Imagine a post-pandemic moment: walking into your favorite café, lining up and scanning the menu, and seeing the price of your latte in a different currency than you’re used to — British pounds or Japanese yen, for example. If you’re in a rush, you might just turn around and go to another café where the prices are in dollars, right?
Similar to brick-and-mortar, localizing your online business’ shopping cart and overall customer experience for its diverse global audience, with their distinct preferences in terms of payment options, can have a dramatic impact on your global revenue, up to 30 percent or more.
Cart localization — i.e., tailoring your cart to match the shopping preferences of customers from different cultures — is a process that requires a thoughtful, consistent and strategic approach. If your product page is localized but your checkout page isn’t, you’ll lose conversions. In some countries, you can boost your conversion rate by up to 20 percent just by adding or cutting a step in the purchase funnel.
How important localization is to your customers varies; your top priority is to optimize your cart for those countries with the biggest revenue impact on your bottom line. Analyze your traffic, determine what your top markets are, and focus on those that have the biggest improvement potential — e.g., high traffic and low cart conversion rate. You need to prioritize, as it may be difficult to cater to all your global customers with tailored-to-fit carts.
The second step in localizing your cart is knowing who your visitors are, and controlling what they see in their individual carts based on their geography. Have the functionality available to automatically direct your customers when they arrive on site in different directions based on their geographic location.
Let’s look at the most important tools to focus on related to the online purchase process.
Local Payment Methods
In some countries, at least 10 percent and up to 50 percent of online purchases are made using local payment methods. Different countries prefer different payment methods. Brazil uses Boleto Bancario, for instance, while Russia uses Qiwi, China uses Alipay and WeChatPay, while The Netherlands prefers iDEAL. Many users won't complete purchases online if their own local payment isn’t available. Payment logos should be easy to spot; don’t hide them in a drop-down menu.
Cart Flow Country Preferences
The cart flow’s summary, checkout and review can be rearranged and modified, usually in one-step and two-step flows (the former without a review page and the latter including the review page).
Split testing can help determine which flow best suits each geographic area and its customers. Users from the U.S., for example, show a preference for a short, one-step checkout experience, while some countries in Europe, like Germany and France, prefer reviewing their order before placing it.
Having translated content can generate dramatically higher conversion rates, particularly in certain countries. In the Russian Federation, for example, we’ve seen conversion rates increase 20 percent if the cart is in the local language, and for Brazil, around a 24 percent increase.
Make sure your content isn't just translated to the local language, but also has the appropriate tone and voice for its regional audience. Localize prices, both in the display and billing, and show the standard local taxes that apply. Tailor date and time, graphics, color, and formatting to your specific market as much as possible. Finally, optimize load time for each region. A global average will not help you. Therefore, test load times for each key region and work on optimization according to priorities.
A/B testing can go a long way towards determining what’s working best in your top markets. Try testing cart flow in your top five markets, optimizing for each by geo-distribution, repeating the test weekly with variations.
Some test examples: A/B test the payment method selector format, varying by drop-down menus, buttons, radio boxes, and placement. Offer the top payment methods for each region. Test different pre-selected payment methods (i.e., the one the shopper sees right away when they open the checkout page). Certain countries, like Germany, prefer PayPal to be pre-selected as the default payment method, instead of a credit card.
Ultimately, making these efforts to localize your cart experience for your diverse audiences can guarantee a major global revenue increase. Take the steps necessary to make the shopping experience one that's smooth, easy to follow, and consistent, and your global customers are more likely to make a purchase — and to return for future sales.
Vlad Bisceanu is CRO Team Lead at 2Checkout, an online payment processing service.