Michelle Held, Founder at Metrony, did us the honour of speaking during the SiGMA Summit in Dubai. During her speech, Held covered the topic of culture and content and the impact of both aspects on e-commerce
Michelle Held works with global e-commerce sites. Having around 156 offices, Metrony helps clients to build and grow an online business with all the resources, training, and support needed to run their dream online business. Working with Subsaharan, South African, Latium, and the far east Asia regions Metrony mostly deals with how culture and content impact sales.
Held digs deep into how the content is delivered to the users, taking into account the format it’s in, the kind of device the user is working on, where the users are, and what appeals to them. All this is done to grow the client’s audience and reach its full potential globally whilst increasing sales.
Leaving your text just in English is not enough she says. “Why take into consideration the target culture in your content?”
Breaking local etiquette and delivering content that the user’s not accustomed to seeing can simply turn the clients off and might also get you in a lot of trouble as it would be unlawful.
Translating to a major language like English, Spanish, and Chinese will help you reach a wider audience, but it’s simply not enough. Through English translation, one can only reach about 20% of the targeted audience in a format that’s comfortable for them.
Why speak the buyer’s language?
People, click away from sites and pages rather quickly, that’s why the one-step checkout is a very famous and loved aspect in shopping sites because the more clicks you send a user through, the more the drop-off gets. “People tend to want to shop in their local language and we don’t want to make them click through.”
“Dealing with 156 offices, I teach workshops in e-commerce about content and the culture one has to deliver that content in. Determining where the target audience is living is essential. Different audiences will have different missions.”
The audience is targetted based on their behaviours, interests, languages, and background. The aim is to deliver content that feels like it’s from back home she explains.
Watch the keynote speech here:
Delivering payment content localisation:
Payments can be quite a challenge. One has to keep in mind that you as the content provider have to deliver a landing page that your targeted audience can send you money on. For them to be able to buy a product, you have to be able to deliver the method to do so. Clients tend to feel more comfortable paying in a currency that works for them and as the provider, you should be looking at a method that is not too expensive for you to convert the money.
British English vs American English – do we need to localise?
Writing in English also requires localisation. A simple change in spelling automatically tells the user that one site can differ from another. A word choice like choosing between bathroom or toilet could be slightly crude or offensive, or the option of using the word flat vs apartment which doesn’t quite make sense unless you’re multicultural can also sound confusing. Small tip-offs like this make a huge difference to the buyer.
Colour use in website design and content:
Most judgments made to the site are based on colour alone. Different colours can be associated with death or luck. Something that’s black might be considered ominous or serious in various cultures while in others it brings up feelings of sadness and fear. Based on her experience, Michelle Held explains that people from Latin America love colours and so do the Portuguese. Clients from Sub-Saharan Africa, like Uganda and Ghana, also tend to opt for a colourful site background and it’s a battle she goes on to say for Americans like her, black is considered more serious when designing a page layout.
Held says that users tend to leave your website in 15 seconds if they’re confused. “One of the core web vitals is that your users will just leave if they’re put off or confused, so website layout, design, colour used and localised content play an important role in keeping the users on site.”
Your navigation alone is a culture for your site because it can indicate what’s available there. She gives the example of users navigating on a food site and the words used to portray products there, going on to further say that if on the top navigation one has an organic, non-GMO, or vegan products, the user will automatically think that these products are probably expensive and might walk away as this is not what they want.
Keeping on top of where your audience is:
In 2022, we saw Google surpass Tik Tok as the most visited site online. This is because Tik Tok has adapted from being a dance and cooking site to a more educational and informative site. The intended target content has to reflect the lifestyle and the determined choices of your users.
COVID accelerated mobile payments technology by about three years, not so much in the states, but everywhere else. The concept of social commerce is also quite novel. Here we are seeing people come into a WhatsApp chat and a business account, and complete the sale there rather than on the website itself. This is expected to double through 2025. It can be handled somewhat with bots, but your customer service team has to be equipped well enough to execute it well.
Content layout and trust issues:
Website layout and design play a very important role in the user’s trust. A simple logo for a payment card can be the reason to send someone away thinking that the site is not trustworthy.
In conclusion, working with the native currency that your user can pay in, converting work with a local person for language translations to check on the actual content, respecting colours in site layout and design, and working in a local language are the key to client satisfaction and success.
Join us for SiGMA Americas – Toronto:
Toronto is the perfect hub for SiGMA’s growth in North America, making it a nexus of networking and business development in the region with regards to land-based, iGaming, sports betting, and more. Playing host to a massive iGaming industry, Toronto will be the home for the SiGMA Group’s initiative to link the industry pioneers of the continent together for 3 days of networking, workshops, and awards. To learn more about sponsorship and speaking opportunities or to inquire about attending the event, please contact Sophie on [email protected]