Personalization and Globalization Represent the Future of E-Commerce
In an effort to understand these challenges better, Peer 1 Hosting surveyed 300 e-commerce decision makers and found that their top concerns included data privacy laws (58 percent), regional tax codes (55 percent), localized customer support (52 percent) and maintaining low latency for all regions (42 percent). How can online retailers cope with this complexity?
It may sound counterintuitive in a global market, but localization is the first necessary step. According to Peer 1's survey, one in five brands are expanding their international capabilities this year, including offering local website translations and making purchasing options compatible with local currencies. These tactics go a long way to differentiate companies in competitive and diverse markets like the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, where, of those companies in the survey that didn't already have an APAC website, 23 percent plan to target in 2014. It's simple: The more markets a website is optimized for, the more responsive consumers are and the more likely they are to convert.
It's important that websites optimized on the front-end for international audiences are also supported at the back-end infrastructure layer. For instance, even if e-retailers are leveraging local networks in the regions they're targeting (which may suffer from significant gaps in developing regions), they must also withstand burdens including unexpected disasters and sudden spikes in website traffic, which may occur at different times and on different dates than in the e-retailer's home country.
To be prepared for this wide range of regional challenges, e-commerce organizations need a hosting or managed services provider that can cater to their specific international strategy, including leveraging local third parties to analyze best e-commerce practices for target markets. The hosting provider and its staff need to be as clued in on globalization — and localization — as the e-retailers themselves.