July 2016

Shopping cart abandonment is cruel - here's how to stop it

 by anthony on  |
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Shopping cart abandonment is a cruel and widespread practice. Baymard indicates that the average online abandonment rate is a staggering 68.63%, meaning over two-thirds of unfortunate shopping carts are left in the wild to fend for themselves. But the good news is that a lot of these can be saved by making some simple changes to your checkout process.   1. Don’t hide costs One of the biggest reasons for an abandoned shopping cart is a customer reaching the payment gateway, only to find that they’ve got to fork out more money than they thought. A post by KISSmetrics highlights just how much of an issue this is, with almost a third of carts abandoned because of unexpected shipping costs. The same can be said of taxes and charges, which also add a sizeable cost to the customer’s basket. Always display all of your costs up front to avoid this. 2. Offer free shipping Even when shipping costs aren’t hidden, customers still detest them. A survey by Alix Partners showed that 37% of people abandoned their shopping cart simply because the shipping costs were too high. In an ideal world, your business would absorb them, but not everyone can afford this luxury. If you're in that boat, try offering free shipping to customers that spend over a certain amount. This will appeal to at least some of the 37% and help you recoup costs through an increase in sales. Calculate what spend threshold would be financially viable for you and work from there. 3. Start remarketing As outlined by Business Insider, three out of four people who abandon a shopping cart plan on returning to purchase later. Remarketing will remind these people about their purchase and subtly encourage them to complete it. Wordstream suggests that the best remarketing channels are Google Display Network and Facebook ads, which reach 90% and 65% of internet users respectively. They also stated that remarketing boosted their conversions by a whopping 51% in just 18 months. 4. Simplify your checkout Two or three clicks are all it should take for a customer to pick and purchase a product, with minimal information needed. A study by Invesp discovered that 12% of people abandoned a purchase because the site required too much information. Avoid this mistake by making the process as streamlined as possible. 5. Allow guest checkout Forcing customers to create an account is another tipping point, as KISSmetrics state that 23% of users abandon their shopping cart if they’re forced to create an account. Invesp agrees, stating that 14% of users abandoned their shopping cart for the same reason. Adding a guest checkout option can easily solve this problem. To simplify even further, create a “Remember Me” box to tick. This means customers won’t have to re-enter their details if they return to your site. 6. Add a progress bar A checkout progress bar will let customers know where they’re at on the purchasing path. Knowing how many steps are left encourages people to see out the process, as long as your simplified checkout leaves only a few steps to finish. You should also use your Analytics to understand at what point customers tend to abandon their cart. This will give you a clear indication of potential issues, or if you’ve got too many steps to checkout. 7. Include a trust seal The internet is fraught with fraud and security issues. Customers are especially cautious with sites that they haven’t purchased from before. Including a trust seal will add a layer of security that may mean the difference between completing the purchase or abandoning ship.  For example, a study of US adults by Baymard found that over 35% of respondents were more comfortable buying from a site that had the “Norton Secured” trust seal. 8. Provide multiple payment methods The number of online payment methods is always growing, so include as many as possible to give your customer their favored option. Credit cards are the obvious one, but services like Google Wallet and Apple Pay are on the rise and should also be considered. Parting with money is difficult at the best of times and statistics by Control show that 50% of customers would cancel their purchases if their preferred payment method wasn’t available. 9. Create exit-intent popups Exit-intent popups can be added to any web page and are activated when a user is about to hit the “back” or “close” button. Convincing someone to stay requires drastic action and spending some money is the best way to do it. Add a popup that displays a discount on a product in their basket to encourage them to finish the purchase. Digital guru, Neil Patel, tested this and saw a 46% increase in conversions, so there are certainly benefits to be gained. 10. Incorporate product comparisons A study by McAfee showed that 37% of people abandon shopping carts because they wanted to compare products before buying. It’s easy to say you’ve got the cheapest or best product, but all your competitors will be saying the same thing. You need to actually prove it by showing comparisons of your product against competitors. This can also be used against some of your own products if you want to upsell customers to a more premium item. 11. Promote scarcity Scarcity, or fear of missing out (FOMO to all the cool kids), creates a sense of urgency in the customer to buy now or risk losing out on an amazing offer. Tactics include showing how many of the item has been sold, are in stock, or how much time remains on a discount. Tying back into the customer’s hatred for shipping costs, WhichTestWon found that using limited-time shipping offers can also boost sales. This can be seen in the picture below, where the one the left improved conversions by 226% simply by placing a limited time offer. Final word While it’s impossible to completely eradicate shopping cart abandonment, the measures above will help you keep the figure as low as possible. Customers are aware of every detail when parting with their hard-earned cash and even the smallest thing can put them off completing the purchase. This is even more prevalent if someone hasn’t bought from you before. In the end, providing a positive experience will lead to repeat purchases and, ultimately, more customers. ​ Not using Localizer yet? Start a 7-day free trial or book a demo now!

