18.04.23

How to optimise product listings on local marketplaces

Written by The RI Team | Read Time: 4 mins

Optimising product listings on international marketplaces is all about ‘localisation’. By taking into account cultural elements and consumer preferences in each market, localisation ensures your product content is fit for purpose where you choose to sell. The result? Better traction, better sales, better marketplace performance.

Here’s the four areas to focus on. 

 

Product titles

The title is critical for two main reasons. It also is not an exact science - it's a blend of two considerations which at times are pulling you in different directions. 

Firstly, it is one of the most weighted elements in keyword association from a search query. Your title needs to marry relevant search term phrases to what buyers are looking for, and that's just to be found on a page of numerous results.

Search term weighting however can work differently between regions. Localisation is very important for translation work. Consider Germany, where a ‘mobile phone’ is a ‘handy’ in German-speaking Europe, not a ‘Mobiltelefon’.

If you want to be found, you need to know what the buyer is searching for.

Secondly, it needs to present data clearly because being found is half the battle. A title that reads well, converts better. A title stuffed with key words won’t make it easy for the buyer to understand, and that subtle emotional impact will affect whether the buyer clicks or not.

Which title do you prefer?

a)60W LED lightbulb
b) A19 LED Light Bulbs Dimmable, 60W Equivalent, 2500K Soft White, 9.5W 800 Lumens LED Bulbs, E26 Base Standard Light Bulbs, UL Listed’. 

This is subjective. Some will pick the short concise title. Others will appreciate the longer title rich in extra information. What every seller must appreciate is a balance somewhere between these two examples.

Accounting for the first critical step, being found, you want to leverage the title field as much as possible with relevant phrases and USP’s to offer a broad matching criteria for multiple types of buyer searches. Your title is prime real estate for being found.

However to convert, you need an easy-to-read title presenting data in a good linguistic syntax format (not keyword-stuffed) for the regional market.

Therein lies the rub. Being found with your title, and converting the buyer into a sale, are not the same considerations. They cater to different needs, and they do not always glue well together. A good title is as much data analysis and iteration as it is art in instinctively knowing who your buyers are and what resonates best with them. 


Content descriptions

It’s not just terminology that varies between markets, but the context too. While most marketplaces allow for the same length of titles and product content (although it’s worth checking the varying rules), a buyer in France will prefer the content laid out differently to a buyer in the US. It’s important to consider:

  • Tone - Is the target language more formal than the original language? Should you be more direct or more nuanced? For example, US customers prefer direct content that highlights the benefit to the individual customer, while Australian customers are more partial to humour and use of local slang.
  • Metrics - Should you list the product’s weight in grams or ounces? What’s the maximum temperature the product works at? Metric usage varies country to country, so listing a max temperature of 104 Fahrenheit might not make sense for your target customers.
  • Numbers and dates - Is the certification date displayed day/month/year or month/date/year? Are you using decimals or commas in between pricing numbers? In the US, a product might cost $10.5 and expire on 4/1/2023 (1 April), but in France it would cost 10,5 euros and expire on 1/4/2023 (1 April).  


Images

If a picture says 1000 words, make sure that picture is primed for the local context. Make sure you have as many images as possible. Listings with more images simply sell better. 

  • Colour - Colours have different perceptions and meanings in different countries. For example, if you’re selling a red product, Western countries might associate this colour with stop signs and danger, whereas Eastern and Asian countries associate this colour with prosperity and good luck.
  • Imagery - While high-quality photos are always beneficial, you should consider what visual imagery will resonate in each market. Does the model resemble buyers in your target market? Is the backdrop a recognisable country setting? As some photos may cause cultural offence, make sure you don’t use the same photo in every market. 


Pricing

There’s much more to localising pricing than simply converting rates into another currency. 

  • Shipping and returns - The most common reason for abandoning a shopping cart is added costs at the point of sale. In some countries, free shipping is the standard, so try and incorporate shipping costs into the product price and follow suit. If you know there will be added costs (i.e. shipping from US to China), be clear about the delivery pricing upfront.
  • Seasonality - High season for ‘flip-flop’s in the UK is the low season for ‘thongs’ in Australia. Even if you think your products are not seasonal (they’re likely more seasonal than you think), it’s important to gauge local buying conditions to optimise your pricing. 

That is not all

We did not cover several other areas like Branding, stock localisation, localised marketing and local competitor analysis... the list goes on! If you want to learn more, or read some follow up's, let us know.

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