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Chinese web localisation could transform your business.

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.

First Time Exporters: Full Support for your Website Translation

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.

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Olympic Gold Website Package – Fit for London 2012

Get Fit for London 2012 with the recently launched Olympic Gold Website Package by Web-Translations.

The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. As mentioned in the Getting Fit for the Olympics blog post published last week not everyone is capitalising on this sales opportunity. Do you want to go for Gold in the 2012 London Olympics?

Last year the largest ever campaign by a national tourist board was launched by VisitBritain; the £100 million GREAT Britain You’re Invited campaign. Primarily fronted by five major global celebrities who agreed to film TV ads and help promote Britain overseas.

As VisitBritain’s Mark Di-Toro says, “Now is the time to wave the British flag”. Thanks to the GREAT campaign a global audience of billions will have their eyes firmly set on Britain like never before. Will you be profiting from this interest?

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Rapid growth in Turkish eCommerce

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.

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Brazil’s eCommerce market expands by 26% in 2011

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.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ricardogeromel/2012/03/23/brazils-e-commerce-is-booming-record-breaking-figures-in-2011-growth-of-26-earnings-of-11-bi/

So what do Brazilians buy online? The most popular categories reflect the needs of Brazil’s new middle class:

  • Home appliances (13%)
  • IT (12%)
  • Health/beauty/drugs (11%)
  • Books and magazine subscriptions (8%)
  • Electronics (6%)
Online shopping is also popular with people in the lower income bracket, however – as Western shoppers already know, the internet is where the best bargains and deals can often be found. Daily deals websites are very popular in Brazil, and social commerce could very soon become another interesting trend.

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.

Localise your website and overtake the competition

It’s a statistic we often repeat on this blog, but the fact is that online customers are four times more likely to buy from a website in their own language, so companies who have multilingual websites soon reap the rewards of the time and resource investment they make in website localisation.

Here’s how localisation of even just a few pages can power your export sales to new heights.

While the internet is a boon to international trade, many companies in English-speaking countries are failing to be forward-thinking by communicating internationally.

Localising websites entails adapting products and materials for a particular market and includes – but is not limited to – translating text into the markets’ relevant languages.

A fully localised website shows shows appreciation and respect towards a foreign culture and conveys that you are interested in your potential customers and their respective cultures. It likewise takes into account conventions and preferences specific to each country such as currencies, measurements and cultural differences.

The benefits of localisation are enormous and include penetrating overseas markets you most want to succeed in, increasing market share – and muscling out the competition. It also ensures you can be found in the most popular search engines in each specified market, country or language.

With English accounting for less than 30% of website content, closely followed by Chinese with 22.6% with ‘other languages’ making up 17.8% – the opportunities for growing your business via localisation are unprecedented.

Reaching out to customers in multiple languages brings both short and long term ‘wins’.  In addition to the immediate boost to sales, a multilingual website is excellent for testing new markets and opening new doors to international trade.

Summary of key tactics to achieve success

Localise your website – just a few pages will demonstrate serious intentions and improve your search engine ranking in the country you are targeting.

Always use a professional translation service – avoid being tempted to use a free machine translation which is not geared for translating marketing copy which has been carefully crafted to stimulate interest and sell to readers.

Focus on core products and services – launching a selection of your bestselling products or services increases your chances of success in a new market.

Conduct multilingual keyword research – pinning down what customers are actually searching for and adapting your website and online advertising accordingly is critical to ensure your site is the one they browse and then buy from.

Measure results – As you would with your UK site. Visitor statistics are invaluable in evaluating your return on investment and deciding where to concentrate further resources.

Are you planning to take advantage of international opportunities by localising your website? Then let’s talk – email sales[at]web-translations[dot]co[dot]uk or call +44 (0) 113 8150460.

French eCommerce sales to hit 45 bill. EUR in 2012

Within Europe, 70% of online sales are generated by “the big online three”; €48 billion from the UK; Germany €39.2 billion and France €25 billion.

The French online market has grown rapidly in the last couple of years. In 2010, eCommerce alone accounted for €31 billion of the €36.2 billion France sold abroad. In the first half of 2011, turnover for all French ecommerce websites combined reached €17.5 billion (£14.9 billion, $23.6 billion; that’s a 20% year-on-year increase, according to a study by the Invest in France agency.

France now has 90,000 retail websites, including 20,000 created during 2010. In the first quarter of 2011, the iCE 40 index (which is made up of the top 40 ecommerce sites in France) showed a year-on-year growth of 11 % and according to FEVAD, France’s ecommerce and remote sales federation, in 2012 ecommerce is set to accumulate sales of €45 billion (£$61 billion, £38.4 billion), putting it on a par with telecommunications and aerospace sales. Ecommerce currently employs nearly 60,000 people in France.

According to the research conducted by Invest in France, the most popular ecommerce sites in France during the first quarter of 2011 were: eBay (9.1 million visitors per month), Amazon (9.1 million visitors), PriceMinister (7.8 million visitors) and la Fnac (6.9 million visitors).

Many French online shops intend to expand internationally in 2012, so this is a booming market, as is mobile commerce. SEO, Email Marketing and Logistics are all important considerations for French eCommerce companies. The recent availability of .fr domains across the EU also opens up opportunities in the French market.

