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Designing an International eCommerce Checkout

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International eCommerce provides a massive opportunity for success in both the financial and customer service aspect of your business. However, it is also easy to fail when it comes to certain elementary but important aspects. One of these areas includes executing the forms and data formatting for different countries and regions. It can either go well or very poorly.

Dynamics & Relevant Data

Formatting a Natural Workflow

So, the natural progression of a customer purchasing something involves the checkout process. It includes adding items to the cart, entering the address, checking the shipping and customs and duties charges, and shipping time before they finally check out.

Naturally, some forms are going to be taking in all the relevant data. So, it is essential to format these checkout forms according to the country. You have to keep in mind the local expectations for forms and data formatting. It can make things somewhat challenging.

Ideally, you want a seamless process for your users. The forms on your platform should not feel any different than their local forms. Therefore, your forms should be formatted the same as all the standard forms.

Now your forms may be simplified and optimized to provide the best user experience. But they are useless if they do not have the appropriate data formats for international eCommerce.

A lot of eCommerce platforms are set up for European or U.S. based eCommerce. So, it can be a challenging task to work around an eCommerce platform that does not provide the capability for international eCommerce. You may find it hard to adapt and present form fields that are appropriate for a particular region. For instance, different locales have a different postal code format. Different countries require different address formatting. There is a possibility of not having enough address fields. Or the address field being filled inaccurately.

Incorporating Industry Best Practices

User Data Validation

Even the number of digits in a phone number differs for different countries. So, your website must be able to validate and confirm if it is a valid phone number, depending on the user's location. It should be able to determine if the data in a field is invalid or does not follow the local format.

Therefore, the forms on your international eCommerce platform must follow a standard. Typically, they should perform a straightforward and lightweight validation (or confirmation) to make sure the user has filled all the fields successfully.

Optimize Data Formatting

Research Your Data Validation Findings

Research is necessary to nail data formatting and validation. The last thing you want to do is enter a market without doing extensive research and general preparation for the particular region. Once you are aware of the particulars of that region, only then you must start working with an international eCommerce provider.

It is crucial to find one who has experience in this regard. A provider who has completed international eCommerce forms and data validation in various regions can be very beneficial for your eCommerce platform. They can ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Ultimately, you will be able to adapt your platform for different regions. It will make it easier for your users to enter all the necessary information. The seamless user experience ensures fewer bounces and better conversion rates.

Robust & Flexible Solution

Overcoming Custom Validation

Another major challenge of forms and data validation is that many regions do not necessarily have a standardized data format. There is not a general source of what is considered valid data. So, it requires you to work with multiple sets of varying data validation. In the process, it can end up being contradictory to itself.

Therefore, it is vital to ensure your international eCommerce platform can handle customization. So, based on the country or region, the data validation of your platform will prioritize the most accurate set of data rather than following a standardized data format.

If there is only a single API library for data validation integrated into your international eCommerce platform, things are relatively straightforward. However, if there is a good data source for only a particular region, for example, South Africa or a specific region in Australia. Then the data validation set might not work as well for other areas, like Europe or China.

How Can Clarity Help

Clarity International eCommerce Experts

To conclude, data validations and custom validation are crucial if you want to expand your eCommerce business internationally. When it comes to formatting and data validation, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Your checkout form should validate all the data entered in the fields. It should be able to determine when specific fields are missing/inaccurate and when the form is completed successfully. Moreover, the fields should be easy to find and read. They should provide enough character limit for international users to complete the forms accurately.

All of this can make a massive difference. It seems like such a simple aspect but having fillable forms that can validate data is very critical.

If you have any more questions related to this topic, we encourage you to reach out to our experienced team. They can provide a complimentary analysis. Or answer any questions about the next step in the process of expanding your eCommerce platform internationally. We certainly look forward to answering your question and talking with you about your upcoming international eCommerce project.

As you plan how to expand your eCommerce platform internationally, we encourage you to go through the resources below. Some of these can be helpful for your project.

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