What does a cross border web shop have in common with Bonnie Tyler? Read more to find out

In the first instalment on our ‘driving performance in cross border eRetail’ I focussed on effective localisation of a webshop as first step to success. I explained that localisation reaches much further than a quality translation – in fact translation is only one of the 23 points we have on our website transformation check list. The other point I made was that only a person truly native to a country can provide the information and checks required to ensure a site looks ‘local to the locals’ and so achieve optimal conversion.

Effective localisation also requires local customer service contact details, a local return address and of course, ideally local customer service personnel.  How many calls do you think you will get (and more importantly what do you think the impact will be on conversion rates) if you assume people are willing to call a customer contact centre in another country not knowing what the cost of the call will be or whether they are able to communicate effectively with person on the other end? No points for guessing either why Amazon is requiring merchants to have a local return address.

So what about localisation in lead generation? Does the international approach of Google and other search engines mean that local adaptations are not necessary? At first sight you might think so, and the very basics of eMarketing might not be all that different. However how about finding the relevant native search term or key word extension for one of your English products, what about writing relevant blogs for link building? To get optimal results you need local input. Without this you will soon loose efficiency and potentially damage your brand.

And here is the point in the title: Bonnie Tyler sang ‘I need a Hero’- And so does each and every web shop that is serious about success in other countries. You need a Hero, a LOCAL HERO. A Local hero to advise on and check web shop localisation, a Local hero to run your customer service and return operations, a Local hero to advise on and support your lead generation activities.

The realisation that local support is needed for international marketing, sales and service is not new. In the ‘old’ economy these Local heroes are called distributors or agents. They provide unique insights into the market, support your operations with in-country resources and maximise the local success of your product or service.   But distributors own your clients and own their territory, and working with agents has all kind of legal ramifications. Isn’t the whole idea of eRetailing that you can sell anywhere and anytime without these traditional binds?  You want the best of both worlds – advice and support without the traditional obligations. You want a new type of Local hero.

Does this new breed of Local Hero exist? If so where do you find?

You just have!

With dedicated local teams of eRetail specialist in over 20 offices worldwide Salesupply allows you to effectively localise your webshop, service your customers and generate leads. We help you to sell cross border faster, with less risk and a better net return.