Guide to Global Sales #3: Closing the deal

In the second step of our Guide to Global Sales, we reviewed key strategies for engaging visitors on your site.

Now that you’ve attracted and interacted with your audience, you need to transform those leads into paying customers. But how can you accomplish this?

If you’ve worked in the ecommerce space, you’re familiar with the challenges associated with cart abandonment. The same applies for the travel industry and booking a trip. While shoppers leave without paying for many reasons, proper localization can help prevent avoidable abandonment, especially in the case of international customers. Here are three common reasons internationals consumers abandon their carts, and steps you can take to prevent it.

1. Prices aren’t listed in local currencies

Have you ever bought something without knowing the price? Maybe you have, but that probably doesn’t happen too often. However, that’s what you are asking customers to do when you don’t present prices in their currency.

13% of international online shoppers say they will abandon their cart if the price is listed in a foreign currency. If you aren’t displaying the appropriate currency to your customers, you’re causing unnecessary friction in the checkout process and may be potentially losing sales. Not only does this create hesitation in the consumer, it can also be a distraction which leads to missed sales opportunities.

2. Local payment methods aren’t serviced

Just as each country has it’s own distinct languages and customs, most also have equally unique payment methods. Accepting a variety of credit card brands simply isn’t enough, especially when you’re dealing with multiple markets. In fact, only 1% of online shoppers in China pay using international credit cards. And in Germany, only about 25% of shoppers use credit cards when making online purchases. Sufficient global coverage requires an understanding of alternative local payment methods.

The right mix of payment methods can boost online sales by up to 40%, as it removes barriers to purchase. What’s the result? More revenue.

3. Issues with international shipping

As more and more merchants begin selling overseas, the need for seamless global trade intensifies. Of course, offering international shipping is no easy task—it’s a complex service with a ton of moving parts. There’s unique regulations, security concerns, capacity and legal considerations depending on where you’re planning to go.

You’re going to need to understand customer expectations in all of your target markets. Being able to communicate shipping information, costs and an estimated arrival date is essential. This requires an understanding of duty fees and taxes associated with your market so customers aren’t rudely surprised by high shipping costs.

Your target markets will dictate more than language choices for your online storefront. Localizing payment and shipping will allow you to reduce avoidable cart abandonment and help you provide excellent service to keep global customers coming back for more.

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Going Global for Ecommerce

Ecommerce methods and channels are as diverse as the products themselves. Learn principles and practices for selling overseas with the third installment of our Going Global report.

Alex Nguyen

The author

Alex Nguyen

​Alex crafts and coordinates content for Gengo’s marketing team. Based in San Francisco after a brief stint in Tokyo, she loves all things culture and design. When not at Gengo, she’s likely brushing up on her Japanese, letting loose at indie electronic shows or trying out new ice cream spots in the city.

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