This sponsored post is produced by Ralph Dangelmaier, the CEO of BlueSnap.
Americans have a reputation for arrogance, particularly when dealing with people from other counties. But like most stereotypes, this isn’t completely fair. The stereotype is so prevalent that there was once a best-selling novel based on that theme, The Ugly American, which was later made into a popular movie. Accurate or not, American arrogance – marked by indifference to or lack of respect for local customs – is a persistent cultural trope.
And whether they deserve that reputation or not, American companies trying to sell their products to a lucrative base in, for example, the European Union and want to succeed have to overcome the perception of arrogance. To cultivate a positive image with customers abroad, American companies can take specific steps to demonstrate that they value global customers and are ready to do business on their terms.
Here are four tips to help you make that happen and create better sales overseas:
Provide a localized shopping experience
Online business is increasingly oriented toward visuals, but it’s important to make sure global customers can check out in their own language and local currency at your e-commerce site. When you accommodate multiple languages, you can convert casual browsers into customers more quickly – and show respect for local shoppers by engaging them in their own language.
Provide mobile checkout
The use of mobile payments (m-payments) is high in Europe and Asia and growing worldwide. The industry projects that m-payment transactions will grow by more than 58 percent to reach nearly 29 billion transactions in 2014. Even if that’s overly optimistic, the increase in m-payment use is growing quickly by any measure, and merchants who want to reach out to global customers should embrace this rapidly growing trend.
Accommodate local payment types
In the U.S., millions of shoppers use credit cards to make online purchases, but in other countries, the use of prepaid cards, e-wallet products (PayPal, cashU, Skrill), transfer services, or vouchers may be even more prevalent. To accommodate local preferences and send a message that your company is open for business in the global market, make sure you permit customers to use their favorite local payment method.
Provide support during local business hours
When a customer has a problem, you’ll need to turn things around quickly to keep the relationship on track. That’s why it’s important to make sure customers can reach you for resolution 24/7. If it’s noon in New York today, it’s 4 a.m. tomorrow in Sydney, Australia. Make sure your customers can reach someone to answer their questions and provide support on their own time.
If you’re thinking of expanding your sales worldwide, you’re in luck — e-commerce growth is projected to increase exponentially, with staggeringly large sales numbers projected well beyond the U.S. as the whole planet becomes one big marketplace. But it’s important to keep in mind that each region has its own service expectations. American products can continue to be a huge hit overseas, as our top global brands demonstrate. But success starts with respecting your future customers. By following these tips, you can avoid confirming the “Arrogant American” stereotype – and build productive, mutually beneficial relationships worldwide.
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BlueSnap is a smarter international payment gateway powering the checkout process for e-commerce merchants worldwide and for fueling growth for online businesses serving digital, physical and mobile markets. BlueSnap has reinvented and optimized the checkout experience by combining intelligent payment routing, frictionless one-click checkout, global payment processing, award-winning smart subscriptions, multiple integration options, and dynamic e-commerce tools. Serving over 5,000 merchants and supporting shoppers in 180 countries by localization in 29 languages, 60 currencies, and 110 payment types, BlueSnap is fulfilling its promise to convert more shoppers to buyers worldwide. Learn more at www.bluesnap.com.
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