Localization is quite the buzz word now. The term actually began in the 1980s, when personal computers made their way into everyone’s homes. Software engineers worked hard to adapt software to correspond with the dates, layout, and legalities for every country the company would expand to. Now, localization is seen in many different industries, from F&B to hospitality to entertainment. ECommerce is no exception; as soon as you plan to expand your brand internationally, it’s crucial to explore the different types of localization for Amazon sellers.
You see, localization isn’t just a fancy term. For Amazon sellers looking to expand their reach, it’s a vital approach to ensure products resonate with buyers from various regions, backgrounds, and languages. Effective localization helps in tailoring your listings to the unique needs of different markets, based on cultural and geographic considerations. This not only enhances the buyer’s connection to your product but also significantly boosts your sales prospects. Bottom line, it helps you create a relationship with your customers all over the world in each locale that you expand to. The relationships lead to improved conversion and engagement, which ultimately is your goal, right?
Let’s explore the different types of localization for Amazon sellers, and how you can incorporate these into your expansion strategy.
Listing Localization for Amazon Listings
Your product listing is your online showroom. When international buyers skim through your listings, they assess everything – from images to product descriptions. Ensuring that your listings are translated aptly is just the starting point. Reflect upon the visuals, the terminologies used, and even the minute aspects like alt tags. A well-localized listing can make your product more appealing to a diverse set of customers. Here are our Do’s and Don’ts for optimizing your listings for different countries.
Also, it’s crucial to generate new keywords per locale. To quote Jana: “A lot of brands use Google translate. ‘Sweetened milk can’ translates to la leche azucarada puede in Mexican. Is this going to be the same product? No. What is the correct keyword for this product, then? It’s ‘leche condensada’. You don’t have to use Google translate to make this mistake.
If you hire a regular translator to do this for you, they will also just translate these keywords as words, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they will result in your content having keywords on this new marketplace.”
The bottom line is, different cultures have different names for different products. That means the keywords won’t be the same across all cultures. This is precisely why you must generate a new keyword list per culture, instead of going through machine translation. Here’s why keyword localization and SEO is so important.
Product Detail Localization
Buyers from different regions or backgrounds might perceive or use your product differently. They might relate differently to the images on the product page or the instructions given. A lot of this has to do with customer experience. According to Wise, “product localization is needed so that products and services will appeal to customers on a local level. Also to help your business diversify in new markets.” For example, Netflix has different programs in each culture it caters to.
Now, if you have the opportunity, localize your product to suit different cultures. You might change up colors, ingredients, or content to accommodate the different tastes and nuances of every culture. But this is, of course, an expensive endeavor. That’s why adapting a culturally neutral approach to product development and marketing materials is wise; that way, you set the stage for localization of your product down the road.
In the meantime, consider localizing your Amazon product packaging per culture. First of all, many countries have different regulations for the information that should appear on the product packaging (it’s not just your FNSKU, in other words). It would do well to research what the requirements are so you stay compliant. Secondly, your product packaging and insert are a crucial aspect of your customer experience. They add a lot of value to the unboxing of your product when customers receive the item. Be sure that your instruction manual is translated well, and that your product packaging is localized. More on how to create the perfect Amazon product packaging with translations here.
Multimedia Content Localization
Many Amazon sellers utilize multimedia – videos, infographics, etc., as a part of their enhanced brand content or A+ Content. While this is a great approach, it’s imperative to ensure these resources are accessible to all:
- Consider translating content or having region-specific multimedia
- Offer quality subtitles
- Ensure content aligns with the cultural norms of the target region
For instance, if you’re targeting the Chinese market, consider the massive Mandarin-speaking population and curate your content accordingly. It’s these small cultural tweaks, like the broccoli being replaced with green peppers for Japanese audiences in Disney’s Inside Out, that can make a huge difference.
You don’t necessarily have to release voice overs in every Amazon product listing video that you release; the bare minimum product is keeping the video in English for neutrality, then translating the subtitles to correspond with each culture.
Infographics and your A+, however, absolutely do need to be translated. Check out our guide to Amazon infographics, and our tips on how to localize your infographics to correspond with each culture..
Buyer Experience Localization
So, this is important. It could be as simple as redirecting website visitors to a website that’s specific to their area with the prices shown in their currency, or showing the products that ship to their location. (Ever seen “Amazon ships to your country” when you’re shopping? That’s what we mean.) But it goes much deeper than that.
Check out these tips to further help you refine your localization for Amazon shoppers all over the globe:
Domain Localization Strategy:
- The default for global businesses is the .com domain.
- Some international shoppers trust country-specific top-level domains more.
- Types of domain structures:
- Subfolders (e.g., brand.com/es-mx)
- Subdomains (e.g., mx.brand.com)
- Country-code top level domains (e.g., brand.com.mx)
- Consumers prefer shopping in their local currency.
- Displaying local currencies can lead to a 40% increase in conversion rates.
Now, remember that hidden bank fees for currency conversion can deter international shoppers. If you’re sending traffic to your Shopify store or another eCommerce website, keep this in mind to enhance buyer experience.
- Payment preferences differ by country.
- Digital payment systems are popular in China and Western Europe.
- Some regions, like India and Eastern Europe, prefer cash on delivery.
- Localized payment methods cater to regional preferences and can improve conversion.
Questions you can ask yourself include, what payment methods do your new customers prefer? Are you offering pay-by-installment options, or COD, or even pay through check or bank transfer? The easier you make it for your customers, the more seamless the experience becomes.
- Costs like import duties and cross-border shipping should be considered.
- Localize pricing per region to ensure profitability.
- Be aware of regional restrictions or agreements affecting pricing.
- Localized pricing assists with personalization and can influence purchase decisions.
Marketing and Advertisement Localization
For your Amazon sponsored ads or other promotional content:
- Understand the buyer’s journey in the specific region
- Address local pain points and challenges
- Consider cultural preferences when designing campaigns
Localized marketing not only increases click-through rates but also enhances conversion as your content resonates more deeply with the targeted audience.
It starts with brand trust, which is necessary in every culture – but hoping to create brand trust in a Japanese customer takes on a totally different form when trying to create brand trust for a Dutch customer. Read our article on the impact of localization for Amazon sellers and the role brand trust takes in that activity.
Hand in hand come your external marketing efforts. From the get-go when planning your launch, it’s advisable to start with the end in mind – so, where do you plan to expand to? Adopt a country-neutral and culturally-sensitive external marketing campaign so your brand resonates with customers no matter where in the world you choose to expand to.
Leverage Experts for Your Amazon Localization
Localization is a continuous journey. From tweaking your listings to launching new ad campaigns, every content needs a localized touch. By partnering with experts who understand Amazon’s ecosystem and the nuances of localization, you can ensure your brand effectively reaches and resonates with global audiences.
YLT Translations has translators that understand localization, copywriting, and Amazon’s terms and conditions. Also, we can help you with your due diligence. Last but not least, consider our Amazon Product Opportunity Report (AMOR), which can take the guesswork out of choosing a culture to expand to.
Get in touch today and we can help you identify the feasibility of your expansion efforts.