Selling in China: 9 things you need to surf the Chinese eCommerce wave

 by anthony on  |
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Breaking into the Chinese eCommerce space isn’t easy. But with over 700 million internet users in China, the potential rewards are enormous. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, once said that “In the US, eCommerce is just online shopping. In China, eCommerce is a lifestyle”. So yes, there’s a lot of honey in the pot and if you’ve got the right knowledge, you can get your hands on it. ​ 1. Localize your website Speak their language, and speak it well by investing in a professional website translation. This will ensure your brand message is clear, understood and retains its original meaning. Also bear in mind that Chinese websites are louder, brasher and more colorful than your own. You’ll need to customize the look and feel by changing things like fonts, pictures and color schemes. You should also add a local payment gateway to make the purchasing process more familiar. AliPay is the most popular payment gateway in China, with over 400 million registered users and a 70% share of the market. 2. Make it mobile Make sure the localized version of your website is mobile optimized. Why? 69% of smartphone users in China have made a purchase on their devices and mobile commerce in China is expected to hit $450bn by the end of 2016. All good content management systems will offer a mobile compatible option, so this should be one of the easiest wins you’ll have along the way. 3. Adjust your strategy Like most countries, you can’t apply a single strategy and expect it to work everywhere. But this is even more apparent in China, where income and social differences are vast. For example, in 2012 a Shanghai family had an average income that was twice that of a family in the Gansu Province. So it's safe to assume customers in Shanghai will be willing and able to spend more. Adjust your strategy to target the region that suits your product best. 4. Offer discounts Despite many cultural differences, one thing Chinese consumers have in common is their love for a discount. Forbes indicates that they will fight hard to get the best value for their money and spend a lot of time comparing prices and products. Offering only premium priced goods will put off potential customers and stop you getting a foothold in the market. 5. Provide information Chinese consumers are voracious in their quest for information online. Use this to your advantage and put out as much relevant brand content as possible. This will allow potential customers to find you, review you and make the right purchasing decisions (read: buy your product). Your homepage needs to be tweaked to include as much information as possible straight off the bat. So include things like your main products, discount details and customer reviews. 6. Select the right social channels Putting content on your own site won’t be enough to attract customers, you also need to leverage other channels. There is a huge opportunity to broadcast your brand across social media as Chinese consumers spend an average of three hours per day. But as with everything else, social media in China is just different. Most popular social channels that we recognize are banned, so your entire social strategy will likely need to be restructured. Facebook and Twitter are replaced by Weibo and QZone, while Youku and Tudou fill the gap left by YouTube. Having a good e-reputation is also a massive plus in China and engaging with your customers across social media will help to enhance it. 7. Modify your SEO Along with standard social channels, Google is also largely unavailable in China. The majority of searches come through a search platform called Baidu, which also requires its own SEO efforts. Keywords should be used both on and off your website for maximum effect. If you need a helping hand, Baidu also provides a keyword research tool to make things a little bit easier. 8. Host locally If possible, host your website in China as it will load up faster and run much smoother for visitors. Chinese consumers aren’t the most patient and won’t stick around if your web page doesn’t load up instantly. A locally hosted site will also be looked upon more favorably by Baidu and you’ll stand a better chance of appearing in search results. 9. Deliver fast Something that isn’t widely known, but is crucial, is the difference in delivery times. Same day delivery is common in China if customers live in one of the bigger cities, so finding ways to make sure you can meet these short lead times is key. As with discounts, your competitors will offer super fast delivery and customers will go with the quickest one available. Final word The Chinese eCommerce space is demanding, advanced and rewarding in equal measure, and the services you provide have to match it. This starts with your website, marketing and sales channels, all the way down to delivery. It’s also set to continue growing, with Chinese eCommerce value expected to hit $1.1bn by 2020. But before you jump in, familiarize yourself with the needs of the market to have the best chance of succeeding. Not using Localizer yet? Start a 7 day free trial or book a demo now!

