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Site adaptation for foreign markets - trust signals. Zanna Pupele, Brighton SEO, Sept 2018 presentation

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The trust is built up on many, sometimes very tiny, signals and it’s essential to have those signals aligned and more important, truthful. Being perceived as a part of the familiar environment for site visitor, as well as being apprehensible without additional efforts, does establish a good base for forming the trust and liking, and make your audience open to your content. In this presentation we’ll explore the most important trust anchors, share some ideas and real life examples to bear I mind when planning to expand the business internationally.

Site adaptation for foreign markets - trust signals. Zanna Pupele, Brighton SEO, Sept 2018 presentation

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Zanna Pupele
Webcertain Group
Site adaptation for foreign
markets: trust signals
https://www.linkedin.com/in/zanna-pupele/
| 2
Zanna Pupele
International digital marketing Account
Manager and Team Leader
| 3
Trust signals
- contact us
- payment options
- currency
- sizes and measurements
- delivery and returns
- local associations and institutions
- social media
- translation
|
Contact us
4
One of the strongest signals that the business is
well-established in the region and safe to deal
with.
Local phone number
| 5
One of the strongest signals that the business is
well-established in the region and safe to deal
with.
Local phone number
Customer service
language
Contact us
| 6
Contact us
One of the strongest signals that the business is
well-established in the region and safe to deal
with.
Local phone number
Customer service language
Local (postal) address
Ad

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Site adaptation for foreign markets - trust signals. Zanna Pupele, Brighton SEO, Sept 2018 presentation

