You’ve been marketing your products to consumers in foreign countries, and it’s working. They’re visiting your website and maybe even adding items to their cart, but they seldom make a purchase. Why could this be?
An international customer’s experience on your website is not the same as a local customer. For example, your international visitor may use a different currency and speak a foreign language from your domestic customers. Furthermore, unfamiliar pricing and text make navigating your website difficult for your international customers. Additionally, suppose they know their shipment will incur duties and taxes not listed in your checkout. In that case, they would not feel comfortable making the purchase without knowing the total landed cost of their order.
In fact, cost transparency is a major contributing factor to abandoned carts and high bounce rate.
Make your website more successful by learning these best practices to welcome and keep your international customers’ business:
- Make them feel welcome
- Provide cost transparency
- Include delivery options at checkout
Make international customers feel welcome on your website
For 55% of users, it takes them less than 15 seconds to determine whether they will stay and browse around or leave. Therefore, a good first impression for international visitors is crucial for conversion. Immediately making them feel welcome will increase your chances of keeping them on your website to eventually convert.
When a customer visits a foreign website, the first thing they want to know is if the store accepts orders from their country. Make it clear that you accept international orders on your website by having a greeting set up in their language. If shoppers can not be sure whether a foreign site accepts orders from their country, why would they stick around? Make them feel welcome and assured that they are in the right place.
Aside from greeting customers in their language, it is hard to feel welcome if prices aren’t listed in their currency. Localization (explained more below) is key.
How can I localize my e-commerce website for international customers?
Localized widgets use shoppers’ IP addresses to detect what country they are visiting from and use that to make the website content more fitting to their needs related to currency and language.
Here is an example of a welcome screen to help customers by providing localized information to help improve their experience. For example, it lets shoppers know that you accept orders from their country and even includes information about import duty and tax specifics for their country. This gives them an idea about additional costs right off the bat.
Localizing your website’s checkout experience is another way to improve the customer experience on your website. Look for a software solution that localizes the checkout for customers by translating the entire checkout page and abandoned cart emails to the shopper’s language and providing localized address fields based on the shopper’s ship-to country.
Provide landed cost transparency
Now you have localized your website, and the international customer has made it to the checkout. What is the next step?
International shoppers tend to be more cautious and savvy when ordering goods from a foreign country. They want to ensure all the costs involved in having the package sent to them, such as duties, taxes, and fees, are included at checkout.
Consider the following. If you order an item online, you’re done with payment and only have to await delivery. Imagine the carrier presenting you with an additional bill upon delivery that you must pay before getting your package. It’s a poor customer experience, and that’s what your international customers must go through if you do not include all the costs at checkout and allow prepayment of duties, taxes, and fees. Unfortunately, many international customers are unaware of these extra costs, so the shock of the bill upon delivery results in a negative customer experience, possible package rejection, and the potential loss of a likely lifetime customer.
Save yourself and your international customers the headache of abandoned carts, package rejection, negative reviews, strain on your customer support team, or any other consequence of a poor customer experience by providing landed cost transparency at checkout.
How can I provide cost transparency for my international customers?
Integrating with software that calculates and pre-collects duties, taxes, and fees at checkout is the most efficient and scalable way to provide cost transparency for your international customers.
Here is how one software tool allows the total landed cost to be easily calculated, displayed, and collected at checkout.
Collecting the full cost at checkout will ensure no surprise fees for your customers. The localization and transparency are sure to provide your customers with a positive shopping experience but to increase your chances of creating a loyal repeat customer, there’s more to be done!
Include delivery options at checkout
Again, international shoppers are cautious. Most have had experiences where a package has taken more than one or two months to reach them, so seeing delivery options and time estimates is important. How you display your delivery options can determine whether an international shopper converts or abandons the cart. For example, 43% of shoppers will avoid the retailer if no delivery date is provided and 16% will abandon their cart. If the carrier’s name is not provided, 27% of shoppers will avoid the retailer, and 9% will abandon their cart.
This graph illustrates abandoned cart stats based on delivery options.
Displaying these options with the estimated delivery times and costs associated with each provides transparency and manages your foreign customers’ expectations. For example, having a choice between a lower cost and longer transit time as opposed to a higher cost with a shorter transit time can change the decision from “Is this too expensive?” to “How soon do I want it?” It also makes them feel more secure knowing the estimated delivery time.
If consumers see that these delivery times and costs are associated with the carrier, the buying experience is better overall, and your business is less likely to receive bad reviews for slow delivery.
How can I display delivery options and times to international shoppers?
Find a checkout solution that allows you to display all of your available shipping options.
Marketing is hard work, especially in foreign countries. It’s important not to waste the work and expenses invested in foreign marketing by giving international shoppers reasons to bounce.
Happy customers should always be the goal. For global markets, taking the extra steps to provide a positive customer experience helps reduce customer complaints, negative reviews, lost opportunities, and abandoned cart and bounce rates.
Authored by Britney Wells
A love of bringing words together to create clear, simple messages about complex topics has driven me to pursue a career in professional writing. As the Technical Writer at Zonos, I find excitement and purpose in decoding the complex details of cross-border e-commerce.
Cross border has a technology problem. Zonos is a cross-border technology provider that enables e-commerce businesses to simplify international transactions. Build trust with international customers by providing accurate estimates for duties, taxes, and fees for international transactions. This allows orders to clear customs faster and deliver the best customer experience with no surprises at the door.