How good is Localizer's human translation?

 by anthony on  |
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We get asked all the time about the different types of translation Localizer caters for, but the question we get asked the most is around our human translation service: “How good is your human translation?” The answer is pretty straightforward – really good! So how do we make sure it stays that way? In a nutshell, Localizer ensures that your content is given as much attention as it needs from a dedicated professional translator, providing you with the best quality translation that retains its context and SEO friendliness. Here’s how it works:   1. Set your instructions First, you add custom instructions for our translators to make sure every translation meets your exact requirements. This includes the general tone of voice of your content, the type of audience you usually target, topics you write about regularly and also any words you want to be excluded from your translations. 2. Place your order Once your instructions are in place, you simply order your translations. You can choose to translate your entire website or select specific pages and pieces of content. Ordering a human translation with Localizer is super easy and can be done in just three clicks. 3. Order assignment Your order is then passed onto our translation partner network, who organizes all the pages of your website into a single job. Our partners have over 18,000 professional translators to choose from and your job is passed onto the translator that best suits your needs. This means that there is only one task to complete for your dedicated translator, making the process clean and efficient. 4. Content translation Your dedicated translator goes through your list of instructions and begins translating your content according to your requirements. Unlike a machine translation, a human translator can keep your content in perfect context and ensure it's also SEO friendly, so your customers can find you in that language. During the entire process, you’ll have constant communication with your translator via a two-way comments system. This feedback loop allows you to request changes if there is any part of your translation that you’d like to be tweaked, or provide updated instructions if needed.   That’s it! Every human translation is tailored to suit your exact requirements, guaranteeing a quality, SEO friendly and in-context result every time. A human translation is extremely fast and will take no more than two days to complete no matter how big your website is, but is typically done in about two hours!

