Do you have personnel in place to respond to non-English enquiries? If not, consider a disclaimer that telephone enquiries will only be dealt with in English. Also, how will you deal with emails in foreign languages? You may be able to understand an inbound email if you run it through Google Translate, but machine translation will not be acceptable for a reply to a customer. Contact us for more info on timely, professional email correspondence.
The right products
Have you looked into what products are the best for your target market? There is no point translating product descriptions for products that certainly won’t sell abroad. Even if a Peppa Pig hat is a bestseller in the UK, it might not do well in Russia if Peppa Pig is not a well-known character…
Adaptations to products
Do you need to make any changes to the products to sell them internationally? A UK luxury brand which was well-known for the personalisation of products launched an international site and received a lot of interest from the start, however customers were disappointed that the brand could only personalise items with characters that appear in the English language. For any food or cosmetics, you may also need to change the packaging to meet requirements. Speak with the DIT if you are concerned about this; they will be able to advise on any changes you need to make.
Figure out how much it will cost to ship your products and include this info on the website, along with estimated delivery times.
Choose the right domain strategy. For example, www.website.co.uk/fr isn’t ideal for France. A top-level domains or a .com site with geolocation are good options.
Ensure that your website has been professionally localised. Google Translate is simply not good enough. Localisation is more than simply translating content. It involves changing a site to make all aspects of it suitable for the target audience. Have you put +44 in front of the phone number? Added “United Kingdom” to the address? Checked that your images are appropriate for the target country? Looked into the suitability of your brand name and strapline? Separated your Google Webmaster profiles? Localised your checkout?
Social media and PPC campaigns
You undoubtedly make use of social media and PPC advertising for your English audience. Localise this and attract new visitors to your website!
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