Apart from offering quality products at an attractive price, there are other crucial elements to consider if you want your ecommerce store to be a sales-generating machine.
In particular, your ecommerce website design – including the ecommerce features that it contains – plays an essential role. This is because your site’s appearance and functionality contribute to the user experience, which in turn influences purchasing behavior. And if you run a multilingual ecommerce store, you probably know that customers have no shortage of online stores to shop from. So how can you encourage them to order from you instead of a competitor?
The answer lies in using the key features that turn your multilingual store’s casual visitors into customers. Keep reading as we share 12 of such features!
How having the right ecommerce features helps multilingual store websites succeed
While a small local business might be able to get away with having a bare-bones online store, this is not the case for entrepreneurs looking to get into cross-border ecommerce. That’s because as an international ecommerce store, your potential customer base expands to all corners of the world – but so does your potential competition.
This is how the right ecommerce website features can help you accelerate your international ecommerce growth:
- Build your brand. A well-crafted website contributes to the image of a business. Customers who have trouble navigating your online store may view your ecommerce business’ credibility negatively, and be deterred from shopping with you.
- Attract shoppers to your store (and keep them there). The first impression counts. If visitors aren’t wowed by your ecommerce website when they first land on it, they might not stick around for very long – much less give you their business.
- Maintain high search visibility. Even the most beautiful online store in the world may flop if no one can find it online due to poor global search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. You’ll want to optimize your ecommerce website so that it ranks well for relevant search terms and keeps the organic traffic crowd coming in.
12 must-have ecommerce features for multilingual store websites
It goes without saying that a multilingual store has to:
- Feature different language versions of its store content (which Weglot can help with) and also
- Provide a language switcher for users to switch between the language of their choice to help visitors browse the store in their preferred language.
Apart from these, however, there are other ecommerce features that multilingual store websites will need to have to ensure international success. Here are 12 of them.
1. Mobile-friendly interface
Having an ecommerce website that looks great on a desktop browser isn’t good enough. Instead, your store also needs to have a user-friendly interface that is optimized for browsing from a mobile device. This includes having large, attention-grabbing product images and wide product variation buttons for easy tapping, like what headphone retailer Skullcandy has done:
Investing in a mobile-optimized interface becomes all the more important when you consider how many people are shopping from their phones these days. According to behavioral marketing firm Salecycle, for example, 65% of all ecommerce traffic in 2019 took place on mobile!
Google has also been prioritizing mobile traffic since July 2019. The more mobile-friendly your ecommerce website is, the higher it may rank for relevant Google searches – which can mean more traffic and sales.
2. User accounts
Amp up the convenience factor for customers – especially repeat ones – by allowing them to create user accounts with your store. User accounts help you save your customers’ shipping information and payment methods, so they avoid the hassle of keying in these details every time they make a purchase.
Apart from that, you’ll also be able to store information on your customers’ previously viewed products. With this information, you can then use a product recommendation ecommerce feature to suggest related products to customers. (More on this later!)
You can also offer perks to incentivize customers to register accounts with you. For example, users who sign up for a membership with athletics retailer Nike enjoy benefits such as free delivery and exclusive deals.
3. Product filtering and sorting
If you offer a wide variety of products for sale, it’s important to help your customers find what they are looking for. To do so, implement a product filtering and sorting ecommerce feature that organizes your products in a logical manner.
For example, ecommerce giant Amazon first categorizes its products into “departments” such as:
- Arts & Crafts
- Health and Household
- Pet Supplies
After clicking into any of these categories, you’ll use sub-categories to narrow down your search. For example, products in the “Electronics” category are grouped into “Camera & Photo”, “GPS & Navigation”, “Video Projectors” and other sub-categories.
You’ll also be able to further filter the search results by retailer, product specifications, delivery options and so on.
4. Search bar
While adding product categories to your website navigation is helpful, a strong search feature takes things one step further. With it, you can effortlessly lead customers to their desired product without making them dig through a ton of menus and submenus.
A basic search bar feature will allow a customer to fill out some keywords and then click a “Search” button to start the search. However, more advanced search ecommerce features can autosuggest relevant products while the customer is still typing what they’re looking for. Check out the search bar that online bookstore Book Depository has on its website, for instance:
The customer simply has to start typing the name of a book into the search bar, which then provides a list of possible titles. Talk about convenience!
5. Product recommendations
Would you rather shop at an online store that generically addresses you as “Dear Customer”, or a store that addresses you by name, remembers what you like and even recommends products that you might be interested in? It’s the latter, we’re guessing.