If you’re interested in launching your company website in France, get in touch: sales[at]web-translations[dot]co[dot]uk/ +44 (0) 113 8150460.

How to beat your competitors to the global market – our top tips

In today’s competitive business environment, it pays to be the first company to market with a new product or service. Here are our tips on how to beat your competitors and take full advantage of global opportunities in your sector.

1. Be the early bird – get there first!
Localise your homepage for multiple markets – then you have the pick of where to focus your attention & resource rather than being forced out of the markets your competitors already operate in.

2. Forge your own path
China, Russia, and other fast-growing economies will compete with you in markets you hadn’t even begun to consider. Don’t follow the herd, but blaze your own trail. This takes confidence and a strong business plan but it is the only way to keep competitive advantage.

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When Should Your E-Commerce Startup Go Global?

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…)

French domains (.fr) to become available to EU businesses

As of the 6th December, AFNIC – (manager of the registry of .fr domain names) will lift restrictions on the availability of the .fr domain (among others) to European businesses.

If you don’t already have a French website for putting this domain to use, there has never been a better time…

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Diageo boosts results with sales in emerging markets

Diageo announced a 5% growth in annual profits today, an increase that Chief Executive Paul Walsh largely attributes to its activities in emerging markets.

While sales fell in Greece, Spanish and Ireland (all economies that have struggled in the last few years), Diageo’s acquisition of the leading Turkish spirits company Mey Icki, and its performance in North America and Asia-Pacific have offset the downturn in European trade.

This makes them the latest in a line of successful global companies who are spreading the risk of underperformance in developed markets such as Western Europe by expanding into countries further afield, or the path less trodden by competitors. (more…)

Is China really an emerging market?

As its imports from and exports to other nations continue to increase at a dramatic rate, and the Chinese government’s continued efforts to encourage citizens to buy home-grown products are proving successful, can The People’s Republic of China really still be considered as an emerging market?

China’s economy has been growing by an average 10% every year for the last 3 decades, the fastest growing major economy in the world. It is the second largest economy after the USA, and could overtake the United States as early as 2020, according to experts at Standard Chartered Bank.

China is also the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world, and became the world’s top manufacturer in 2011, surpassing the United States.

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Efficient, stress-free service for Crystal Bridal Accessories

“Thanks for all your help. We are really pleased with all the work you have done – the site looks great and your service was VERY efficient and stress-free. Would recommend you to anyone and if we need another translation will definitely be coming back to your company.”

Amy Karim, Business Manager – Crystal Bridal Accessories

Gateway to trade in the Middle East: an interview with our Turkish partner

Daniel Rajkumar of Web-Translations and Altug Inci of The Related Group discuss their partnership, the latest innovations in technology, and the international trade opportunities available in Turkey.

The Related Group is a digital marketing company based in Turkey aimed at businesses who need to apply technology in the most up-to-date and innovative ways.

The company is composed of several brands:

euro.message, the flagship brand, primarily offers a comprehensive email and mobile marketing system; Made by Cats, a digital agency specialising in website projects for blue-chip and corporate clients; Brandmail provides database marketing services; The Related also represents Omniture analytics and optimisation services in Turkey.

Web-Translations has partnered with The Related Group to offer an extended portfolio of services to all our clients.

For more information on multilingual email marketing campaigns and managing international digital marketing, please email sales[at]web-translations.co.uk or call +44 (0) 113 8150460.

5 Reasons Why International Trade Will Help Your Business

International trade has many benefits, some of which are more obvious than others. Detailed below are key benefits highlighted by clients who have made international trade a major part of their on-going business strategy.

Read on as Charles Purdy,  Director of Smart Currency Exchange Ltd gives his insight on the main advantages of international trade.
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Expanding Horizons: International Trade Seminar

ABDN is working in partnership with UK Trade and Investment to host a seminar on International Trade in Leeds next week.

Date: Wednesday 18th May 2011

Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Venue: Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Leeds, 2 Wellington Place, Leeds, LS1 4BZ (more…)

Wéb-Tränslatiôns partners with euro.message in Turkey

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…)

Join us at the Internet Retailing Expo – 23rd-24th March

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.

View the presentation schedule online

Register online free at http://www.internetretailingexpo.com/

We hope to see you there!

Are you ready to "Go Global"?

Join Web-Translations and a host of other international business experts at the betterbusiness Going Global Workshop, next Wednesday (9th March) at Lacon House, London.

This event will focus on how to take your business global. With growing populations across the globe and the rise of the developing nations, can your business afford to miss out on these lucrative markets? (more…)

Web-Translations meets with Lord Stephen Green

L-R: Lord Stephen Green; Bill Brown (MD of Angloco); Steve Lloyd (MD of GSPK Circuits); Cassandra Oliver

On Friday I had the opportunity to have lunch with Lord Stephen Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister for Trade & Investment.

Entrepreneurs from businesses across Yorkshire attended a lunch event hosted by Angloco in their Batley premises. Angloco manufactures fire engines for all kinds of organisations around the world, and exports to over 45 countries. (more…)

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