As eCommerce becomes increasingly global, more and more brands find themselves faced with the unenviable task of launching a multicountry website.
While it may seem simple on the surface, launching a multicountry site is far more than cut-and-paste.
There are a wide variety of considerations: country-specific rules, multiple languages, product assortments, operational logistics, search engine optimization - the list goes on.
In order to have a smooth launch in a new country, brands must approach each country as an individual B2B site launch. While you likely aren’t creating the site from scratch, each B2B site is its own digital transformation for that specific country.
Let’s breakdown key steps to reducing the friction in a multicountry launch.
Identify Country-Specific Needs
The first step is to define the use cases based on the country in which you are launching. This breaks down into two critical areas: the user experience and the country-specific considerations.
As with any web design for business to business, you must identify exactly what you want your B2B buyers to do. Most likely, this is purchasing your products and services. You may also want to encourage users to refer fellow businesses, write reviews, or receive customer service and support. Align your designers and developers right from the start.
Once you have defined the goal of your user experience, you need to consider country specifics.
- Tax and legal considerations
- Payment gateways
- Pricing rules
- Shipping rules
- Country-specific products and catalog
- Units of measurement
- Country-specific competitors
You’ll also need to develop a country-specific content marketing strategy. The challenge here lies in balancing a global brand with localized content. Many companies tackle this by having a centralized marketing team that creates overall content.
Then, localized offshoots of the B2B marketing team take that central content and personalize it for the geographic region that they support. Some companies even develop country-based social media channels, tailoring their social content by region.
This way, the brand is consistent, but still resonates with its country-specific audiences. It’s also a good opportunity to build trust for your brand.
Smart content marketing for multicountry sites will include sections about how long your business has been invested in the region; thought leadership pieces that demonstrate your knowledge of region-specific challenges; and participation in local business and community events.
Assess Your Tech
After identifying country-specific considerations, you’ll next need to assess your technology stack. There will likely be technology gaps that you’ll need to fill or outdated tech that will need replacing.
Unfortunately, bringing B2B online in multiple countries is also more complicated than a B2C site. This is because B2B includes nuances such as customer-specific pricing rules, data, and invoicing. You’ll need to invest in the appropriate technology to support these customer specifications.
You also must consider how to deliver a consistent, but localized user experience. Many of your corporate clients may also be global brands. They’ll likely prefer a single sign-on feature, which will allow them to use the same login information across all your brand’s websites, rather than needing separate accounts for US and EU websites. Does your current technology support this?
On your main site, you will also want to include translation features, and space for languages to translate appropriately. This will impact the design layout of the site.
Even your domain matters. Country-specific domains perform better in search engines, but require more expense and time to maintain. Consider what’s most impactful for your particular business and adapt accordingly.
These are just a handful of examples of how your technology will need to adapt to a multicountry approach.
Organize Your Operations
Just as critical is organization your operations. There are a wide variety of ways in which you’ll need to prepare your teams to tackle a multicountry launch.
A few questions to ask include:
- Do you have appropriate logistics for eCommerce set up?
- Are you operationally organized for digital transformation?
- Do you have the right people in the right place to lead the digital transformation?
- Do you have change management in place for digital transformation?
- Do you have a plan for regression testing on all sites - including existing sites?
Companies that don’t properly scale their operations for multiple countries frequently experience cash flow issues due to currency differences, or shipping struggles as they work to get products shipped internationally. Smart B2B brands will develop new, multicountry practices in advance of a website launch.
Wrapping It Up
Launching a multicountry B2B website is no small task. Reach out to our team of experts at Object Edge who can help you navigate this complex process.