Global ecommerce

Global Ecommerce

Localisation considerations for global ecommerce: money talks

By Yuka Kurihara, Director of Globalisation, Pitney Bowes

Localisation is an important part to creating a great global ecommerce customer experience. Now that you’ve localized your customers’ name and address correctly, what else do you need to get right? Cha-ching! It’s the money!

If you are expanding your global footprint, it’s important to be aware that global consumers expect to handle transactions in their native currency, and not in the currency of the retailer’s country. So, if your customers are located in Japan, they expect to pay in Japanese Yen, even if you are a European retailer.

It’s not just a matter of converting one currency into another. As a global merchant, you want to make sure to display currency figures appropriately, based on the language.  For example, if you are doing business in Quebec, Canada, you need to keep in mind that there are two official languages, English and French. The currency format differs depending on the language. So, if an item costs 100 Canadian dollars, this can be represented as follows.

English: $100.00

French: 100,00 $

Notice that for French, the comma is used as a decimal point and the dollar sign should be placed after the amount. There is also an extra space between the digit and the dollar sign.  If you really need to specify that the amount is in Canadian dollars, the proper notation is 100,00 $ CA.

There are no decimal places for certain currencies, such as Japanese Yen

Japanese Yen:

¥100 (Correct)

 ¥100.00 (Incorrect)

If you show a figure with decimal places to Japanese customers on your ecommerce site, they may not feel comfortable proceeding with the transaction. They might even think the amount is actually 100 times more than it actually is. In the example above, the incorrect format could be misinterpreted as ¥10000 instead. Ultimately, presenting currency in the right format helps customers make the best purchase decision.

Be sure to provide a payment method that is preferred by the consumers in your target country. Additionally, keep in mind that customers who are shopping with their credit card in a foreign country or transacting in non-local currency might incur foreign transaction fees. That can lead to an unpleasant surprise that discourages customers, so take steps ahead of time to minimise roadblocks to cross-border purchases.

Ecommerce customers expect products and material to be available in their native language. Can you deliver? Read more about the importance of localisation to today’s shoppers in the Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Study Report.

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