One of our tourism clients has a multilingual website with Japanese as the most important language. When we took over the internet marketing from a Japanese company, we assumed that the language used on the website would be fine. We were very wrong on that.
The Japanese are a formal culture and not impressed with websites that are not written properly. After fixing the language, we checked out the website on the iPhone. Japanese use the iPhone almost exclusively. Our client had more mobile traffic than desktop traffic, so this was an important segment.
Unfortunately, you had to scroll for an hour (I am exaggerating a little) to find the reservation button. We fixed that too.
Result? Increased online reservations.
International Conversion Optimization
Global Conversion Optimization is very complicated. Here are a few examples of what to watch out for:
You might think that a website that accepts major global credit cards would be enough in most cases. Not true. Some countries have very different payment options. One client of ours had great conversions but few sales in Brazil. We advised him to expand his payment options to include popular Brazilian methods—many Brazilians use local credit cards. The same advice is also apropos for China and many other countries.
A multilingual and multi-country company usually has the same design for all the local websites. This makes sense for branding purposes. But you have to be careful as some countries have different color and design preferences. For example, Chinese people like red but not too much of it.
It is best to pick a design that will work well across the countries you are targeting. If this is not possible, you may want to consider changing the color/design for a local site where this is not a good fit.
The importance of mobile varies by country and by industry.
Japan is an example of a country where mobile is used more often than other countries.