As you prepare for international expansion be aware of the differences in cultures that can impact your business.
Cultural Awareness During globalization
If you are targeting a new country, chances are you’ve done a lot of research into the market and various business opportunities. But how much time have you spent getting to know the people and their daily habits? By using common gestures like a thumbs up –in person or on a graphic – you could be inadvertently insulting people.
This video walks through a couple of common American gestures that can get you in trouble abroad.
Translation and Localization of your website
We’ve all seen examples of bad translations and asked ourselves, “Why didn’t they have someone that actually speaks English review this?”
You don’t want to be the business that has people shaking their heads at your ineptitude, so using a professional translator that is familiar with the language is a must. While Google Translate may do in a pinch, when it comes to showcasing your business you want to appear professional. That means:
- Being aware of dialects. While there may be an official language in a country, if you are focusing on a specific region, you want to utilize the local dialect.
- Having grammatically correct and accurate translations.
- Translations should not be done word-for-word, but should use common phrases your audience will connect with.
When you prepare to do business in another country, you need to be aware of not only specific payment types, but expectations around payments. For example:
- In Europe and Asia, it’s common to expect payment after you’ve shipped an order, not before.
- In France, more than 80% of online transactions use major credit cards, yet this figure is less than 25% in Germany, where bank-based payments or credit transfers are the norm.
- In China Alipay and WeChat digital wallets make up 94% of all electronic payments.
If you’re planning to take payments online, you must be aware of not only currency conversions, but the methods of payment preferred by your market. Using a credit card processor such as Braintree or Stripe allows you to accept a variety of payments without much extra work on your part.
However, you may need to put some work into your checkout process to allow for payment types (such as Alipay) that will require you to redirect customers to an app to complete their purchase.
Expanding your business internationally can bring many new opportunities, but you must be aware of the needs of your target audience. If you’re ready to start preparing your website for a new country, give us a shout and let us help.