provides such as the Welcome Mat, messaging, and payments to localize your customer experience. You will see an uptick in conversion and with enough international traffic coming to your website, a substantial ROI for your efforts.