Successful e-commerce strategy for Russia: are you speaking your customers’ language?

Successful e-commerce strategy for Russia: are you speaking your customers’ language?

When you launch an online business in a new country, maximum visibility and optimum conversion are of the utmost importance. The only way to achieve these objectives is by connecting with your prospective customers. So why are so many international businesses and large-scale organisations still not localising their content for their new target audience?

The best way to get ahead of the competition is to learn from their mistakes. The vast majority of market entry errors are made when companies fail to put themselves in their consumers’ position. If you are a Russian internet user looking to buy a new electronics product, you are far more likely to spend more (if any) time on a website in your native language.

The simple fact is that the majority of Russian internet users do not speak English, which a significant proportion of businesses overlook. Larger cities may well have English-speaking prospects at your disposal, but an estimated 75% of ecommerce transactions take place outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russia spans nine time zones, many of them sparsely populated and unlikely to be multilingual hotspots. This means that all of your carefully crafted website content is worth nothing without professional translation or localisation (adapting your content to a new audience).

Despite other possible barriers to market entry in Russia, such as logistics or online payment methods, by far the most costly error made by businesses attempting to access Russian consumers is the lack of localisation of their online stores. Far too often, there is little or no localisation of company websites, even in the premium sector and even when it comes to luxury brands. How can companies expect to build brand loyalty with prospective customers if they are not providing the linguistic tools to make this happen?

Even when translation is recognised as a necessary step to successful market entry, many companies invest far too little in their foreign-language websites and marketing materials, preferring poor machine translation to a professional service, automated customer support to human interaction and English-language hotlines to dedicated staff for each new market. This only serves to alienate the new market they have spent vast sums of time and money attempting to build a relationship with.

The Russian e-commerce market is expected to double by 2020. With the right groundwork, you can grow your business alongside it.

Are you planning your e-commerce strategy for Russia? Looking to optimise your current operations? As a specialist marketing and website translation team, AK Translating would be more than happy to advise you on your next move. Contact me for a free consultation, including an assessment of your current website and an estimate for a new, marketing-focused Russian-language translation.

With professional translation, you can be sure that your website is speaking your customers’ language.

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