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How We Scaled a Fitness Apparel Brand To $5,355,712.24 in 18 Months With Localized Approach

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In the Best Case Studies, the Results Speak for Themselves. Here Is a Sneak Peek:

Schedule a Call With Us

Are Your Ready To Take Your eCom Brand To The Another Level?

Here Is What You’re Going to Learn In This Case Study:

What is Localization in Europe?

Usually, people ask themselves what even is localization? The concept is quite simple. It means treating every country as a unique market while having a bigger picture in mind.

We’re using this approach because with the localized approach we’ve seen:

  • Increase revenue and profitability
  • Opens new market opportunities
  • It expanded audience sizes at the county level
  • You build a more substantial local presence around community and branding


For example, localization is used by many eCommerce leaders like Gymshark, Amazon, About You (and many others) as part of their successful business models. It’s an exciting process that allows companies to provide amazing services for their customers in new and unexpected places.

What is the Added Value of Localization?

The next question that usually pops up is that every country in Europe is different! How could we possibly provide services to every country based on their local culture and language? 

Honestly, it’s a fair question. Targeting all of Europe, in English, means one language for customer support, websites, ads, influencer, and email marketing, etc. It’s certainly an “easier” approach to your marketing strategy but we challenge you to ask yourself some questions first: Do you honestly think a one-size-fits-all solution is an optimal way to increase your revenue and build up your brand? Do you really believe this approach will build a strong community in your local market or will inspire meaningful experiences and word-of-mouth recommendations from your existing local customers?

At SDM Agency, we believe that if you want to scale your business successfully, it is essential to understand your local market while also maintaining an international presence.

And you don’t even have to believe us – the numbers speak for themselves:

According to CSA Research, 75% of people want to purchase products in their native language and 92.2% want to make purchases in their local currency.

To support this, we recently scaled a fitness apparel brand that reached multi-seven-figure returns with the power of a localized approach (Screenshots at the start of the case study).

Localizing Our Way:

When we use the localized approach, we test each new market with English-language websites and ads to build a trusted, international brand and create a global tribe around your business. Once we see momentum, we capitalize quickly by jumping straight into localization to position you as a stronger player in the local market.

To do this, we increase brand presence through localized stores, logistics, customer support, and marketing to become a solid local brand. With increased visibility comes increased revenue, profitability, omnichannel presence, social proof, community, and branding.

On the flip side, we also work with a lot of small businesses with a significant local presence trying to expand to new markets to broaden their potential audience size, increase their revenue and profitability and create a global community around their products and brand. We approach their expansion into new markets the same way. 

Are you with us so far? If so, let’s continue with some actionable steps you can take if you decide to try a localized approach.

Choose The Market

Choosing where to expand can be a challenge. We recommend the following steps to help streamline the process:
1. Analyze the Traffic from your English Webshop
If you have an international store, analyze where people come to the website and buy products from, whether they’re direct purchase, influencers, PR, or organic traffic.
2. Analyze Competitor Traffic and the Significant Players in your Niche
One of our favorite ways to choose a market is to use Similarweb to analyze and understand the strengths of competitors and bigger players. With Similarweb, we can easily understand the breakdown of traffic within a country including its sources and much more.
3. Look for Untapped Opportunities
The great thing about Europe is that there are multiple options for the size and types of markets to expand into:
  • There are big markets, such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland with populations of over 20M that enable you to tap into 10-30M€
  • The mid-sized markets, such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Belgium have 10-20M people and provide an interesting opportunity to expand your localized efforts.
  • There are also smaller countries with populations of less than 10M that allow savvy businesses to capitalize where competing companies may not consider.
(For reference, you can check out a list of European countries by population)
Choosing where to expand can be a challenge. We recommend the following steps to help streamline the process:
1. Analyze the Traffic from your English Webshop
If you have an international store, analyze where people come to the website and buy products from, whether they’re direct purchase, influencers, PR, or organic traffic.
2. Analyze Competitor Traffic and the Significant Players in your Niche
One of our favorite ways to choose a market is to use Similarweb to analyze and understand the strengths of competitors and bigger players. With Similarweb, we can easily understand the breakdown of traffic within a country including its sources and much more.
3. Look for Untapped Opportunities
The great thing about Europe is that there are multiple options for the size and types of markets to expand into:
  • There are big markets, such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland with populations of over 20M that enable you to tap into 10-30M€
  • The mid-sized markets, such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Belgium have 10-20M people and provide an interesting opportunity to expand your localized efforts.
  • There are also smaller countries with populations of less than 10M that allow savvy businesses to capitalize where competing companies may not consider.
(For reference, you can check out a list of European countries by population)

