The Secret to Global E-Commerce Success

woman shopping online on tablet between plants

E-Commerce growth continues to be strong as more and more businesses recognise the benefits of selling their products online. Cross-border e-commerce drives a significant share of these sales and presents an even greater growth opportunity for business owners looking to expand their customer base. Are you ready to go global? Learn how localisation will help you achieve this successfully.


E-Commerce success is nothing new. However, if you browse the internet, you’ll discover that many experts now refer to cross-border e-commerce business models as a necessity and not merely an option. It seems like the future of business development is becoming increasingly dependent on the Internet, and entrepreneurs are asked to take advantage of its global reach in order to create thriving and sustainable businesses. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at the latest research to get an idea of what’s at stake:

  1.      E-Commerce accounts for 10.2% of global retail sales and is expected to rise to 17.5% by 2023.
  2.      In 2018, cross-border e-commerce accounted for 23% of total e-commerce sales in Europe, with a turnover of USD 95 billion.
  3.      Most e-commerce consumers in Europe shop from Chinese online stores. (E-Commerce news)
  4.      Cross-border e-commerce will reach USD 627 billion by 2022 (Forrester), representing 20% of global e-commerce.
  5.      India, Spain, China and Indonesia are expected to see the greatest increase in e-commerce B2C sales from 2019 until 2023.
  6.      Books, music, movies and video games were the most popular products bought online (60% vs 28% in-store) in 2017. By contrast, most food and beverage sales were made in traditional brick-and-mortar stores (23% online vs 70% in-store).
  7.      B2B businesses benefit the most from e-commerce as their value is 5 times greater than that of B2C, amounting to USD 10.6 trillion in 2018.
  8.     Global e-commerce revenues reached USD 3.53 trillion in 2019, with the fashion industry showing the biggest gains. (statista, emarketer)


Don’t forget, you do not have to be big to succeed. The next few years will be full of opportunities for SMEs as the ever-growing cross-border e-commerce market provides smaller companies with the chance to shine on a global scale. E-Commerce retail is gaining ground in comparison to traditional retail sales all over the world, even in markets such as China, India and Indonesia. This gives any type of business who implements an e-commerce business model, a unique advantage in their specific market. But, there is one more vital detail that will make them stand out from the competition, and that’s localisation.


Localisation in E-Commerce

If you want to expand your customer base globally, then you need to build your website in more than one language. E-Commerce experts always stress the importance of localisation for cross-border e-commerce success, and for good reason. When customers visit a site in their native language, it greatly enhances their shopping experience and gains their trust. Here are some tips on how to localise your website:

  • Write all product descriptions in a country’s local language. This will make customers feel comfortable and safe to shop on your site.
  • Include a feature that will automatically convert prices into local currency.
  • Use the payment methods that are preferred and supported in each country. For example, iDeal is a major player in the Netherlands, while UnionPay is necessary for China.
  • Make design adjustments that will appeal to your audience; change the colours, fonts, or even the products that appear on the homepage in order to cater to local cultures and tastes.


Case study: Nike

A great example of e-commerce localisation is Nike’s website. Apart from branding, Nike’s website is adjusted to each country’s needs. Below you’ll see screenshots from their websites for Mexico and Japan.


nike japanese website

nike mexico website screenshot

As you may have observed, they have localised their website for each region and differentiated the design and products. The two versions are successfully catering to each country’s culture, aesthetics and taste. Nike shows the way in terms of localisation, but at the same time continues to preserve the character of its brand via its minimal website layout.

Now, it’s your turn. Think about what special products you can offer from your own country. For example, e-commerce could facilitate the cross-border demand for your Japanese whiskey, which tastes rich due to the country’s unique climate, or for your mastiha delicacies which can only be produced by the tree resin found in the Northern part of Chios. If you believe that your product needs to be experienced by people in other countries, it’s time to give it a go and promote it globally.

Proper planning and execution are of the essence if you want to reap the rewards of a truly global e-commerce business. That’s why it’s imperative to choose highly skilled professionals who can help you achieve this goal. Trust Nexya to be your language specialist partner in this process; we offer the support and know-how you’ll need to build your e-commerce localisation strategy and connect  with your new customers effectively.