Client Spotlight: International Ecommerce

In 2011, four of our clients made the decision to expand their ecommerce websites beyond their domestic bases.  As we discussed in an earlier post, you can approach international ecommerce in several different ways.

Below we’ll walk through the individual methods that we implemented for Chrome, Diptyque, Kidrobot, and Michael C. Fina.

Chrome:

After launching a US ecommerce site about two years ago, this past summer Chrome decided to have us build out a Canada-specific version of the existing site.

When browsing the main www.chromebagsstore.com domain, there is little hint that another site exists. However, if you scroll to the footer, you’ll see a link for Chrome Canada.

Once on the Canadian site, www.chromeindustries.ca (note the country code domain extension), you can easily switch back by selecting the US option in the flag drop-down located in the top header. Design and aesthetic elements all remain consistent across the two sites; however, pricing is shown in Canadian dollars, and checkout is tailored to include Provinces rather than States.

Diptyque:

Like Chrome, Diptyque hosts independent domains for its three US, UK, and France websites. Site architecture and design remain the same for all three countries, but content is translated and customized per nationality.

Looking at the shopping bag page below, you’ll see that the currency has been switched for the French site, and order totals are clearly displayed in Euros.

Kidrobot:

Kidrobot, which has an international brick and mortar presence, recently partnered with international shipping solutions company, fiftyone, to offer shipping globally through its single www.kidrobot.com domain.

The first step of checkout prompts users to select U.S. Checkout or International checkout. Country options are exposed if the International Checkout button is clicked, and users are then directed to a standard checkout process within the same domain that is generated by Fiftyone via iframe. The Terms & Conditions and the Privacy Policy are visibly stated above the first step, and merchandise subtotal, Duty & VAT, and shipping chargers are all clearly calculated in the country-specific currency

Michael C. Fina:

Michael C. Fina also recently integrated with the third party solution, International Checkout, to cater to its international clientele through the existing website. After adding a product to the shopping bag, both standard checkout and international checkout buttons are displayed.

Moving forward with the International Checkout option will transfer you to another iframe page controlled by the third party. To avoid any customer confusion, the page is introduced with an explanation of the service and a link for contact information. Security badges are also displayed on the checkout page for added reassurance.

As you can see by the varied approaches of just four different websites, there is no golden rule when it comes to offering international ecommerce options.

We’re looking forward to seeing how the global ecommerce landscape continues to innovate next year and promise to keep you updated.

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