Do Your Research

In the past, we’ve tried many ways to quickly expand to new markets, and we always come back to this first, crucial step: “Do your research first!” We’re not sure why, but this step sometimes gets left out, and it can cost you down the road. We’ll share a practical example with you; maybe it resonates: A couple of years ago when we tried localizing for the first time with a brand that was doing quite well in Slovenia. We decided to go with Germany because it’s the biggest market in Europe — So we localized their website and ads and the results were great. We sold a couple of thousands of units in the first week. But this is where we saw that we made a huge mistake. 80% of products were returned because people didn’t know or weren’t used to the cash-on-delivery option (Which is one of the most popular methods here in Slovenia, but not in Germany). In Germany people are used to paying with other methods like Kauf auf Rechnung, Sofort, etc. which are must-haves in Germany). When we got feedback from our customers on why they returned their item it was clear that they were expecting to receive the product and pay for it later with Klarna like they usually do.   This really made it clear to us that every country has unique characteristics, and success rides on understanding these particularities. Since then, we have learned that there are many other small things to successfully implementing a local campaign and that doing the research first was the most important step to make sure nothing was missing in the customer journey. We definitely learned from our mistakes, so in the next section we’ll go through our lessons learned so you don’t make them too.  
When in Doubt, Google it
This one might seem obvious, but we can tell you from experience that in many cases, people just don’t do it (we don’t understand it either). What to look for:
  • Purchase behaviors (we will touch on this more in the next section);
  • The bigger local players in the eCommerce world, not only in your niche;
  • Local eCommerce competitors;
  • Local preferred digital marketing channels. Here you can analyze the diversification of different channels – for example, how strong is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Email marketing, Viber, WhatsApp, SMS, etc. Don’t panic, you don’t need to use them all, it’s just information to understand what the other players are doing in the market so you can choose the right platforms for you.
 
In the past, we’ve tried many ways to quickly expand to new markets, and we always come back to this first, crucial step: “Do your research first!” We’re not sure why, but this step sometimes gets left out, and it can cost you down the road. We’ll share a practical example with you; maybe it resonates: A couple of years ago when we tried localizing for the first time with a brand that was doing quite well in Slovenia. We decided to go with Germany because it’s the biggest market in Europe — So we localized their website and ads and the results were great. We sold a couple of thousands of units in the first week. But this is where we saw that we made a huge mistake. 80% of products were returned because people didn’t know or weren’t used to the cash-on-delivery option (Which is one of the most popular methods here in Slovenia, but not in Germany). In Germany people are used to paying with other methods like Kauf auf Rechnung, Sofort, etc. which are must-haves in Germany). When we got feedback from our customers on why they returned their item it was clear that they were expecting to receive the product and pay for it later with Klarna like they usually do.   This really made it clear to us that every country has unique characteristics, and success rides on understanding these particularities. Since then, we have learned that there are many other small things to successfully implementing a local campaign and that doing the research first was the most important step to make sure nothing was missing in the customer journey. We definitely learned from our mistakes, so in the next section we’ll go through our lessons learned so you don’t make them too.  
When in Doubt, Google it
This one might seem obvious, but we can tell you from experience that in many cases, people just don’t do it (we don’t understand it either). What to look for:
  • Purchase behaviors (we will touch on this more in the next section);
  • The bigger local players in the eCommerce world, not only in your niche;
  • Local eCommerce competitors;
  • Local preferred digital marketing channels. Here you can analyze the diversification of different channels – for example, how strong is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Email marketing, Viber, WhatsApp, SMS, etc. Don’t panic, you don’t need to use them all, it’s just information to understand what the other players are doing in the market so you can choose the right platforms for you.
 

Schedule a Call With Us

Are Your Ready To Take Your eCom Brand To The Another Level?

