During january I have been travelling a lot and every time I am surprised how local we are in each country. We have different work habits, eating habits, we wear different styles in clothing and most important in this case, we shop differently.
Looking at the approach to online shopping from outside it looks the same. Go on a website, pick a product, go through check out and pay.
There are some obviously differences you can see from your home country. They maybe use different payment methods, they prefer other trust marks and they speak another language. But there is a lot of things you can’t see as a foreigner.
This is where you need a local hero!
You will not be able to meet the expectations of a local person, unless you are one your self.
How does a German online shopper think if you don’t offer customer service in German? (She will probably hang up)
Will a delivery time of 4 days be acceptable for a customer in UK (Unless you are very cheap he would say no – and prices in UK are low already!)
How does a Norwegian customer prefer to buy from companies where products have to go through customs? (They will prefer that you take care of that)
Will Swedes buy the same assortment as your Danish customers? (Not in fashion, Danes wants to stand out, Swedes will take a safe choice)
This is just a few examples, there are many others and this is the reason why we always use local hero’es when we localize web shops in new countries.