Chinese e-commerce grew by 66% in 2011, representing a turnover of 93 billion euros.
With more than 513 million Internet users and 356 million mobile Internet users, according to the 29th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China by the China Internet Network Information Center, China is the world’s largest online market, and this population is continuing to grow.
With rapid improvements in the technological infrastructure there, use of the Internet is continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Combine this with China’s growing middle class who have more buying power than ever before, and you can see why online shopping has become so huge there so quickly. A 2011 study of online buyers worldwide conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 86% of China’s nearly 200 million online shoppers considered themselves experts at ecommerce, compared to 70% in the UK and 72% in the USA.
With an average of 8.4 online purchases per month by online buyers, China makes developed Western Internet economies look like ecommerce newcomers. For comparison, online buyers in the US made an average of 5.2 purchases and 4.3 in the UK, while in France and Netherlands just 2.6. In Germany, Europe’s largest and strongest economy, this figure was 2.9 purchases. Who are you considering selling online to at the moment? Germany? France? Or maybe China?
Only 42 million people in China (8.2% of Internet users) used travel booking services in the last year. However, the Chinese travel market is predictably seeing fast-paced growth in the coming years so online travel booking businesses are expected to experience higher growth there. South African Airways Simplified Chinese website for mainland China is an example of a full Chinese site translated by Web-Translations.
China’s scale, combined with its online population’s embrace of online shopping, present an important opportunity for businesses wanting to “go international”. However, setting up a business and subsequently succeeding in this country where almost everything is different can prove challenging. Consumer tastes, strict regulations, government involvement, Internet censorship, cultural differences and bureaucratic processes are some of the issues companies need to examine when entering China’s online market, yet the potential seems to outweigh the obstacles bearing in mind the current economic situation we find ourselves in in the West.
Recently we have completed International Blasts for China for some of our clients who aren’t afraid to begin facing this challenge: Brandy Classics and Click Meeting by Implix. This service is a great first step for companies interested in China by setting up a microsite and optimising it so you can begin to see the traffic to your site and interest in your product over there.
To find out how to launch a Chinese version of your website to start selling to China, please contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 815 0460.
As the liberalisation of global commerce continues, more and more companies are joining the international market every year. Exporting has traditionally been seen as one of the most risky, and expensive ways to grow a business. While there are many pitfalls and challenges when trading internationally, the Internet offers an excellent way for you to reach out and grow your market share, without investing millions.
Global trade has never been so easy with the First time Exporters Guide. By working with Web-Translations you will have a partner to help you at every stage in your journey. We combine years of experience, with top-quality language and web skills to offer a hand-held, strategic approach to boosting your global trade.
Taking a bite from the Turkish delight will reap sweet rewards for online retailers
Turkish e-commerce transactions reached an impressive $12.3 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 57% on the previous year according to the Interbank Card Center. Combine this upsurge with the 12% per year e-commerce growth Forrester Research Inc (FORR) predicts for European growth over the next 5 years, and it becomes obvious that it’s time to pay attention to Turkey.
Impressive statistics, but what’s going on?
Half the population of Turkey is under 30 years old. This young society has been quick to adopt technological innovations and they now spend more time online per week than the worldwide average. This tendency translates into a high responsiveness to social media – 89% of Turkish Internet users are on Facebook and they are the 11th most active country on Twitter.
95% of the Turkish population are expected to have a mobile phone in 2013, with global corporations such as Telecom Italia having already entered Turkey to take advantage of this.
Furthermore Turkey has a credit driven economy, with a 62% credit card penetration among consumers. All of this has led to a positive environment for the development of Turkish e-commerce.
E-commerce is booming in Brazil. Supported by a growing middle class, Brazil’s e-commerce total revenue for 2011 was over $11 billion; that’s an increase of 26% compared to 2010 ($8.4 bn). In total, 32 million consumers in Brazil bought at least once via the web in 2011, and the eCommerce market is estimated to be worth around $12.7 billion this year.
So what do Brazilians buy online? The most popular categories reflect the needs of Brazil’s new middle class:
Despite this steady growth, many Brazilians still avoid shopping on the internet out of concern about the security of online transactions. The same goes for Internet banking. 26% of Brazilians don’t use online banking, according to a recent survey, and 58% gave the reason that it felt unsafe. The next few years should see a shift in this perception, as banks and etailers work together to improve security and ease of use, and consumers become more familiar with ecommerce and online banking.