Localizing your Marketing and Website

We want to share with you the main areas of localization to look for when going local in Europe with your eCommerce store and marketing assets. We’re going to start at the top with language, then move through checkout, and end with marketing because as we’ve learned, the biggest problems usually appear in the lower parts of the purchasing funnel.
1. Using Language to Your Advantage: Local Copywriters > Translators
We find that the true voice of a brand is best captured by those who have first-hand experience with the target market. When localizing, we always recommend working with local copywriters to maintain the authenticity of the marketing and to make sure nothing is (literally) lost in translation. Quick tip: Make sure to check multiple websites, email marketing, social media, and ads from different sources to catch the authentic voice of your target market.  
2. Payment Providers
Payment methods are super important because if you want to play as a local player, you obviously want to offer the same purchasing experience expected from all the local stores. Here are some examples: 
  • Cash on delivery is crucial in some Eastern European markets, Italy, etc. 
  • Klarna is critical to Germany, Sweden, etc.
  • One of the must-haves in the Netherlands is iDEAL
  • PayU is used in Hungary and Poland etc.
This information is easily obtained from the biggest local stores in the market as well as in local industry reports regarding the popularity of payment methods.
3. Shipping Method and Speed
The second crucial option after payment is to look at shipping methods.   Some countries prefer a particular logistic partner, especially if you offer COD or have a high return rate. Check bigger local stores to see what they use, and keep in mind that your target audience might love it if they have multiple delivery options to choose from. For some countries (like Germany) it’s a huge upside to have fast shipping because it’s a common option in the other stores and is expected within the market. This ties back to doing your research – understanding expectations around delivery times in each local market gives you an advantage to onboard new customers seamlessly.
4. Installments options
Installment Payment Systems might also help your conversion rate if this is a standard in the market and the AOV is high enough.
5. Money-Back Guarantees
Confirm the usual standard for money-back guarantees within the target market and how/where it is communicated to the customer. (It might be on the home page, in the sticky bar, product page, during checkout, etc.) Keep in mind that in some countries and/or niches the timelines for money-back guarantees vary in length. Moreover, depending on your product, also consider including the option for customers to upgrade their purchase to an extended guarantee.
6. Taxes
There’s not much to say here: every market is different so we strongly advise you to learn about the local taxes from a professional.
7. About the Company
Understanding how locals view companies in their markets helps businesses build credibility when they are looking to expand. For some markets (like Germany) that are more “safety-first buyers,” they expect to know a lot about the company e.g. the story, when it was founded, the team, the culture, the vision, etc.
8. Reviews and Local Trust Certificates
When your potential customer is scrolling on their mobile through your website, two of their main concerns are usually: 
  • Safety
  • Social proof
To tackle safety, make sure you have your trust badges and payment options icons, and try to include some local certificate badges and/or famous media badges (local + international) where you were featured. You can find ideas from the local stores, magazines, online articles, etc. Concerning social proof: one of the crucial things you need to do is to add local reviews from Influencers, customers, publishing companies etc.  
9. Customer Support Communication Channels
The trick to this is a good understanding of what the key communication channels for customer support are. Do they expect to message on the messenger or email directly? Maybe there is a standard for mobile phones or WhatsApp?
We want to share with you the main areas of localization to look for when going local in Europe with your eCommerce store and marketing assets. We’re going to start at the top with language, then move through checkout, and end with marketing because as we’ve learned, the biggest problems usually appear in the lower parts of the purchasing funnel.
1. Using Language to Your Advantage: Local Copywriters > Translators
We find that the true voice of a brand is best captured by those who have first-hand experience with the target market. When localizing, we always recommend working with local copywriters to maintain the authenticity of the marketing and to make sure nothing is (literally) lost in translation. Quick tip: Make sure to check multiple websites, email marketing, social media, and ads from different sources to catch the authentic voice of your target market.  
2. Payment Providers
Payment methods are super important because if you want to play as a local player, you obviously want to offer the same purchasing experience expected from all the local stores. Here are some examples: 
  • Cash on delivery is crucial in some Eastern European markets, Italy, etc. 
  • Klarna is critical to Germany, Sweden, etc.
  • One of the must-haves in the Netherlands is iDEAL
  • PayU is used in Hungary and Poland etc.
This information is easily obtained from the biggest local stores in the market as well as in local industry reports regarding the popularity of payment methods.
3. Shipping Method and Speed
The second crucial option after payment is to look at shipping methods.   Some countries prefer a particular logistic partner, especially if you offer COD or have a high return rate. Check bigger local stores to see what they use, and keep in mind that your target audience might love it if they have multiple delivery options to choose from. For some countries (like Germany) it’s a huge upside to have fast shipping because it’s a common option in the other stores and is expected within the market. This ties back to doing your research – understanding expectations around delivery times in each local market gives you an advantage to onboard new customers seamlessly.
4. Installments options
Installment Payment Systems might also help your conversion rate if this is a standard in the market and the AOV is high enough.
5. Money-Back Guarantees
Confirm the usual standard for money-back guarantees within the target market and how/where it is communicated to the customer. (It might be on the home page, in the sticky bar, product page, during checkout, etc.) Keep in mind that in some countries and/or niches the timelines for money-back guarantees vary in length. Moreover, depending on your product, also consider including the option for customers to upgrade their purchase to an extended guarantee.
6. Taxes
There’s not much to say here: every market is different so we strongly advise you to learn about the local taxes from a professional.
7. About the Company
Understanding how locals view companies in their markets helps businesses build credibility when they are looking to expand. For some markets (like Germany) that are more “safety-first buyers,” they expect to know a lot about the company e.g. the story, when it was founded, the team, the culture, the vision, etc.
8. Reviews and Local Trust Certificates
When your potential customer is scrolling on their mobile through your website, two of their main concerns are usually: 
  • Safety
  • Social proof
To tackle safety, make sure you have your trust badges and payment options icons, and try to include some local certificate badges and/or famous media badges (local + international) where you were featured. You can find ideas from the local stores, magazines, online articles, etc. Concerning social proof: one of the crucial things you need to do is to add local reviews from Influencers, customers, publishing companies etc.  
9. Customer Support Communication Channels
The trick to this is a good understanding of what the key communication channels for customer support are. Do they expect to message on the messenger or email directly? Maybe there is a standard for mobile phones or WhatsApp?

