The beauty of the Internet is the ability if gives anyone a chance to visit anywhere in the world through their screen.
This morning, for example, we visited sites both in the UK and overseas to look for a birthday present. Our time doing this was limited so if the website we visited didn’t translate into my preferred language, or have a layout we’re used to, then we moved on very quickly, often not even bothering to see if they stocked the product we wanted at the price we were looking for.
The decision about whether we were going to spend our money with this company started the moment their webpage loaded.
Having a website that speaks to international customers, or not, really can be the difference between gaining a new customer or losing out to a more forward thinking competitor.
Be mindful that entering an international market does not mean you need a new website for every country. There are systems that will change your homepage according to a visitor’s location. You just need to be sure they see what they want:
- Image is everything: Before a visitor even starts to view your web content, they’ll pick up on colour. What one nationality loves another will not. Chinese visitors will think red is lucky, however in South Africa red is the colour of mourning. Take the time to consider colours that might be neutral across nationalities. Be careful with your images too. Pictures we find perfectly acceptable in the west could be deeply offensive in other parts of the world.
- Lost in translation: Of course if you’re targeting customers where their primary language is different to yours, you need pages that translate into the local language. Don’t be tempted to use web-based translation services, as accuracy is low. Invest in professional translation services and your international customers will thank you for it.
- Research your layout: Video and images are big in the western world. In Asia people seem to prefer text heavy websites. Look at the layout of websites in the market you’re entering to see what the trends are and the layouts that local people respond to the best.
- Be mobile: With thousands of different devices being used all over the world you need a website that can be viewed on all of them. Emerging markets might be a few years behind the technology we’re used to. A mobile responsive site will take care of this for you, adapting your website’s size to fit any screen.
- Speed is of the essence: You might have fibre-optic broadband and 4G Internet connectivity but your potential customers might not. Ensure your web designer takes this into account and keeps your homepage load time fast by using optimised code and less clutter.
As technology helps businesses reach more customers across the world, there is a lot to consider to be sure you keep up.
The thoughts above will go someway to help you enter those new markets with minimum of effort, and of course, if you need some help, give WE CAN CREATIVE a call on 07790 829 050