Most of us have started our web sites with a focus on a United States audience – easy to do (regarding culture, language, etc). However, when considering making your web site for an international audience, things can be very different.
Sure, anyone around the world can view your web site and many people speak English, but if you are TARGETING an audience in France, Russia or South Africa it is best, of course, to make a local web site for that particular audience and this is where things could get tricky.
I would HIGHLY recommend you read Startupjournal.com’s VERY good article on this topic. It covers issues such as fraud, different payment systems, legal and regulatory practices and more.
Startupjournal.com writes Many retailers overestimate their own strengths and underestimate local competition. Others learn the hard way that a successful U.S. formula doesn’t always translate to other markets. Then there are a host of other potential pitfalls, from complex tax laws to different cultural attitudes about credit cards to language barriers. Web veterans say the best solution is to bring in seasoned local partners to teach you the nuances of the market and shepherd you through the rules and regulations.
When Handango Inc., of Hurst, Texas, began moving into Asian markets several years ago, “we realized we needed someone on the street to hold our hand,” says Clint Patterson, vice president of marketing for the maker of smart-phone and wireless-network software. “We didn’t understand what purchasing methods would be popular or even what kinds of content. We didn’t have a local taste.”
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