For an online travel agency (OTA), entering new markets presents a specific set of complications. Not only are you juggling languages, legislation and currencies, you’re also dealing with travelers from different cultures who may expect different things from the experience. The only way to survive when expanding internationally is product localization using in-depth knowledge of your target region.
The goal of localization is to give your product the look and feel of having been tailored to local customers, understanding all local sensitivities. Localization must go much further than merely translating a website. Rather, it should be a holistic process that touches all elements of your service, from how you communicate with your buyer to how you pitch your products to how you process payments.
North America will very soon be usurped by Asia Pacific as the world’s biggest travel region. While the former territory’s travel market is dominated by the US, the boom in Asian tourism is driven by China’s expanding middle class. Yet consumer behavior in these two countries is markedly different.
While the American tourist travels for relaxation, the Chinese tourist’s biggest interest is shopping. They’ll fly across time zones to find luxury brands at affordable prices. Though both of these buyers purchase the same product, they are not browsing for the same thing and are influenced by different factors.
This is one example, though disparities in consumer behavior can be found when comparing any two travel regions.
It is only a small handful of buyers who will take more than two trips per year. With such large gaps between purchases, merchants must keep consumers engaged to encourage repeat business.
One popular method is through social media, email or web content targeted to former customers. Without local knowledge, such communication is impossible. Aside from language issues, targeting shoppers with content that is not in-keeping with their cultural perspective can easily be irrelevant and even offensive.
Another key element of localization is payments. Local buyers want to make their purchase in their own currency via a payment method with which they are familiar and instructions in their first language.
At Acapture, we specialize in localizing your payment processes to your target market. We know the most popular payment methods and fraud prevention tools for each region, and can ensure you satisfy all of the country’s financial regulations. Supported by the global acquiring network of parent company Payvision, our solution ensures a smooth checkout for every buyer in every region and complete security when you collect and distribute funds.
Want to find out more about localizing your payment processes to your target regions? Then I’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information on this crucial element of cross-border growth.