With a product recommendation engine, you can personalize the online shopping experience by recommending:
- Products similar to those that they’ve bought in the past, or
- Complementary products.
You could also feature products that other shoppers have been buying to trigger a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), and nudge the customer into getting these items as well.
Featuring product recommendations can be as simple as adding “You Might Also Like” or “Buy The Look” sections on your product pages, as can be seen on the website of fashion retailer ASOS:
Sometimes, a product may pique a customer’s interest, only that customer isn’t ready to buy it yet. For instance, the customer may want to first compare similar products to decide what to get.
A wishlist feature works great in helping these customers save these products for later. This way, customers can easily buy the wishlisted product(s) when they’ve made up their minds.
To use the wishlist feature on catalog retailer Argos’ online store, for example, a customer has to sign up for a user account (see point #2 above for the benefits of user accounts). Then, if a certain product catches the customer’s eye, the customer can click an “Add to Your Wishlist” option to wishlist it.
7. User reviews
Before parting with their hard-earned money, customers want to know that they are making the right purchase decision. Providing social proof in the form of reviews of others’ (positive) experiences with your product can convince customers that this is the case.
Based on a 2021 study by market research company Bizrate Insights, for example, consumers regard a high review score or rating as the most significant factor when making a purchase decision. 91% of them also read at least one review before deciding whether to buy!
User reviews can come in the form of visual photo reviews, star ratings, and quantitative feedback. Similar to those that BlendJet displays on its website using the Shopify app Loox
8. Clear shipping information
Many international merchants are guilty of not making their shipping information and policies clear enough on their ecommerce site. This can be detrimental to their business, because international customers don’t enjoy spending time researching and adding items to their shopping cart, only to realize that you don’t actually ship to their country.
Having been burned by this poor customer experience, such customers may not want to patronize your store in the future (in the event that you eventually ship to their location).
Fortunately, the solution is straightforward: state your international shipping policies clearly on your website! As an example, fashion retailer Macy’s has dedicated an entire web page to address common shipping issues such as:
- The countries they ship to.
- International shipping fees.
- Delivery timeframes.
9. Currency converter
As far as possible, the prices of your products should be displayed in your customers’ local currencies. This makes it convenient for customers to come to an informed decision on whether they want to get your products. They shouldn’t have to do the conversion calculations by themselves!
For example, fashion retailer Forever 21 lets customers select their shipping country and currency in a pop-up window:
Depending on how your currency converter ecommerce feature works, it may also be able to detect a customer’s location and convert your store’s prices automatically.
10. FAQs section
If shoppers have a burning question about a potential purchase but can’t find the answer on your website, they might lose interest and take their business elsewhere. To keep shoppers focused and motivated to buy, compile a list of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) in an easy-to-find web page.
Preemptively answering questions on an FAQ page can also reduce the number of inquiries that your customer service team gets, so they can focus on providing quality service.
Take a look at department store John Lewis’ FAQ page for inspiration on how yours can be structured:
11. Contact information
Just like answering FAQs, giving clear information on how customers can contact you is vital to building trust with foreign shoppers. Things may occasionally go wrong when orders are shipped across borders, and international customers will want to know that they can get recourse if this happens.
For instance, outdoor equipment company Camelbak provides toll-free phone numbers and a contact form to help customers get in touch with order-related questions:
These days, it is also common for ecommerce businesses to provide support through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
12. Security and trust signals
Keep potential hackers at bay by enforcing tight website security. This involves installing firewalls, SSL certificate encryption and other robust technical measures. In addition, train your staff to maintain strict confidentiality when handling sensitive data, and require the use of strong passwords.
You should also communicate your data protection policies to customers so that they know that you have taken steps to create a secure shopping experience. For example, electrical retailer Currys displays a security badge on its checkout page to reassure customers that their credit card information is safe when they shop on its online store:
Does your multilingual store website have these 12 ecommerce features?
If there are a few things that all the above ecommerce features have in common, it’s that they aim to:
- Make the shopping experience more convenient, such as by helping customers find what they want more easily, and
- Give customers the confidence to spend money with you instead of with a competitor.
Assuming that you sell quality products, implementing these ecommerce features on your multilingual store can help reduce cart abandonment, and net you more sales as you convert foreign shoppers into loyal customers.
Also, don’t forget that speaking to consumers in their native language can also play a significant part in increasing your conversion rates. This calls for translating your store pages into your visitors’ native languages – and Weglot can help with that!
Weglot is a website translation solution that provides high-quality translations in more than 100 languages and is compatible with all leading website and ecommerce platforms.
Sign up for a free trial of Weglot here to start helping international customers purchase in their own language today.