Editor's Notes

  1. My story – family/university. I am privileged to work with businesses during their expansion into new region and markets, and I realise that all the same questions/concerns are brought out. So, I composed the list, with few examples from my experience, for marketing team to refer to, when it’s required to look into what it will be needed to support the business initiative of venturing into another country, - from digital marketing point of view.
  2. The trust is built up on many, sometimes very tiny, signals and it’s essential to have those signals aligned and more important, truthful. Being perceived as a part of the familiar environment for site visitor, as well as being apprehensible without additional efforts, does establish a good base for forming the trust and liking, and make your audience open to your content. Today we’ll explore the most important trust anchors, share some ideas and real life examples to bear I mind when planning to expand the business internationally.
  3. Ideally, the local phone number would be presented on the website, even if it’s then re-directed to your call center abroad. Potentially, it could be considered even to have the local phone per region, for bigger countries.
  4. Be clear which language is supported by your customer service team – remember, by default people would assume that they can use the local language. Check, if it’s planned to employ the native speakers of that language. Phone/Request forms (Summer Boarding courses) In very corporate, B2B environment more people may be fluent with English, yet still it depends on region – while English as communication language is likely to be accepted well in Sweden for example, is hardly to be as easy taken in Italy.
  5. Local (postal) address is a significant trust factor. People do feel much more secure when see that the office or a branch is actually located in their country. Seeing the local physical address, people also often assume that the company is a subject to local laws and regulations (despite that that may be not the case with international businesses) and it’s provides the customers with the comforting feel. Chinese dress company registred in London Sometimes this perception is even abused – there was a case when a company, selling the custom-made - in China - evening dresses, advertised their address of factually and legally opened office (however tiny) in London, making people to assume the dresses were actually made In UK and therefore meeting the quality standards usual for UK. Based upon angry reviews of disappointed customers all over Internet, it was not the case.
  6. Contact forms localisation is one of the processes which is often overlooked. Yet it’s so easily giving away that this region is not a priority market for the business, and may make some people feel the company is likely to be less approachable in case of any questions or issues. In some circumstances the contact form may even block the desired action. Many of us came across the situation when US-based company contact form contained a compulsory field “state”, often even with the drop-out menu, which of course is not applicable to other countries – yet without the “state” chosen the contact form is invalid and not possible to submit. Another example, in Germany the post code (zip code, index) consist of 5 digits, so contact forms - originally designed for UK market with room for UK post code made of letters and numbers and built-in checks,- spot the error and do not allow to submit the contact request.
  7. It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of offering to use the convenient and familiar payment options. It’s a massive trust trigger even for those who only yet contemplating the possibility to interact with your company - on top of obvious advantages of enabling the transaction to happen. It’s particularly true for when the smaller purchases may be happening - the convenience is valued above the pricing. I now and again buy the e-books from the Russian platform, publishing the new, yet not so famous writers. Amongst other payment options there is Paypal, though buyer is warned it’s 10% more expensive to buy the book using it – which never stopped me buying me what I wanted. As oppose to another site of similar nature, offering as a payment methods the YandexMoney I don’t have, or credit cards, which always have some issues due to using them on Russian site, then I need to put the Visa password I never remember, etc. As a result, I haven’t been on that second site for years now, not even bothered to check if anything has been changed.
  8. Similar to the small purchases process, but even more important from the customer relationships point of view, is enabling smooth and effortless payment for trials and first purchases. You haven’t yet won the customer’s loyalty, the bond is very fragile, so any doubt or inconvenience may that last straw which broke the purchase intention, and deter the customer from considering using your services in future.
  9. If your product/service meant to be bought on the go, like for example bus stop video Ad for charity - all possible should be done to enable an instant, effortless payment. Customer intent prompted by the short-term impulse, is particularly fragile and unstable, so the slightest inconvenience is likely to provoke the site visitor to abandon their attempt. There is more to say about the instant buying, eg re: page load speed, user experience etc, its’ a big and interesting topic.
  10. I was reading the survey about what is it they are doing online makes people the most happy – apparently, it’s a on-line shopping. As closer the one is to the purchasing process end, as less distractible and more determined they are – I am afraid, it may be not the truth in the situations when similar product is widely available via different suppliers, for example the airport car parking is sold by multiply comparison booking sites at the identical price. Or even ebay vs amazon, I personally buy from whichever site I can remember the password for 
  11. Currency is usually perceived as an important user experience element – and rightly so!, and therefore this subject is normally included into localisation plans. Just an observation for those few who may still think it’s not a big deal and everyone is clever enough to check the current exchange rate on any of thousands specialised sites or even on Google itself – every extra step/move/action interrupts the desired visitor path and reduce the conversion rate, and it’s it endless evidences for that in PPC campaigns.
  12. I remember the times, when due to extremely high volatility of Russian ruble a lot of prices were shown in USD in Russia, but to counteract the open usage of other country money on Russian territory, it has been given fancy name “conditional unit” (условная единица), which was equal to USD. So, nobody was surprised to see a price of “100 У.Е.” few years back.
  13. It’s rarely that companies expanding internationally argue the necessity of localising the sizes and measurements. However, we need to remember to check ALL measurable parameters of your product, as well as to assess to local usage of the same sizes/units/measurements. (Apparently XXL t-shirt in Spain is not anywhere is big as XXL t-shirt in Norway ) UK-based on-line shoe shop started operating in Russia, and converted shoe sizes – but not the shoe width, which is still displayed as E/EE/EEE, yet in Russia the figures from 1 to 12 are adopted to describe the shoe (or rather foot) width. It seems not to be a major issue, as customers can make checks on sizes and measurements converting table on the site, but it’s not only an additional step added to customer journey, potentially reducing the conversion rate, but a clear link to products origination outside the target market (however, in this case it maybe for the better 😉)
  14. It’s truly amazing the diversity of measures still actively used in the world, and it’s so easy to overlook or to underestimate their significance. Though not paying enough attention to the measure units in some cases is crucial and even can cause the unnecessary additional expenses. Once covering for colleague, I needed to book 13.5feet truck to bring 12 cable drums, an ordinary order we placed regularly with cargo company – so, when the operator confirmed they have got 4m truck to use immediately, I approved the order. It was a nasty surprise the find out, that the difference of 11cm (13.5 feet = 4.11m) did not allow 12 drums to be loaded and the lorry doors to be locked, so 2 drums needed to be sent separately nearly at the same cost as another 10.
  15. For one project I worked on, we were tasked with the translation of exported site content from English (UK) to German. Our marketing-savvy translators pointed out the issues with phrases like "collect from Asda" or "use our Collect+ collection points" in the text which needed translating (Asda and Collect+ do not exist in Germany). We notified the client, who discovered that they had overlooked the whole section in their review, in a rush to meet the deadline for the launch of the German site.
  16. The acceptable delivery time also differs considerably in different countries - in the UK we easily see one- or two-day delivery being offered, yet in Italy, for example, the state postal service Poste Italiane is more likely to provide a one- or two-week delivery time, partly due to the complex landscape, partly due to the laid-back nature of the establishment This needs to be taken into account when writing something like "please return within 14 days for a full refund", for example
  17. Establish a connection with local authorities and leading professional bodies. Memberships, sponsorships, certifications, and award nominations confirm that you are a recognised and respected player in your industry, and a part of the local professional community. Add any badges or official certificates on your website.   I once worked with a business expanding to Italy and facing notable resistance from the Italian audience, which still prefers to buy from "Made in Italy" brands rather than from international companies. After a few challenging months for our marketing efforts, the break-through was made thanks to their participation/sponsorship at a local expo, as well as advertising on the Italian version of their website.
  18. Nowadays people are used to cross-checking information from different channels, and social media have a big impact on brands' reputation and on building the customers' trust. Customers check what kind of communication and feedback is prevailing on the company's account, how quickly and efficiently the company is responding, and how active and consistent the business is on social media. It's not unusual for customers to get suspicious if they cannot find information on a company anywhere but on their official website. However, to be found in your markets you need to be on the social media used by your local audience - in Russia, for example, Facebook is well behind the native Russian networks vk.com and ok.ru If you've invested time into creating and maintaining an account on a local social network, remember to add links to your website! Also consider removing non-relevant links for the particular market you're in, to make your site look neater and tailored to the region you wish to enter. For example, LinkedIn is banned in Russia, so there is no point to have links to it on your website.
  19. All of the above will only sort an effect if the translation of your content is, well… digestible. Good-quality translation is a big investment: remember that "cheapest is dearest" when it comes to translation. Invest in good translators, and always ensure that the final copy has been checked by a human translator whenever machine translation is used.
  20. We all work within the limitations, but let’s make sure something is not done because it’s true obstacle there, and not just because something has been simply overlooked. In Russia, we say drop of tar will spoil the bucket of honey – so the tiny detail may be a stumbling block to the smooth customer journey and successful business operating. Plus, if you work with native to the certain region specialists, for them it may be much easier to spot the unusual or mussing elements, or clumsy language or workflow.