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Comment: How do search and conversion habits differ by market in Europe?

Ahead of their participation at the International Expansion Conference 2012, OBAN advises that retailers must be aware of the differing conversion trends and habits of buyers in Europe.


Comment: How do search and conversion habits differ by market in Europe?

A major consideration retailers need to make when expanding their online offering to different markets and also in developing marketing campaigns for those markets, is the differing conversion trends and habits of buyers in Europe.

A key example area of this would be sales language and conversion drivers. The same USPs or advertising points that have worked well in one country may not have the same impact in another due to the different triggers that excite or motivate someone to buy in different countries. Ideally all copy should be tailored to each market based on the unique points that drive those consumers in that market, as this differs greatly from neighboring countries.

For example, from OBAN’s work in international search, call to actions in ad copy or meta descriptions can have a big impact in click through rates. In our work with the fashion retail sector, we have found that German searchers are more likely to click when receiving information quickly on pricing, discounts, deals etc. However for the French, particularly when buying from a UK or non-domestic retailer… a more subtle approach, focusing on quality of product and where it is coming from can be more important. In this respect, any strategy focusing on translation or copywriting of ad or advertising copy from one market to another is essentially flawed… and for the best results copy should be created from scratch for each market based on their unique drivers to click and convert.

Another key area of this is in site design… ‘poorly designed’ websites or more basic websites are a significant factor for European consumers throughout with 47% of average consumers avoiding sites they believe are bad. However, there are large disparities between some countries, particularly the Nordics for example who are very allergic to ‘bad’ websites – with 65% Swedes and 54% of Danes abandoning sites… whereas only 33% of Spanish and French 40% are likely to do so just because they think as site is ‘bad’.

For this reason, particularly for retailers who have had strong sales off the back of a new product launch on perhaps a less sophisticated site… they should be aware how this strategy is likely to have differing success in differing markets.

There are multiple examples of the above in every facet of site creation and marketing – from available payment options to size of call to action buttons in the conversion funnel and from keyword usage to ad copy in the early conversion cycle. In every case, retailers should be aware that every market has it’s own unique rules and the more localization toward this the better conversions can be expected.

OBAN will be taking part in the International Ecommerce Panel Discussion and Interactive Q & A Session: Boosting Profits Through Developing Your Ecommerce Offer For International Markets at the Retail Bulletin’s International Expansion Conference, 27th March 2012. The event is sponsored by GfK. For full programme details and registration, click here.

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