Meanwhile, Brazil has developed solutions to overcome these obstacles. One of them is the boleto bancario, a small slip like a proforma invoice that customers can print out and pay at a bank. This is a very common option, which helps to solve the problem that most Brazilians don’t have a credit card. In fact, 55% of the population still receive their salaries in cash, especially those in manual jobs such as housekeeping and construction workers.
All in all, this adds up to a market with huge potential for those companies willing to adapt and make the necessary concessions to make Brazilian consumers feel at ease.
To find out how to launch your website in Brazil and other overseas markets, contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 8150460.
Web-Translations will once again be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo (IRX) at the Birmingham NEC next week, on 21st & 22nd March.
Now in its second year, IRX brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help multichannel online retailers grow and succeed.
IRX is designed to show etailers the next steps in building their business now that the web has matured, and includes a jam-packed workshop and multiple-track conference programme. With around 5,000 visitors expected over the two-day event, it will no doubt be a great source of new opportunities for exhibitors and delegates alike.
We’re combining our 3 lead web services to help your website launch in international markets with a bang.
All good things come in threes – that’s certainly true when it comes to launching your website in a new language and country. Follow these 3 key steps to start seeing results from your website:
Selling online has enormous advantages over a traditional business model.The main one is the ability to be instantly global, in the sense that your website can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, anytime. However, very few e-businesses take a global approach from the outset or even seriously consider harnessing this potential once they have reached scale in their home market. (more…)
Yes, it’s a bit early to mention Christmas, I know, but savvy online retailers are already in the midst of preparing for the festive period.
Success stories such as Amazon and ASOS have shown that international sales can have a huge impact on an ecommerce business, so it’s hardly surprising that more retailers are jumping on this bandwagon and localising their websites to open up shop to international customers.
Before jumping in with both feet, however, there are a few things you can do to ensure your international online sales go smoothly ahead of the festive season: (more…)
Until last year, domain names could only be created using Latin characters a-z and numbers 1-9. This excluded accented characters and scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Korean. In 2010, the use of non-Latin scripts in domain names was enabled, limited at first to the use of the country’s name in the official language.
Just how important is it to have domain names in various languages? We have previously discussed the importance of translating a website (obviously something we believe in!) in order to reach a wider audience, and surely domain names are an extension of that. Do Arabic speakers trust sites with domain names ending in .com or .co.uk? According to recent reports by the BBC, whilst some argue that domain names are becoming less important, given the ever-increasing popularity of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, others believe a good domain name is a sign of the importance and standing of a website. If potential visitors are discouraged from visiting a site that is only available in another language, surely the same applies to domain names? (more…)
In a recent poll, 90% of internet users in Europe would visit a site in their own language when given the choice. Meanwhile, 53% would still use a site if it was in English rather than their native language. However, despite this relatively high figure, these users would not necessarily be happy about the lack of information available in their own language, with 44% of respondents stating that they felt they did not necessarily receive all the facts when the website was only available in another language. (more…)
A few customers have recently asked me if they should host their multilingual sites locally for the market they are targeting, while others with locally hosted sites have asked me about the implications of moving to the cloud.
Reading between the lines, the premise of such questions tends to centre around SEO and so my post is somewhat more marketing-oriented than IT. All comments are welcome.
Web-Translations is pleased to announce its partnership with Istanbul-based e-marketing company euro.message.
euro.message is one of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies, and the largest e-marketing service provider in Turkey. (more…)
Register free online (a saving of £30) for Internet World (10-12 May, Earl’s Court – London) and come and hear about the success we’ve brought to South African Airways by localising their website.
Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting our case study of the South African Airways website localisation project at 15:00 on Wednesday 11th May in the Content Management Theatre.
We’ll also be on stand E3055, showcasing recent client success stories and demonstrating how localising your website can dramtically improve your bottom line.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Web-Translations will be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo at the Birmingham NEC from 23rd-24th March.
The expo brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help all kinds of companies involved in online retail to grow and succeed.
Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting as part of the Jumpstart programme:
Increasing export sales to foreign markets
While the UK leads the way in ecommerce, relatively few etailers profit from exploiting foreign markets. In his presentation, Daniel Rajkumar will explain how a multi-market, multi domestic approach to ecommerce helps increase visitor confidence to drive up conversion rates. In addition to best practice, Daniel will divulge secrets and practical tools for your multilingual eMarketing strategy, including the use of Social Media, SEO, PR and local affiliate networks to drive traffic and revenues.
Whether you’re a global company operating in many markets or a domestic business looking to export for the first time, Daniel’s presentation is pitched to cover the basics as well as some advanced practices, useful to strategic decision makers and practical implementers alike, you are sure to come away with ideas and inspiration that will open your eyes to the lucrative potential of non-English markets.
