The French have an excuse, what’s yours?

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Lengow Ecommerce Day ParisPretty much every session at the Lengow Ecommerce Day in Paris was exceptional, including one that I expected to get least out of because I know them so well – PayPal.

PayPal had a ton of stats to share with the French retailers present, especially for emerging countries in ecommerce and the opportunities that they present.

60% of European consumers don’t buy in their local language but do buy in English. That means French retailers wishing to sell to the rest of the EU need to translate their catalogue into English before they even start – listing in say Germany in French is no where near as effective as listing in Germany in English.

This means that compared to French retailers, we in the UK have a massive head start in cross border trade and one that we should take full advantage of. Of course listings in each territory in the countries local language is much preferable, but if there are countries which you’re not seeing great returns, at least start by simply listing in English until you can justify the cost of translation. Knowing this, there’s very little excuse for UK retailers not to be selling overseas.

Some of the most interesting stats were why Chinese buyers purchase from the west. 42% made overseas purchases because their’s a wider selection than in the UK. Even more surprisingly 52% of Chinese buyers like buying from other countries because they want to purchase authentic products. If you’ve got quality branded merchandise it’s time to start at least making it available to ship to China, or preferably actively targeting Chinese customers.

PayPal along with Alibaba were keen to emphasis that Single’s day, (all the ones, 11/11 the eleventh of November) is a key day in the Chinese year – they don’t celebrate Christmas but their singles day, an artificial event created by Alibaba is way bigger for ecommerce than Black Friday in the West.

There are many other key dates throughout the year that you should be aware of for promoting your products, for instance you might have thought that Mother’s Day was done and dusted for 2015 (15th March in the UK and 10th May in the US), but did you know that Mothers Day in Luxembourg is the 14th of June this year, or the 18th October in Argentina and the 29th of November in Russia?

PayPal Passport featPayPal launched PayPal Passport back in 2014 with a ton of data to help you target promotions to overseas countries. It includes local customs, barriers to trade, preferred couriers, holidays and special dates in the diary along with a load more information which can help you target your promotions to appeal to consumers in different parts of the world.

PayPal Passport has recently been launched in French, as well as Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and German along with Swiss, Austrian and US versions. If you’ve not looked at the site lately it’s well worth a browse to see how you could better target promotions in the countries you’re focussing on.


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