Which are the best markets to localise your website for? That all depends on what you're selling.
Once you’ve decided to localise your website, the next question is which markets to focus on. Yesterday we noted that you can reach out to 1.3 billion internet users by localising into Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. These are of course burgeoning global languages, but are they the best languages for you to target? You may decide to localise for one or two territories to start with, getting it right for key target markets before reaching out further. The languages you choose will of course depend on what you’re selling.
Italy is Europe’s largest market for luxury goods, building on the success of brands such as Gucci, Prada, Armani and Versace. While there are economic disparities between the south and the more affluent north, overall ecommerce revenue is soaring. Online spending of $16 billion in 2019 is forecast to increase to $23.5 billion by 2023, and one third of that money will be spent on fashion items. Internet user penetration is climbing, and by 2023 three quarters of all Italians will be online. Fashion retailers may well find this appealing enough to justify localising their site into Italian. But effective localisation requires attention to detail, and not just in language matters. The Italian credit card CartaSi is hugely popular domestically, with over 7 million Italian users. If your site is set up to accept Mastercard, Amex and Visa but not CartaSi, you risk losing the custom of the 40% of Italy’s online shoppers who prefer it. If you have high quality products to sell and you’ve taken the trouble to capture their unique selling points in note-perfect Italian, how frustrating would it be to let revenue slip through your fingers because of something as elementary as a missing payment option?
While the UK’s diplomatic relationship with Russia has its complications, the trade relationship remains important. Over $500 billion in British goods and services are exported to Russia every year, and if you’re seeking a market for industrial machinery or cutting-edge technology, the rewards here are undeniable. But once again, the fine details in your website localisation are important.
You need to pay particularly close attention to Russia’s personal data laws. They differ from the Europe-wide GDPR regulations and may require you to change the way you collect, process and store data via your website. That’s certainly not a deal-breaker, just another reason to set out a detailed localisation strategy and execute it professionally. Ecommerce revenue in Russia will reach $22 billion this year, and by 2023 that figure will more than double to an estimated $49 billion.
If you want a share, you can get it. You just have to take careful aim.
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