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Determining the Best International eCommerce Offering

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Measuring Attributes of International eCommerce Offerings

International eCommerce presents a lot of nuances and distinctive details, depending on the particular region or locale of operation. One of those nuances involves the forms and units of measurement, along with their labeling and presentation to the end user. Specifically, whenever you're looking at international eCommerce, it’s quite possible that units of measurement may differ among them:

  • Organization’s headquarters
  • Primary manufacturing site
  • Distribution center(s)
  • Delivery locations

For example, the manufacturing site may use an alternative unit of measurement compared to the distribution location for products and services. Or perhaps another measuring system is used in the distribution center that will fulfil and ship the order for a particular region or country. A combination of the above creates further complexity, where multiple units of measurement are used for each division.

Depending on the available eCommerce items, a number of units may be used, such as pounds versus kilograms, fluid ounces versus liters or milliliters and meters versus yards or feet. Due to the discrepancy in the units of measurement, the resulting scenario involves a portion of the end users having to guess or do calculations which might not be accurate. This is a potential source of confusion for customers that can be prevented.

What you typically want to do is present the standard units of measurement, accompanied by general conversions as a courtesy to end users. The numbers should be presented with reasonable rounding and complementary messaging. This enables customers to easily comprehend or swap the units of measurement at their own discretion. It’s common to provide dimensional measurements, like length, width, height and depth, along with weight and volume measurements in the local units.

Global-Friendly Features

Converting Units of Measurement to Accommodate International Customers

A practical approach to units of measurement is to get them converted. For example, if the base units are all in imperial, we could effectively convert them to metric and vice versa. This process will result in some uneven numbers which will need to be rounded for simplicity. In that particular case, it might be helpful for the end user to be able to switch between the two as in go back to the original number and even see what the original units of measurement were. Furthermore, to grant customers more control and easier access, consider offering a comprehensive conversion table.

Depending on the desired level of sophistication, it might be beneficial to show the actual calculations used. A lot of clients that conduct international eCommerce are working with very intricate sets of measurements, with various specific tolerances. That's certainly something that you may want to assess: is the end user looking at certain detailed measurements and tolerances to make a purchasing decision? If so, you'll probably want to provide more transparency in those cases, so that customers understand explicitly what the offering is and the base dimension set for doing the calculations.

Technically, there should be no inaccuracy beyond the rounding of decimals. It’s definitely helpful to make sure the end user has accurate information that’s readily available. In most cases though, the set of data shown to the end user is not going to require a super granular -or very technically accurate- set of dimensions and measurements.

Incorporating Industry Best Practices

The Most Appropriate Presentation for Units of Measurement and Conversions

To determine the optimal way of presenting this information, we encourage you to look at the market where you operate and adapt based on the particular needs. If some products require extremely high tolerance and data accuracy, then maybe those products should have a selector for the base units of measurement. It may even be helpful to include a table which shows the conversion data for different units of measurement that are applied to the product.

It's also possible to essentially give the end user the option to show or hide advanced data, so that they can make a personal choice as to whether or not they view a very simple or more advanced interface. This functionality can also be adaptive, based on a user’s role or particular geographic region. Since certain locations are accustomed to having more information and granular data than others, you can proactively supply additional data as needed.

Apart from geographic location, you could opt to primarily evaluate the user type and what their desired use case would be, in terms of encompassing detail. The ultimate goal whenever planning your international eCommerce presence, is to seriously ponder how the end user experience is going to be shaped. In other words, how to effectively provide an outstanding customer experience for international eCommerce.

As a bottom line and wherever possible, you want to make the data gathering minimal and calculate things intelligently. The presentation should offer the option to expand the details and highlight how conversions were performed. This view could also be tweaked, so that users can easily go back to the default setting and switch between units of measurement as they please.

In practice, if customers are used to imperial units of measurement, they will have the opportunity to just toggle back to that. It’s all about making the process easy for the end user, and by extension for your business, by finding a platform that supports these capabilities and even has them build into the application.

We certainly encourage you to reach out to Clarity eCommerce for further information. We're an international eCommerce platform that would certainly welcome the opportunity to turn on these different capabilities for your business. We also encourage you to talk with our friendly and knowledgeable team at our compliments. Our experts would love to provide you with a complimentary review call to discuss your project and provide suggestions about how to proceed.

If you identify a good match, then we'd love to provide you with resources and needs analysis as well. Finally, we encourage you to receive free support from our experienced and professional staff. You're welcome to click below and discover more details about other aspects of international eCommerce that might be applicable to your future project.

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