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The Importance of Currency Localization

Posted by Origins Ecommerce - January 9, 2017 in

Localization means adapting your website or checkout process to different markets worldwide so that it appears native to a user in every way.

Imagine you’ve found the perfect anti-virus software online and you go to checkout with your purchase and are presented with a price of ₹1,584 INR. Unless you’re a shopper from India, the price would probably raise a lot of questions:

  • What currency is ₹?
  • How much is that in your local currency?
  • Will there be extra fees for converting?

Even if the price converts to only about $25 U.S., the fact that the price was in an unfamiliar currency to begin with hardly inspires confidence. Consequently, consumers are much more likely to abandon their online purchase.

Having a cart that supports a number of currencies can significantly impact your conversion rates and sales revenue. To clarify, you don’t need a checkout that is localized with all 180 of the world’s currencies to be successful. Ecommerce businesses that present prices and checkout totals in the most popular 25-40 global currencies quickly realize benefits in terms of converting and retaining customers. In fact, supporting global ecommerce comes with many more benefits than most businesses imagine.


Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

If you are an online merchant you’re already familiar with the challenges associated with reducing cart abandonment. While there are a number of reasons that are difficult to control (like customers whose payment was declined despite multiple gateways), localization is one easy way to prevent avoidable cart abandonment.

Among the millions of international online shoppers every day, 13% say they will abandon their cart without paying because the price is in a foreign currency. Not only can a customer’s bank impose a transaction fee for purchasing goods in foreign currency (ultimately penalizing them for shopping on your website), it can also make a customer become resistant and second guess your site since they don’t know the final price. Taking the time to research where the majority of your shoppers are located and customizing the checkout to show prices in their local currency can dramatically decrease cart abandonment.

According to GALA (Globalization and Localization Association), India, Singapore, Czech Republic and Taiwan are the top four countries with consumers expecting checkout localization. If you are a digital merchant with consumers in these countries, localization should be a priority.


Extend Global Reach

According to a recent study by Forrester, there are 10 emerging ecommerce markets that present the largest immediate opportunity for global expansion:

  1. The U.S.
  2. China
  3. Japan
  4. South Korea
  5. U.K.
  6. Germany
  7. Netherlands
  8. Norway
  9. Singapore
  10. Sweden

These countries are all showing exponential growth in terms of online expenditures and are proving to be great places to focus localization efforts. For instance:

  • Online shoppers from Japan are wealthier and on average spending more on retail goods and technology.
  • China is expected to surpass America as the most ecommerce ready country as disposable income continues to rise.

Therefore, supporting like the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, among others, in the checkout will be a fundamental step for merchants looking to extend their global reach.


Bottom Line – Your Customers Demand More

Ecommerce merchants can no longer afford to limit themselves to a single currency display. Not only does it create hesitation for consumers abroad, but it may also pose as a distraction at checkout, which leads to missed sales opportunities. While other aspects of localization like website design, language and payment methods must also be considered, currencies need to be a priority. This will reduce friction during your checkout process, inspire confidence in your customers and increase your conversions.


Extend Your Global Reach

Localizing your pricing strategy is no longer an option for businesses looking to grow sales internationally. Tracking market conditions and testing different price points are critical to finding the right price for each unique global market.


This post is part 1 in a four-part series on how to globalize your ecommerce business. For the rest in the series, see below!


5 Essential Components for Attracting International Customers Image Map

Currency is only one part of the localization challenge. For more on how to make your entire ecommerce experience appear local to shoppers around the world, check out our comprehensive report.


About the Author

Origins Ecommerce

We love sharing our expertise in online payments and helping our customers succeed. From the technical team to our customer service team, everyone at Origins Ecommerce is ready to support your success. Our goal is to reduce your expenses and risks while optimizing your revenue, by managing your online payments for you. The Origins Ecommerce payment solution is there to keep your payments in motion, so you don’t have to.
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