6 Ways to Drive Revenue With Your Website

 by anthony on  |
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When looking for help online, you’ll often come across new, revolutionary tools or “hacks”, as we now call them, that vow to drive revenue tenfold and make you filthy rich. Unfortunately, 99% of these are empty promises from companies that are using our naivety to make some tidy profit for themselves. They usually go a little something like: “Make a million bucks in 3 months by paying just $100 for our eBook”. So you part with your $100 and do everything literally by the book, but nothing happens. You might have fallen for this trap already, but don’t feel bad if you have because it happens to the best of us. The cold truth is that there's no quick fix for driving revenue, not unless you get exceedingly lucky and let's face it, the majority of us will never get that kind of luck. Forget getting rich quick and focus on building lasting foundations to bring in a steady revenue stream that will – if you do it right – help you "get rich" (I hate that term). As an online business, your website is your first port of call to start creating that revenue stream and below are six tried and tested ways to drive revenue with your website. No jargon, just solid advice. 1. Become a traffic cop First up is to get a handle on increasing your site traffic and police it with military precision, because nobody is going to hand you customers on a plate. The best way to drive traffic is to increase your visibility – if you can’t find yourself on the first page of Google, how do you expect your customers to find you? There are plenty of ways to increase your visibility but the most instantly effective will cost you, and that’s paid search. Using paid search, you can skip the long queues and buy your way to the top of the search results, guaranteeing a lot more traffic to your website. The problem with paid search is that, well, you have to pay for it. The alternative is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a free way of organically improving your search ranking and while it isn’t as instantaneous as paid search, it’s more sustainable in the long run; particularly if your budget isn’t suited to buying your way to success. In an ideal world, you should drive traffic to your website using a combination of both paid search and SEO; spending some money on being instantly visible, but always working on building content for sustainable, organic results in the background. Already working on paid search and SEO? Try out some email marketing, guest blogging on other websites or focusing on social media. 2. Speak your customers' language I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: to target a global audience and exponentially increase traffic, you really need to be able to speak to them in a way they understand. I don’t mean just translating your website from one language to another; I mean actually localizing it to match the cultural differences that are prevalent across languages. Getting your website professionally translated is a good start and will make sure your content is kept in context, as well as retaining its SEO friendliness. But it only starts with the text, there’s also the format of your site that needs to change. Think about a Chinese website versus an American website; Chinese websites are typically colorful, loud and sometimes slightly bizarre in how they look. Would Americans be more likely to buy the same thing from a Chinese website over an American one? Of course not, and the opposite is also true. Relying on Google Translate simply isn’t enough to sustain global website traffic or drive revenue; you have to adopt a chameleon-like approach and speak to every target audience in a way they understand. 3. Offer value, not vanity Yeah, yeah, yeah… we know your product is the bee’s knees and everyone should buy it straight away, but there’s really no need to brag about it (not all the time, anyway). Once someone lands on your website, you need to be able to offer something that’s of value to them and not a self-serving vanity exercise. The content on your website should be informative and useful, it should tell customers exactly what they want to know and be of benefit. Most people do a degree of research before spending money on something online, be it checking product reviews, prices etc. If you offer them content that’s trustworthy and actually helps them, but your closest competitors don’t, who do you think they’ll decide to buy from in the end? That’s right, you! This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t display the benefits of your product on your website – you should – but the needs of the customer must come first in order to really enhance their experience and build lasting relationships. Content channels that can add value include things like (good) eBooks, white papers, blog posts (like this one) and even videos. 4. Create a call-to-action Sometimes I come across an ad that looks interesting, so I invariably click on it to dig a little deeper. Next thing I know, I’m on a landing page and thinking “what do I do now?”, because there’s literally a bunch of text, but nothing tangible about what it's all for. When you’re putting all that time and effort into bringing people to your website, don’t just leave it to chance that they’ll know what to do once they get there. Create a call to action and tell them what they need to do next – do you want them to sign up for a trial or a newsletter? More importantly, do you want them to make a purchase? Whatever the case may be, shout the call to action loud and clear on every page and make sure that visitors know what the next step is. There’s no benefit to having people land on your website and leave without doing a thing. 5. Make it mobile Hands up if you know someone that doesn’t own a smartphone? Ok, since I can’t see anyone’s hands I’ll assume that the answer is zero, and if it’s not zero then it’s pretty damn close. In this day and age, it's totally unacceptable for any website not to be responsive to mobile devices; it should look good and perform well on the likes of smartphones or tablets without breaking a sweat. Everyone and anyone uses their mobile devices to surf the web on a daily basis and that includes your potential customers. Landing on a site that’s not mobile friendly is a horrible experience that forces you to zoom, scroll and pinch your way to the content that you want to see. Most people don’t have the patience for such an abomination anymore and will simply squint their eyes tightly to find the “X” button on the browser window, taking your potential sale with them. It’s imperative that your site is mobile responsive and gives a super-easy user experience, otherwise you’ll lose out on a boatload of potential sales and most likely pad your competitor’s wallet instead. 6. Analyze, test and optimize With digital, the party never stops because things change so fast that you can miss it in the blink of an eye. This means what you’re doing today might be working a treat, but could mean absolutely nothing tomorrow. Once you’ve concocted the perfect formula, you can’t afford to sit on your laurels. Always continue to analyze the performance of your website to see what’s working and what isn’t. Free tools like Google Analytics are extremely powerful when you know how to use them – so if you don’t know how, learn. When you find something that doesn’t work, test new ways of doing it – not every test you do will result in discovering the next big thing, but you won’t find anything if you don’t try. A/B testing is an excellent way to try different things and get direct comparisons betweent them. Final Word A website is an underused and underappreciated weapon in the revenue-driving warchest of many businesses. There's often a school of thought prevalent that simply having a website in the first place is enough, but it's not. A website can be so much more than just a prerequisite to fill out for doing business in the digital age, it can act as a catalyst to bring in a steady stream of new customers and drive your revenue to new heights; but you've got to give it the love and attention it deserves.

