Here's the spoiler, so you can decide right off the bat if this text is relevant to your business: the two things that are hurting your international e-commerce sales are the lack of product videos and different payment options.
You may think: "Oh, but we offer videos and provide global payment practices".
Great, but that's not enough.
It's true that product videos have an incredible ability to increase conversions by better helping people to understand your product and providing customers with as much information as possible - in a short amount of time.
In fact, according to the Huffington Post, videos can boost purchasing intent by 97%.
While this can be achieved through the use of text, images, and user reviews, videos are potentially the most effective way of demonstrating a product and its benefits to your shoppers.
Let's take a look at some of the most important reasons why you need strategic product videos:
- Google loves videos
- Videos help boost consumer confidence
- Videos captivate attention
- If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then...
Plus, it is estimated that by 2020, video will make up 80% of all online consumer Internet traffic. As technology improves, video will become the closest you can get to a face-to-face conversation with your global audience.
There are numerous solutions you can use to make your current videos even better or to use when producing new video content. Here are a couple of my favorites:
- Nearly two thirds of consumers prefer videos under 60 seconds. So try to cover ground quickly and provide the most relevant information to highlight why your product/service is the best on the market. This makes sense, since most of online videos are viewed on mobiles devices and the real challenge is to retain attention.
- Also, beware of providing video ads on your website. According to a research produced by Hubspot in 2016, 4 out of 5 of people have left webpages because of pop-up advertising or the auto playing of video ads.
However, providing videos is only half of the equation. For them to be truly effective, you have to consider an even more pressing aspect that is most commonly overlooked:
The language. This is the first way you are restraining your sales.
Many merchants create videos in English for their global customers and believe they did a great job. While they can increase conversion rates, the videos will have an impact only on English-speaking audiences.
If you are selling to Latin American countries, chances are most of your potential buyers won’t understand the majority of what you’re saying if your videos are in English. Most of the residents in these countries speak only Spanish or, in the case of Brazil, Portuguese.
The institution English First, commonly known as EF for short, produces a periodical global research study called the English Proficiency Index (EPI). Examining the results from all the 15 Latin American countries included in the study, only three achieved a level that EF considers as having "moderate" proficiency.
Brazil and Mexico, the two biggest economies and most important markets for e-commerce in the region, both have what they consider a "low" index. But what does that mean in practice?
Brazil, for example, is ranked 4th in the best indexes of LATAM according to EF’s English Proficiency Index. But within this nation, only 5% of the population speaks a second language. And, of that 5%, only a handful are fluent and actually capable to understand product videos in English.
So how can you get around this problem? In which ways can you manage to still use your high-quality videos and reach these non-English speaking audiences? You have two basic alternatives. You can either:
- Provide Spanish and Portuguese subtitles (cheapest option but effective).
- Make two more versions of the original video, to provide three options for your shoppers: one in English, Spanish and Portuguese (the best option, yet expensive).
Also, you could try getting around the issue of language by making "conceptual" videos that showcase the product with zero to minimal spoken content. But, if you sell services or more complex products, you need to get your message across and then rely on one of the options above.
At this point, you could be thinking: wait a minute, why is Latin America relevant to my business in the first place?
It is. If you want to expand globally, that is.
A common misconception is the thought that Latin America is a poor region, and that Brazilians, Mexicans, Argentinians or Colombians probably don’t have access to the internet and cannot afford to make international purchases.
But, the opposite is true.
The economies of Latin America are on the rise, individual incomes are increasing, the region is highly connected to the internet and citizens enjoy shopping online. Your prospective customers have money and in most cases, can afford your product either by paying in full or for large ticket items through local payment options, such as installment plans.
Speaking of local payments, in Latin America we love to pay using our trusted domestic ways.
The second way you're hurting your sales is by not offering local payment methods.
If you are only accepting credit and debit cards issued by the major global schemes, this will not be sufficient in the nations of the region. Basically, without local payments you are losing 81% of business in Latin America.
Imagine, you have millions of customers who want to have access to your services or products. They are just waiting for you to provide them with the ability to better understand, see and trust your offerings through videos that they can understand and by having payment options that they can access with ease and familiarity.
This explains the rising number of companies that provide solutions for both challenges.
On the one hand you have companies that provide online video solutions for worldwide clients. And on the other, you have a business like EBANX, that offers 100 Latin American local payment options for international merchants that want to increase sales throughout Latin America.
In summary, global e-commerce continues to evolve at a rapid pace and especially in Latin America. By paying attention to these important tweaks to enhance the customer experience, you’ll be sure to keep your sales rising and gain an even bigger slice of the pie.