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How retailers can localise the global shopping experience

How retailers can localise the global shopping experience 1

By Nikhita Hyett, MD, Europe, BlueSnap

International commerce has grown significantly over the last few years.  In 2020 alone, the UK saw a 57% year-on-year increase in cross-border eCommerce sales. For retailers to ultimately be successful, they must offer an online shopping experience identical to that of their customers’ local options.

In order to capitalise in foreign markets, retailers must provide the bare minimum that their potential consumers expect – easy and quick access in an environment that feels familiar. Merchants that want to localise the global shopping experience, must be able to localise language, payment options, and be on top of the ever-changing regulations.

1.     The importance of localised language

Customers should be able to easily read the checkout page. As a result, while completing a transaction, payment processors must be able to determine the URL’s native nation and offer payment pages in the customer’s local language

Retailers must then translate all fees to local currency. Failing to do so will result in customers being left wondering what the overall cost of an item will be since they can’t see the pricing in their own currency. This ambiguity might result in a loss of revenue and returning consumers.

It’s critical for a website’s checkout page to convert the purchase price to the right local currency automatically. This will go a long way to reassuring the buyer and facilitating a seamless and easy purchasing experience. Failure to localise the payment experience is a needless hurdle, since businesses that offer in local currencies enjoy a 12% increase in sales.

2.     Provide local payment options

Language and currency adaptation are only two aspects of localising global payments. This same attitude must be applied by retailers to localise payment choices and payment processing techniques that customers may not even be aware of.

Some global payment processors may be able to accept debit and credit card payments from international customers. However, alternative payment methods are commonly used for transactions in certain countries. Bank transfers, cash vouchers, and internet banking are all typical ways of transaction, depending on the location.

When it comes to card payments, before an order is declared complete, a customer’s credit card information is sent to an acquiring bank. In cross-border payments, this might include sending data from a card issued in one jurisdiction to an acquiring bank in another. Because foreign transactions are processed through a separate routing system, they have a higher chance of being identified as fraudulent.

You can also avoid cross-border costs, which may add up to 2% and lower a company’s return on investment in cross-border sales if local acquiring is in place. As the time approaches for certain card companies to impose higher rates for transactions between the UK and the EU post-Brexit, this is on many businesses’ minds. To avoid the increased costs, smart firms are already planning to route their transactions via local banks. Otherwise, such payments will eat into your earnings or will be passed on to customers.

In order to route cross-border transactions to local banks, international firms are looking to use forward-thinking payment tech companies such as BlueSnap. By using the right payment partner, these companies can take advantage of local acquiring, payment methods and currencies through a single integration.

Working with a payment partner who knows the global marketplace while maintaining local understanding will only benefit merchants in the long term as they seek to grow their companies.

3.     Regulatory changes

Regulations governing digital commerce are getting more complex and stringent as a result of recent data privacy scandals. For firms that operate across borders, the costs of not properly addressing them may be quite significant. Although it may not appear to be a priority right away, merchants who follow local data privacy (CCPA), consumer security (PSD2), and tax collection regulations will make customers feel safer while buying outside of their own country.

Payment compliance may appear difficult, but no one is immune from their country’s rules. Companies must keep a careful eye on all rules affecting payments at all levels and upgrade their technological infrastructure in accordance with new laws. Getting this correctly will enhance sales and consumer confidence.

For many retailers, collaborating with a payment partner who handles fraud and data privacy compliance helps them to focus on developing their business rather than dealing with legal intricacies.

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