What About Marketing?

We have a lot to say about our tactics for localizing marketing efforts – so much, in fact, that we would probably need its own article.  That said, we would still love to share some of the main areas to focus on and our tips on how to get started.
Content Creation, Influencers, and Creatives 
The idea is to localize the content as much as possible using as many avenues as you can. For us, UGC content worked the best (Of course using a localized approach)
Emails
For emails, make sure you use a local copywriter for the communication and to start the local automation flows as soon as you launch the first round of ads. To start, we recommend this four automation flows using Klaviyo
  • Welcome series
  • Abandonment cart
  • Abandonment checkout
  • Post-purchase flow
Paid Social Ads
For paid social ads (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc.), our first strategy is usually to start with the best-selling creatives and copies from the existing markets, reviewed and adjusted by the local copywriter. The next move is to test the concepts you researched from local competitors and to find some local winners in the market. Also, make sure to cover the whole sales funnel with re-engagement, retargeting, and retention ads from the start to target people at the different levels. 
Paid Search ads
Make sure that you have your branded search, dynamic search ads, and generic ads running on Google (at least) because any push on the paid social side will create a demand that boosts search volume around your products and brand name.
Products
We always recommend starting with your best-selling products from the existing markets because you already know the creativity and the communication that works. If you have a huge range of products, we highly recommend creating a shortlist to test the new market (maybe start testing with a dedicated landing page) so you can move fast and then consider adding additional products as your brand gains recognition. Also, analyze the best-selling product categories and products at the local level on a weekly/monthly basis.  We have seen that in many cases, it might turn out that some products/categories popped up from others, and there is a huge opportunity to scale.
We have a lot to say about our tactics for localizing marketing efforts – so much, in fact, that we would probably need its own article.  That said, we would still love to share some of the main areas to focus on and our tips on how to get started.
Content Creation, Influencers, and Creatives 
The idea is to localize the content as much as possible using as many avenues as you can. For us, UGC content worked the best (Of course using a localized approach)
Emails
For emails, make sure you use a local copywriter for the communication and to start the local automation flows as soon as you launch the first round of ads. To start, we recommend this four automation flows using Klaviyo
  • Welcome series
  • Abandonment cart
  • Abandonment checkout
  • Post-purchase flow
Paid Social Ads
For paid social ads (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc.), our first strategy is usually to start with the best-selling creatives and copies from the existing markets, reviewed and adjusted by the local copywriter. The next move is to test the concepts you researched from local competitors and to find some local winners in the market. Also, make sure to cover the whole sales funnel with re-engagement, retargeting, and retention ads from the start to target people at the different levels. 
Paid Search ads
Make sure that you have your branded search, dynamic search ads, and generic ads running on Google (at least) because any push on the paid social side will create a demand that boosts search volume around your products and brand name.
Products
We always recommend starting with your best-selling products from the existing markets because you already know the creativity and the communication that works. If you have a huge range of products, we highly recommend creating a shortlist to test the new market (maybe start testing with a dedicated landing page) so you can move fast and then consider adding additional products as your brand gains recognition. Also, analyze the best-selling product categories and products at the local level on a weekly/monthly basis.  We have seen that in many cases, it might turn out that some products/categories popped up from others, and there is a huge opportunity to scale.

In Conclusion - Localize Your Approach, It’s Worth It!

We know this was a case study/article but we really wanted to share some of the main lessons we’ve learned on our journey with our amazing clients. We’re still learning every day about what works for a specific business – yet our results speak for themselves and we’re pretty confident that the tips and tricks we’ve given you here are a great place to start. 

If there are two things you should take away from this guide it’s this: 

  1. There are big, untapped opportunities in localization, and do your best to localize as much as you can (step-by-step). 
  2. Start your localization efforts by harnessing the local language to your advantage; go through the checkout options; and move through to the website and marketing localization tactics.

 

So now that you know, what’s the next step for you?

In the Best Case Studies, the Results Speak for Themselves. Here Is a Sneak Peek:

Schedule a Call With Us

Are Your Ready To Take Your eCom Brand To The Another Level?

