We’ve all been there - browsing an ecommerce site, selecting our preferred item, and then finding out it doesn’t ship to the country we want it to. It’s a frustrating experience, and one that greatly disrupts the shopper journey.
In the past, merchants have solved this issue by creating multiple, localized stores - one store for the US, one for the UK, and one for France, for example - with each store offering a regional-specific experience in terms of products, currency, language, and spelling.
But this solution does not marry well with another growing ecommerce trend - the single URL solution.
This hugely popular method is exactly what you think it is - it’s one single URL for your website that you direct all your traffic to, regardless of the customer’s geographical location.
There are huge benefits to this path - having a single URL ensures higher Google search ranking and better SEO, not to mention the substantial saving on time, effort, and resources when not having to create & manage multiple stores.
When it comes to managing the assortment, merchants have traditionally had to choose between either providing tailored, localized experiences, or reaping the benefits of a single URL solution.
If going with the latter, the workaround was usually to redact some products shown in the product feed - so if a UK customer searched for “jeans”, their resulting product feed would show all products, but with the products unavailable for purchase in the UK either blurred, faded out or carrying a sticker like “Currently Unavailable in Your Area”.
As you can imagine, this creates an extremely poor user experience. Human nature often dictates that we want what we cannot have, so if a shopper sees an item in their search results that is unavailable, they will most likely be frustrated and annoyed by that.
An ecommerce bolt of lightning
Findify, a leading site search and personalization software company, has a rich experience of international commerce from working with more than 1,800 merchants from almost all the continents of the world (Antarctica still pending), but it wasn’t until teaming up with Reach, leveraging the complementing technology and know-how, that a solution was developed.
“Reach has a great team, with experts in international trade. Matt Steinbrecher has a lot of ideas, and the capabilities of their platform made the development easy,” said Findify CCO, Joakim Amadeus Olsson.
“Reach’s popular ecommerce tool gives international shoppers a frictionless local currency experience with an API that opens up relevant local pricing and payment methods - essentially showing customers the correct currency based on their geographical location, even with merchants using a single URL solution.”
It soon became clear to both parties that Findify and Reach were well placed to work together on the issue of product feeds frustratingly showing customers items of geographical irrelevance to them.
Two state-of-the-art solutions working together to increase ecommerce revenue
“When consulting with our merchants on international strategy through a single website, native currency and payment methods are just one piece to the puzzle when we’re talking about hyper-localized shopping experiences,” explained Mr Steinbrecher.
“Oftentimes geo-targeted merchandising is a huge part of the global strategy, as factors such as shoppers wanting to focus on different collections based on the season, country specific brand restrictions, and/or inventory availability. Partnering with Findify solves a critical part of our clients international strategies, allowing merchants to further localize the shopping experience.”
“We are very happy with the fruits of our labour and the expertise of Reach's team,” added Mr Olsson.
“Working together, we were able to solve the issue - now, with both Findify and Reach installed, merchants can ensure that none of their customers will see products they cannot have. In optimizing the product feed in this way, merchants are boosting conversion by providing better customer experiences, and providing shopper journeys that are superior to their competitors.”
On a basic level, the solution works like this: Reach’s script reads where in the world the customer is, based on their IP address, in order to show the correct currency for that region. Findify’s software then accesses this extracted information, to determine which sales cluster the customer is included in. This could, of course, be a country, but most commonly a region: North America, The Nordics, Europe, etc etc
This information is loaded only once, on the landing page of the ecommerce website, and does not need to be loaded again - meaning it is already there when shoppers get to the product pages, causing no additional loading times and maintaining the current rapid site speed enjoyed by Findify merchants.
While this is the solution to the aforementioned problem of merchants showing unavailable products in their feeds, the method has a secondary benefit.
“This could also be used on an operational, merchandising level. We know many merchants have different tactics and collaborations in different regions, so with this method merchants could also boost certain products to specific markets,” explained Mr Olsson.
“Above all, we at Findify pride ourselves on showing customers only the products that are the most relevant for them - using our unique personalized search algorithm and overall personalization software, and now also utilizing geo-data. So we’re immensely happy that we were able to work with Reach in solving a problem that so many merchants were experiencing. It’s been a fantastic collaboration which is going to benefit countless merchants and shoppers across the globe.”
* Findify, an advanced AI solution and personalized search ecommerce tool which uses machine-learning algorithms to change the order in which each individual shopper sees each product, creates an optimized and personalized journey for online shoppers. For more information, book a demo here.
* For more information on Reach, a leading provider of ecommerce currency conversion solutions, go to www.withreach.com.
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