5 tips that you should consider when you align your webshop internationally

With the alignment of an eCommerce offer to different countries and languages, there are a lot of tasks that an eCommerce manager has to consider.

  • Translate product data and categories into the respective target languages
  • Align SEO marketing internationally
  • Convert shop system to multilingualism
  • Check the module extensions for compatibility
  • Coordinate and optimize shipping and logistics

However, the special features of customer data abroad are often forgotten.

Here are 5 tips on how you should correctly enter addresses for domestic and foreign countries:

  1. Observe mandatory data for different countries

In many countries, addresses have a different address format. In Great Britain, for example, the postal code consists of 2 parts. The first part is the city/region, the second part is the more precise address. For smaller English towns, the county in question is included in the address. 

The situation is similar in the Netherlands. Here opposite houses on different sides of the street have different postal codes.

Give your customers the possibility to store the corresponding data for all countries and label the fields accordingly. Otherwise the data will be entered randomly and various fields will be misused. This often leads to chaos in your merchandise management system.

  • 2. multilingual countries

Many European countries are multilingual. In Belgium, for example, Dutch, French or German is spoken in some areas.

Offer customers the possibility to change the language of the webshop or forms within a country. Although you can query and automate some things via the browser settings, a manual selection and override should still be possible. Google Translate is not active everywhere and may not always be the best way to translate product descriptions. For this we recommend rather professionals, like our colleagues from Eurotext in Würzburg.

3. optimize your registration forms

Customer data is the oil of eCommerce. The better your customer data and the 360-degree view of your users, the more you can respond to them and tailor your offer to their needs.

To do this, you should design the input fields as optimally as possible and perhaps consider using hidden fields to store additional information such as the shop language, user origin or device information (desktop, mobile tablet). As few fields as possible, as many as necessary, is the motto, according to the DSGVO guidelines for data economy. It is therefore worthwhile to plan your marketing activities per country and to compare them with the collected data in advance.

4. enrich data - avoid unnecessary fields

You can often do without input and have the contents of individual fields filled automatically. The federal state, in many countries a mandatory field, and e.g. in the USA necessary for tax calculation, can be quickly read from the address and determined by yourself. The international telephone number area code can also be easily determined from the country selection and entered accordingly. This makes it easier to enter the number and reduces the number of incorrect entries/doublets.

5. normalize data and eliminate duplicates

Address data with different spellings from the same customer are often stored via different channels. Especially in multichannel, or in new German Omnichannel Commerce, via different touchpoints to the customer, this happens very often. This leads to costs for double addressing by mail or e-mail and annoys your customers, who receive everything twice.

An example:

Mr. Müller calls the call center and places an order.

The customer support employee searches for the customer, does not find it, and creates it. Communicating the address over the phone is not so easy, and quickly "-" spaces, or street, str. or street are entered randomly.

The days of a single email address are long gone, and quickly the same customer registers in the webshop, this time with correct spelling and different email.

If he then places an anonymous order in the store, without a customer card and a query in the system, duplicates are already pre-programmed. If the customer could also be sent the invoice by e-mail or asked for the address or telephone number, it might be easier to merge the two.

By means of intelligent business rules and address matching, identical customers could be found and cleverly merged. The more customer addresses a merchant has, the higher the savings potential. A necessary process, especially for multinational companies.

More tips and tools for problem solving are of course available from us. For B2C and B2B dealers.


Robert is a freelance e-commerce consultant and project manager since 2002. His expertise includes mobile apps as well as responsive websites for small companies and large corporations. As managing director of Endereco, Robert is responsible for product development and customer contact.

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