Here Is What You’re Going to Learn In This Case Study:

What is Localization in Europe?

Usually, people ask themselves what even is localization? The concept is quite simple. It means treating every country as a unique market while having a bigger picture in mind.

We’re using this approach because with the localized approach we’ve seen:

  • Increase revenue and profitability
  • Opens new market opportunities
  • It expanded audience sizes at the county level
  • You build a more substantial local presence around community and branding


For example, localization is used by many eCommerce leaders like Gymshark, Amazon, About You (and many others) as part of their successful business models. It’s an exciting process that allows companies to provide amazing services for their customers in new and unexpected places.

What is the Added Value of Localization?

The next question that usually pops up is that every country in Europe is different! How could we possibly provide services to every country based on their local culture and language? 

Honestly, it’s a fair question. Targeting all of Europe, in English, means one language for customer support, websites, ads, influencer, and email marketing, etc. It’s certainly an “easier” approach to your marketing strategy but we challenge you to ask yourself some questions first: Do you honestly think a one-size-fits-all solution is an optimal way to increase your revenue and build up your brand? Do you really believe this approach will build a strong community in your local market or will inspire meaningful experiences and word-of-mouth recommendations from your existing local customers?

At SDM Agency, we believe that if you want to scale your business successfully, it is essential to understand your local market while also maintaining an international presence.

And you don’t even have to believe us – the numbers speak for themselves:

According to CSA Research, 75% of people want to purchase products in their native language and 92.2% want to make purchases in their local currency.

To support this, we recently scaled a fitness apparel brand that reached multi-seven-figure returns with the power of a localized approach (Screenshots at the start of the case study).

Localizing Our Way:

When we use the localized approach, we test each new market with English-language websites and ads to build a trusted, international brand and create a global tribe around your business. Once we see momentum, we capitalize quickly by jumping straight into localization to position you as a stronger player in the local market.

To do this, we increase brand presence through localized stores, logistics, customer support, and marketing to become a solid local brand. With increased visibility comes increased revenue, profitability, omnichannel presence, social proof, community, and branding.

On the flip side, we also work with a lot of small businesses with a significant local presence trying to expand to new markets to broaden their potential audience size, increase their revenue and profitability and create a global community around their products and brand. We approach their expansion into new markets the same way. 

Are you with us so far? If so, let’s continue with some actionable steps you can take if you decide to try a localized approach.

Choose the Market

Choosing where to expand can be a challenge. We recommend the following steps to help streamline the process:

1. Analyze the Traffic from your English Webshop

If you have an international store, analyze where people come to the website and buy products from, whether they’re direct purchase, influencers, PR, or organic traffic.

2. Analyze Competitor Traffic and the Significant Players in your Niche

One of our favorite ways to choose a market is to use Similarweb to analyze and understand the strengths of competitors and bigger players. With Similarweb, we can easily understand the breakdown of traffic within a country including its sources and much more.

3. Look for Untapped Opportunities

The great thing about Europe is that there are multiple options for the size and types of markets to expand into:

  • There are big markets, such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland with populations of over 20M that enable you to tap into 10-30M€
  • The mid-sized markets, such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Belgium have 10-20M people and provide an interesting opportunity to expand your localized efforts.
  • There are also smaller countries with populations of less than 10M that allow savvy businesses to capitalize where competing companies may not consider.


(For reference, you can check out a list of
European countries by population)

Choosing where to expand can be a challenge. We recommend the following steps to help streamline the process:
1. Analyze the Traffic from your English Webshop
If you have an international store, analyze where people come to the website and buy products from, whether they’re direct purchase, influencers, PR, or organic traffic.
2. Analyze Competitor Traffic and the Significant Players in your Niche
One of our favorite ways to choose a market is to use Similarweb to analyze and understand the strengths of competitors and bigger players. With Similarweb, we can easily understand the breakdown of traffic within a country including its sources and much more.
3. Look for Untapped Opportunities
The great thing about Europe is that there are multiple options for the size and types of markets to expand into:
  • There are big markets, such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland with populations of over 20M that enable you to tap into 10-30M€
  • The mid-sized markets, such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Belgium have 10-20M people and provide an interesting opportunity to expand your localized efforts.
  • There are also smaller countries with populations of less than 10M that allow savvy businesses to capitalize where competing companies may not consider.
(For reference, you can check out a list of European countries by population)

Do Your Research

In the past, we’ve tried many ways to quickly expand to new markets, and we always come back to this first, crucial step:

“Do your research first!”

 

We’re not sure why, but this step sometimes gets left out, and it can cost you down the road.

We’ll share a practical example with you; maybe it resonates:

A couple of years ago when we tried localizing for the first time with a brand that was doing quite well in Slovenia. We decided to go with Germany because it’s the biggest market in Europe — So we localized their website and ads and the results were great. We sold a couple of thousands of units in the first week.