Are you translating your website effectively?

 by anthony on  |
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Translating your website to multiple languages is only a small piece of an otherwise very large puzzle when it comes to localizing your content and globalizing your business. Picking the right translation type can make or break the process and a professional translation should always be used when possible. But there are circumstances that allow you to apply a combination of each translation type to give you the best localization outcome and boost your aspirations of hitting a global audience. Read on to learn where and when you should use each type of translation and how you can tie them all together to effectively localize your website. 1. Machine Translations Low risk content By virtue of the fact that they don’t account for any human element, machine translations alway carry the threat of contextual errors that can be disastrous for your translated content. True as this may be, there's still room for a machine translation on certain areas of your site. Pages that attract low levels of traffic are a good starting point, as risk levels are minimal if something is translated out of context. Short on time If you’re in a hurry to localize your website, machine translation can be a viable option to give you a functional but temporary short term fix. For example, if you have a heavy promotional period coming up and need your content translated immediately, you could complete the initial translation using a machine and then fix it up later with a professional. The machine translation most likely won't be at the standard you need, but it's better to at least have some form of translated content available than none at all if you're expecting high volumes of international traffic. Generic content Certain types of content don't need any context or a human touch. Anything from single words to generic product specs can be translated by a machine with little or no impact on the quality of the content. If the content doesn't affect the user experience or customer journey, then it's worth testing a machine translation on it to save time and money. 2. D.I.Y. Translations Brand experts The obvious answer to this is to use your own professional translators, but not every business is lucky enough to have those tools at hand. As with machine translation, doing it yourself is risky when you don’t have the proper resources in-house, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided altogether. Utilizing people that can speak the language can be enough when they possess in-depth knowledge of your product or brand, even if they don’t have professional translation credentials. As long as they can convey clear content that’s consistent with your brand message, it will make up for some of the missing pizzazz that a professional translator brings. Of course a professional always gets the job done quicker and more effectively, but if you don’t have the budget this is definitely worth looking at. Tweaking translations D.I.Y. can also be applied when you’ve initially used a machine translation and need to tweak the content and add context. It’s important to remember that D.I.Y. without in-house professionals will seldom provide the desired outcome at the first time of asking, so you’ll need to be patient and manage your expectations in line with the resources at your disposal. However, if you find that the translated content isn't reaching the levels you need or is impacting the customer journey in any way, you should enlist the help of a professional translator. 3. Professional Translation All-encompassing Professional translation is an all-encompassing process and helps to drive more quality traffic and increase conversions. If you’ve got the budget, there’s no reason you should skimp on paying for a translation that keeps your content brand-aligned and won't confuse your customers. Where the other types of translation leave room for error and potential content disasters, a professional translation removes these risks and allows you to concentrate on everything else that comes with website localization. For your customers Giving your customers a voice and harnessing user generated content are fantastic ways to grow your business. Getting your customers to provide positive feedback, leave reviews or write testimonials are better than any ad campaigns you could run. A professional translation is an absolute must here, as misquoting or misrepresenting what your customer has actually said would inevitably end in disaster. Not only that, you'd harm your chances of getting additional user generated content in the future. Conversion focused content Using a professional translator on conversion-focused pages such as checkout and payment is crucial. People should understand what payment options are available to ensure they go through with the purchase and are also given accurate information. You should also use a professional translation on blogs or any copy that’s designed to drive conversions, as this directly affects the customer journey and impacts on the purchasing decision they make. A sloppy user experience will result in lower conversions as people will be unlikely to buy from a site they deem unprofessional. Tying them all together Creating a workflow that incorporates every type of translation can be tricky to manage and organize. Most business don't have the in-house facilities available to do this seamlessly and it can be both time consuming and frustrating to keep it all together. That’s where a localization platform like Localizer comes in and turns a heavy workload into a cakewalk. Localizer provides the tools for you to translate your content using all three types of translation, while streamlining the localization process into a single, easy-to-use workflow. Localizer also allows you to add team members to your profile, so that multiple people can work on the same project; or a number of projects at any one time. You can even translate your entire website with Localizer in three simple clicks.