Register online free at http://www.internetretailingexpo.com/
We hope to see you there!
It’s always good when a prominent figure echoes what we’ve been saying for years – expanding into foreign markets using your website is a great way to grow your business, and is a low-risk option in these difficult financial times. (more…)
This post is an explanation of how our International Blast service works, as it’s something we are often asked about.
International Blast was developed as a first step localisation for companies who wanted to begin trading internationally online, but preferred a cautious approach rather than investing a larger amount of money, time and resources in localising their whole website.
Even localising just one or two key pages of a website yields results, and often generates sales in a new target market. By pricing the service at £295, it is also an affordable option if a company wish to test several new markets at once. (more…)
Yorkshire companies are “well-positioned to sell into Scandinavia”, according to Danish business expert and former diplomat, Benny Sørensen.
At a recent event to inform businesses in the region about opportunities in Scandinavia, the organisers (Import-Export consultants SØRENSEN, and Denmark’s inward investment organisation Copenhagen Capacity, teamed with the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce International Department) experienced unprecedented demand from Yorkshire businesses wishing to attend, and have urged companies who are interested in trading with Scandinavian countries to act quickly to make the most of the opportunities available. (more…)
We’re going to take you step-by-step through a localisation project to explain how it’s done. The example we’ve chosen is the multilingual site we did for Loc8tor.
Loc8tor.com is an ecommerce site where customers can buy Loc8tor devices to help them keep track of keys, mobile phones, pets and all sorts of other belongings. This is an ideal showcase for the different elements involved in the professional localisation of a website.
With any website, the first step is to get the content into a format that translators can easily work with.
There are two main ways of translating content from a CMS – the translators can work directly into the system and input translations as they go along, or an export can be obtained from the system – usually either XML or Excel format.
Translation is not always done in a linear fashion – starting at the beginning and finishing at the end – a translator needs to be able to skip parts and come back to them later, raise queries if something is unclear etc. When it comes to proofreading the translation, a file will usually be easier to work on and edit than the content within the CMS. With this in mind, an exported file is often the best method.
So, the Project Manager will deliver the file to the translators, or give them access to the CMS as necessary. Once the translation is complete, the proofreaders do their part. Any images or other parts of the website not already part of the CMS/export file would be localised at this stage too – a professional localisation includes everything, not just the obvious text components of the website.
If an export file has been used, then this needs to be imported back into the CMS. This is usually done by the client’s web team, but sometimes we are given an access login to the system and can upload it ourselves.
The published sites we localised for Loc8tor can be found at www.loc8tor.eu, www.loc8tor.fr and www.loc8tor.es.
With some projects, this is where our involvement ends, but there are other stages that are recommended in order for the localised website to be a success:
Usability testing – this is especially important for eCommerce websites or any others where transactions take place. The localised site is tested from the user’s point of view to make sure all functions work correctly, links lead to the pages they should, etc.
Multilingual SEO & eMarketing – just because you’ve invested in localising your site doesn’t mean that customers in that particular country know it is there! Submitting your site to local search engines, building some inbound links and promoting the new website online will all help get more traffic, and these initial measures are included as standard in our Strategic Approach to Localisation packages.
Managing updates – it’s important that you consider how updates to the website will be managed. Many CMSs can be configured to send updates for translation, which minimises the delay in keeping the multilingual site current.
Keyword Research – Knowing the most popular search terms for your product or service is critical. We help to capture maximum exposure by identifying not just your keywords, but also complementary keywords and competitive keywords to help you optimise your website, and maximize the effectiveness of your multilingual Pay Per Click campaigns.
Pay-Per-Click – ideal for giving your web traffic a boost, for promotions, sales and to announce new content. In most industries it will be expensive to stay at the top of results using PPC alone, but it should form part of your overall web strategy if you have sufficient budget.
A good localisation strategy will consider these additional elements of the process as well as simply translating the main body of text on a website.
If you have any questions about website localisation, or any comments about this article, please let us know.
“The results of localizing our website have been phenomenal. Our brand is now well-established in Germany and we’ve received lots of positive feedback from our German customers.”
Russell Morris, European Director – Warehouse Express
“The results of localizing the key pages into 11 languages have been excellent; the traffic to the French, German and Dutch has been especially good and equates to a cost of 2p per visitor
– that’s fantastic value compared to pay-per-click advertising in a competitive industry like ours!
Web-Translations definitely go the extra mile – we’ll be working with them again to expand the multilingual sites.”
Glenn Garrett, Partner – Quiet PC
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