But this is where we saw that we made a huge mistake. 80% of products were returned because people didn’t know or weren’t used to the cash-on-delivery option (Which is one of the most popular methods here in Slovenia, but not in Germany). In Germany people are used to paying with other methods like Kauf auf Rechnung, Sofort, etc. which are must-haves in Germany). When we got feedback from our customers on why they returned their item it was clear that they were expecting to receive the product and pay for it later with Klarna like they usually do.

 

This really made it clear to us that every country has unique characteristics, and success rides on understanding these particularities. Since then, we have learned that there are many other small things to successfully implementing a local campaign and that doing the research first was the most important step to make sure nothing was missing in the customer journey.

We definitely learned from our mistakes, so in the next section we’ll go through our lessons learned so you don’t make them too.

 

When in Doubt, Google it

This one might seem obvious, but we can tell you from experience that in many cases, people just don’t do it (we don’t understand it either).

What to look for:

  • Purchase behaviors (we will touch on this more in the next section);
  • The bigger local players in the eCommerce world, not only in your niche;
  • Local eCommerce competitors;
  • Local preferred digital marketing channels. Here you can analyze the diversification of different channels – for example, how strong is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Email marketing, Viber, WhatsApp, SMS, etc. Don’t panic, you don’t need to use them all, it’s just information to understand what the other players are doing in the market so you can choose the right platforms for you.

 

In the past, we’ve tried many ways to quickly expand to new markets, and we always come back to this first, crucial step: “Do your research first!” We’re not sure why, but this step sometimes gets left out, and it can cost you down the road. We’ll share a practical example with you; maybe it resonates: A couple of years ago when we tried localizing for the first time with a brand that was doing quite well in Slovenia. We decided to go with Germany because it’s the biggest market in Europe — So we localized their website and ads and the results were great. We sold a couple of thousands of units in the first week. But this is where we saw that we made a huge mistake. 80% of products were returned because people didn’t know or weren’t used to the cash-on-delivery option (Which is one of the most popular methods here in Slovenia, but not in Germany). In Germany people are used to paying with other methods like Kauf auf Rechnung, Sofort, etc. which are must-haves in Germany). When we got feedback from our customers on why they returned their item it was clear that they were expecting to receive the product and pay for it later with Klarna like they usually do.   This really made it clear to us that every country has unique characteristics, and success rides on understanding these particularities. Since then, we have learned that there are many other small things to successfully implementing a local campaign and that doing the research first was the most important step to make sure nothing was missing in the customer journey. We definitely learned from our mistakes, so in the next section we’ll go through our lessons learned so you don’t make them too.  
When in Doubt, Google it
This one might seem obvious, but we can tell you from experience that in many cases, people just don’t do it (we don’t understand it either). What to look for:
  • Purchase behaviors (we will touch on this more in the next section);
  • The bigger local players in the eCommerce world, not only in your niche;
  • Local eCommerce competitors;
  • Local preferred digital marketing channels. Here you can analyze the diversification of different channels – for example, how strong is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Email marketing, Viber, WhatsApp, SMS, etc. Don’t panic, you don’t need to use them all, it’s just information to understand what the other players are doing in the market so you can choose the right platforms for you.
 

Schedule a Call With Us

Are Your Ready To Take Your eCom Brand To The Another Level?

Localizing your Marketing and Website

We want to share with you the main areas of localization to look for when going local in Europe with your eCommerce store and marketing assets.

 

We’re going to start at the top with language, then move through checkout, and end with marketing because as we’ve learned, the biggest problems usually appear in the lower parts of the purchasing funnel.

 

1. Using Language to Your Advantage: Local Copywriters > Translators

We find that the true voice of a brand is best captured by those who have first-hand experience with the target market. When localizing, we always recommend working with local copywriters to maintain the authenticity of the marketing and to make sure nothing is (literally) lost in translation.

 

Quick tip: Make sure to check multiple websites, email marketing, social media, and ads from different sources to catch the authentic voice of your target market.

 

2. Payment Providers

Payment methods are super important because if you want to play as a local player, you obviously want to offer the same purchasing experience expected from all the local stores.

 

Here are some examples: 

  • Cash on delivery is crucial in some Eastern European markets, Italy, etc. 
  • Klarna is critical to Germany, Sweden, etc.
  • One of the must-haves in the Netherlands is iDEAL
  • PayU is used in Hungary and Poland etc.


This information is easily obtained from the biggest local stores in the market as well as in local industry reports regarding the popularity of payment methods.

 

3. Shipping Method and Speed

The second crucial option after payment is to look at shipping methods.

