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Are you an online seller that wants to expand into global markets, engage with international customers, and scale quickly?  Then eCommerce localization is a must. Having different site versions tailored to different target markets is no longer a competitive advantage, it’s a strategy to survive the competition. In today’s Training Thursday series, we’ll learn how localization provides a better user experience and how to use OroCommerce’s localization functionality to provide an exceptional store experience for international buyers.

Should You Localize Your Website?

Localization is the process of tailoring your website to a specific location. You can’t afford not to localize if you want to serve a global audience. Nearly 3 out of 4 customers (72%) prefer to spend time on sites available in their native language. Another 92.2% of online buyers in Canada, the UK, Australia, and Germany prefer to purchase from sites that display prices in their local currencies. If those two facts aren’t enough to compel you to localize, chew on this:every single dollar invested in localization can earn back $25.

In a broad sense, eCommerce localization provides the geo-cultural context to frictionlessly sell  around the world. Small things, such as using local formats for local addresses and dates, and large things, such serving the webstore’s content and UI elements in the local language and providing the popular payment and shipping methods for the area, show you are serious about doing business in that location.

Localizing your website builds a strong base for  future business growth. By delivering localized experiences, your company can increase its online presence, enter new markets, and improve existing customer retention. Successful B2B localization strategy has many different parts. Here is a closer look at the most important.

What to Include in Your B2B Localization Strategy

Translations

As you go global, don’t forget that it takes at least 14 languages to appeal to 80% of the market. If you wish to increase the market coverage to 95%, your site should ‘speak’ at least 20 languages.. Knowing what should be translated is important. Start with everything. From site menus and store content to SEO attributes such as keywords, meta tags, and special local domain names, it should all be translated to the target language

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Your business should speak customer’s local language to appeal to them (Image)

You may think a multi-language website is difficult to manage, especially if it sells a wide range of products, but it’s not if you have the right platform. The eCommerce platform beneath your store must have robust content management system (CMS) capabilities. Built-in CMS allows you to easily manage and update all digital content across the website, including translated versions of product pages and catalogs. Read his blog for  more translations-related tips for B2B localization.

Payment and shipping methods

Content translation isn’t the end of your eCommerce localization strategy, its just the beginning. Globalized B2B webstores should offer the local payment and shipping options most preferred in the target markets. ACH, and credit  card payment aren’t enough. Today’s business customers want to pay online via multiple payment gateways. Your payment methods should be as diverse as your buyers. For example, U.S. buyers commonly  pay withPayPal, or an on-line credit gateway while Chinese customers prefer Alipay. Your German B2B buyers will expect to see native B2B payment systems such as InfinitePay or Wirecard. Yes, accommodating the variety of preferences is a challenge, but that’s exactly how you earn customer loyalty in new markets. Learn more in our post on  B2B payments localization strategy.

The same customization needs applies to shipping methods too. While you can still rely on international carriers, such as FedEx or UPS, buyers from abroad may prefer local shipping services for delivery. For example, it makes sense to let your German customers choose shipping by DPD, a major German shipping services provider accountable for nearly 30% of B2B shipping within the country.

Taxes

As a B2B seller, you constantly deal with different sales tax rates, rules, and regulations. These vary widely from country to country and region to region. The U.S. has sales tax that may or may not apply, the EU and other European countries have a Value Added Tax (VAT) and taxation gets very complicated very quickly.. Some products are tax-free or may have lower tax rates. Some customers are tax exempt.. Proper taxe management and compliance is a critical for effective and legal  webstore localization. Learn more about tax localization.

So, there’s much to consider if you are going to localize your webstore. But, because you’ve got OroCommerce, you already have the functionality you need to execute all stages of the localization process. Here’s how.

Configuring Localization Settings in OroCommerce

Once you’ve identified the locations and languages you want to target with localization, you are ready to begin.

1. Add the desired languages and install the CrowdIn translation updates. OroCommerce is integrated with CrowdIn, a powerful translation tool that ensures high-quality translations of the application elements on both front and backend. If the translation by CrowdIn is missing, download the file containing the items to be translated, fill in your translation,, and export it to OroCommerce.

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Adding a new language in OroCommerce.

2. Update translated values. In OroCommerce, translations are a collection of the UI elements (such as labels, messages, notifications, alerts, or workflow statuses). Users can add or edit the text translated to the target language on the All Translations page. Navigate to System, Localization,Translations to open it. Here you can check the validity of the available UI element translations, update cached translated values, update translated values, or reset custom translations to default.

3. Set the language for the UI system elements displayed in the management console and configure languages for user email notifications. Go to System, Configuration, General Setup, Language Settings.

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Management console with the UI elements in French.

4. Create a localization for your storefront and configure its language. Navigate to System, Localization, Localizations.

5. Set up translation of the UI elements for your storefront.  Go to System, Configuration, General Setup, Localization.

6. Provide translation for the content elements of your storefront such as product names, descriptions, categories, or catalog titles. You can also set the default language of the UI elements for the storefront.

Feeling a bit confused? Just use the comprehensive Localization Quick Start visual guide to walk you through all the steps of setting B2B localization in OroCommerce.

If you prefer to learn by seeing, check out our How to Setup Localization, Translation, and Language video tutorial. After watching this video, you’ll be able to  

  • Add new languages.
  • Install translation updates from CrowdIn.
  • Import and export custom translations
  • Add and modify the system elements translation.
  • Create and configure new localizations.   
  • Set up the default language for the system elements and website content for both your storefront and the management console.
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