 

Some countries prefer a particular logistic partner, especially if you offer COD or have a high return rate. Check bigger local stores to see what they use, and keep in mind that your target audience might love it if they have multiple delivery options to choose from. For some countries (like Germany) it’s a huge upside to have fast shipping because it’s a common option in the other stores and is expected within the market. This ties back to doing your research – understanding expectations around delivery times in each local market gives you an advantage to onboard new customers seamlessly.

 

4. Installments options

Installment Payment Systems might also help your conversion rate if this is a standard in the market and the AOV is high enough.

5. Money-Back Guarantees

Confirm the usual standard for money-back guarantees within the target market and how/where it is communicated to the customer. (It might be on the home page, in the sticky bar, product page, during checkout, etc.)

 

Keep in mind that in some countries and/or niches the timelines for money-back guarantees vary in length. Moreover, depending on your product, also consider including the option for customers to upgrade their purchase to an extended guarantee.

 

6. Taxes

There’s not much to say here: every market is different so we strongly advise you to learn about the local taxes from a professional.

 

7. About the Company

Understanding how locals view companies in their markets helps businesses build credibility when they are looking to expand. For some markets (like Germany) that are more “safety-first buyers,” they expect to know a lot about the company e.g. the story, when it was founded, the team, the culture, the vision, etc.

 

8. Reviews and Local Trust Certificates

When your potential customer is scrolling on their mobile through your website, two of their main concerns are usually: 

  • Safety
  • Social proof


To tackle safety, make sure you have your trust badges and payment options icons, and try to include some local certificate badges and/or famous media badges (local + international) where you were featured. You can find ideas from the local stores, magazines, online articles, etc.

 

Concerning social proof: one of the crucial things you need to do is to add local reviews from Influencers, customers, publishing companies etc.

 

9. Customer Support Communication Channels

The trick to this is a good understanding of what the key communication channels for customer support are. Do they expect to message on the messenger or email directly? Maybe there is a standard for mobile phones or WhatsApp?

 

We want to share with you the main areas of localization to look for when going local in Europe with your eCommerce store and marketing assets. We’re going to start at the top with language, then move through checkout, and end with marketing because as we’ve learned, the biggest problems usually appear in the lower parts of the purchasing funnel.
1. Using Language to Your Advantage: Local Copywriters > Translators
We find that the true voice of a brand is best captured by those who have first-hand experience with the target market. When localizing, we always recommend working with local copywriters to maintain the authenticity of the marketing and to make sure nothing is (literally) lost in translation. Quick tip: Make sure to check multiple websites, email marketing, social media, and ads from different sources to catch the authentic voice of your target market.  
2. Payment Providers
Payment methods are super important because if you want to play as a local player, you obviously want to offer the same purchasing experience expected from all the local stores. Here are some examples: 
  • Cash on delivery is crucial in some Eastern European markets, Italy, etc. 
  • Klarna is critical to Germany, Sweden, etc.
  • One of the must-haves in the Netherlands is iDEAL
  • PayU is used in Hungary and Poland etc.
This information is easily obtained from the biggest local stores in the market as well as in local industry reports regarding the popularity of payment methods.
3. Shipping Method and Speed
The second crucial option after payment is to look at shipping methods.   Some countries prefer a particular logistic partner, especially if you offer COD or have a high return rate. Check bigger local stores to see what they use, and keep in mind that your target audience might love it if they have multiple delivery options to choose from. For some countries (like Germany) it’s a huge upside to have fast shipping because it’s a common option in the other stores and is expected within the market. This ties back to doing your research – understanding expectations around delivery times in each local market gives you an advantage to onboard new customers seamlessly.
4. Installments options
Installment Payment Systems might also help your conversion rate if this is a standard in the market and the AOV is high enough.
5. Money-Back Guarantees
Confirm the usual standard for money-back guarantees within the target market and how/where it is communicated to the customer. (It might be on the home page, in the sticky bar, product page, during checkout, etc.) Keep in mind that in some countries and/or niches the timelines for money-back guarantees vary in length. Moreover, depending on your product, also consider including the option for customers to upgrade their purchase to an extended guarantee.
6. Taxes
There’s not much to say here: every market is different so we strongly advise you to learn about the local taxes from a professional.
7. About the Company
Understanding how locals view companies in their markets helps businesses build credibility when they are looking to expand. For some markets (like Germany) that are more “safety-first buyers,” they expect to know a lot about the company e.g. the story, when it was founded, the team, the culture, the vision, etc.
8. Reviews and Local Trust Certificates
When your potential customer is scrolling on their mobile through your website, two of their main concerns are usually: 
  • Safety
  • Social proof
To tackle safety, make sure you have your trust badges and payment options icons, and try to include some local certificate badges and/or famous media badges (local + international) where you were featured. You can find ideas from the local stores, magazines, online articles, etc. Concerning social proof: one of the crucial things you need to do is to add local reviews from Influencers, customers, publishing companies etc.  
9. Customer Support Communication Channels
The trick to this is a good understanding of what the key communication channels for customer support are. Do they expect to message on the messenger or email directly? Maybe there is a standard for mobile phones or WhatsApp?

What About Marketing?

We have a lot to say about our tactics for localizing marketing efforts – so much, in fact, that we would probably need its own article. 

 

That said, we would still love to share some of the main areas to focus on and our tips on how to get started.

 

Content Creation, Influencers, and Creatives 

The idea is to localize the content as much as possible using as many avenues as you can. For us, UGC content worked the best (Of course using a localized approach)

 

Emails

For emails, make sure you use a local copywriter for the communication and to start the local automation flows as soon as you launch the first round of ads.

To start, we recommend this four automation flows using Klaviyo

  • Welcome series
  • Abandonment cart
  • Abandonment checkout
  • Post-purchase flow

     

Paid Social Ads

For paid social ads (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc.), our first strategy is usually to start with the best-selling creatives and copies from the existing markets, reviewed and adjusted by the local copywriter.

 

The next move is to test the concepts you researched from local competitors and to find some local winners in the market.

 

Also, make sure to cover the whole sales funnel with re-engagement, retargeting, and retention ads from the start to target people at the different levels. 

 

Paid Search ads

Make sure that you have your branded search, dynamic search ads, and generic ads running on Google (at least) because any push on the paid social side will create a demand that boosts search volume around your products and brand name.

 

Products

We always recommend starting with your best-selling products from the existing markets because you already know the creativity and the communication that works.

 

If you have a huge range of products, we highly recommend creating a shortlist to test the new market (maybe start testing with a dedicated landing page) so you can move fast and then consider adding additional products as your brand gains recognition.

 

Also, analyze the best-selling product categories and products at the local level on a weekly/monthly basis. 

 

We have seen that in many cases, it might turn out that some products/categories popped up from others, and there is a huge opportunity to scale.

 

We have a lot to say about our tactics for localizing marketing efforts – so much, in fact, that we would probably need its own article.  That said, we would still love to share some of the main areas to focus on and our tips on how to get started.
Content Creation, Influencers, and Creatives 
The idea is to localize the content as much as possible using as many avenues as you can. For us, UGC content worked the best (Of course using a localized approach)
Emails
For emails, make sure you use a local copywriter for the communication and to start the local automation flows as soon as you launch the first round of ads. To start, we recommend this four automation flows using Klaviyo
  • Welcome series
  • Abandonment cart
  • Abandonment checkout
  • Post-purchase flow
Paid Social Ads
For paid social ads (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc.), our first strategy is usually to start with the best-selling creatives and copies from the existing markets, reviewed and adjusted by the local copywriter. The next move is to test the concepts you researched from local competitors and to find some local winners in the market. Also, make sure to cover the whole sales funnel with re-engagement, retargeting, and retention ads from the start to target people at the different levels. 
Paid Search ads
Make sure that you have your branded search, dynamic search ads, and generic ads running on Google (at least) because any push on the paid social side will create a demand that boosts search volume around your products and brand name.
Products
We always recommend starting with your best-selling products from the existing markets because you already know the creativity and the communication that works. If you have a huge range of products, we highly recommend creating a shortlist to test the new market (maybe start testing with a dedicated landing page) so you can move fast and then consider adding additional products as your brand gains recognition. Also, analyze the best-selling product categories and products at the local level on a weekly/monthly basis.  We have seen that in many cases, it might turn out that some products/categories popped up from others, and there is a huge opportunity to scale.

In Conclusion - Localize Your Approach, It’s Worth It!

We know this was a case study/article but we really wanted to share some of the main lessons we’ve learned on our journey with our amazing clients. We’re still learning every day about what works for a specific business – yet our results speak for themselves and we’re pretty confident that the tips and tricks we’ve given you here are a great place to start. 

If there are two things you should take away from this guide it’s this: 

  1. There are big, untapped opportunities in localization, and do your best to localize as much as you can (step-by-step). 
  2. Start your localization efforts by harnessing the local language to your advantage; go through the checkout options; and move through to the website and marketing localization tactics.

 

So now that you know, what’s the next step for you?

Next Steps For Your Brand

There’s no reason why you can’t scale your fitness brand with a localized approach or increases your ROAS even more than you have right now with the right localizing structure in place.

So if you don’t have enough time to implement yourself, or you need a trusted pair of hands to create a bespoke Localized strategy for you, click the button below to book a free consultation call with our team.