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11 Jul 2016

Expanding your business into multiple countries

Within this article we explore setting up an existing Evance website as a multi-regional site supporting multiple countries, currencies and languages. Best of all, you do not need additional Evance subscriptions or any additional plug-ins.

Evance has been designed to create a multi-regional websites quickly, whilst following best practice principles.

How to set-up a multi-regional website

Firstly, you need to have an appropriate Evance subscription that supports multi-national settings. If you are unsure you can contact your account manager and they'll be more than happy to advise you. 

Evance allows you to create a multi-national presence directly within one account - no need for multiple Evance subscriptions. We do this utilising something called "locales". A locale contains regional information about your company. 

Default locale

When first creating an Evance account you'll create a default locale describing your country, language, currency, timezone and tax preferences. Let's imagine a UK retailer looking to expand into the US market.

Country United Kingdom
Language English International
Timezone Europe/London
Currency GBP - UK Pounds
Pricing Including Tax

Adding a new locale

In this example we'd add a new US locale. Within Evance you would do this within the Settings → Channel Settings for your default Channel. Within the Target Locales section you can add a new locale for the US, for example:

Country United States
Language English
Timezone America / New York
Currency USD - US Dollars
Pricing Excluding Tax

Once you have added the new locale you're good to go. Your website will replicate all of your content on a web address using the correct hreflang meta tags. All of your prices will be converted into USD from GBP using our built-in currency converter, but if you'd prefer to set your prices explicitly then you can.

Choose to set prices in multiple currencies explicitly

By default Evance will convert currency using a built-in currency converter. We call this implied pricing. Whilst in this mode your prices in GBP will be converted into USD when a USD price is unavailable. This is not always desirable for all websites and you may opt to explicitly set all prices in USD. You can turn explicit pricing on in Settings → Currencies. When a USD price is unavailable the products will be treated as "price available upon request". 

The price is what your visitors pay

Evance follows the principle that what the visitor sees is what they pay. So you will need to ensure that your payment gateway can accept payments in the currencies you are applying within your account. 

Translating into other languages

The US has a large Spanish speaking population so we could add an additional locale, which will allow you to translate your pages within your Evance CMS into Spanish. We can add another US locale exactly the same as the last but with the language set to Spanish. Your website will replicate all of your content on a web address using the correct hreflang meta tags. Evance does not translate your web pages for you. Automated translation systems won't give you the best results, so it's always best to have your web pages translated professionally.

Now you have a website set-up for your default international website, a US website in English and a US website in Spanish. Depending on your website's theme users should be able to choose which locale they wish to browse in a similar way to large sites such as Apple or Microsoft.

Geolocating visitors

When a visitor first lands on your website you may wish to redirect them to their nearest localised version of your website. Within the same screen as adding your locales you can add geo-targeting. For your US English website you can add United States and Canada. For your US Spanish website you can add Mexico. You've now created landing pages for United States, Canada and Mexico in addition to the rest of the World (your default website). 

Your Evance locale settings may begin to resemble:

Wait, there's more...

In fact, the multi-regional set-up options allow you to restrict products, pages or categories to all, one or more locales. 

The time savings are stacking up

We continue to expand support for multi-regional websites, but the system already saves you time:

  • Operate a multi-regional website from one Evance account.
  • No need to duplicate your theme. Most themes now support translatable regions as standard. Where necessary you can simply edit your existing theme to suit your needs. 
  • No need to duplicate your products. You can define whether products are available across all regions or specific ones. 
  • No need to migrate or duplicate pages or categories. You can define their visibility across all regions or specific ones. 
  • Currency conversion is built-in and available by default if you want it. 
  • Geo-targeting is available by default with no add-on required. 
  • Link localisation within your content and theme is largely automated. 
  • Google's best practices for rel-alternate-hreflang is automated, you don't need to do anything to set it up. 
  • Works with a number of existing payment providers. 
  • No need for multiple Google Analytics profiles. 
  • All of your existing customers have access to new regions using their existing credentials - no need for multiple sign-ups. 

If you would like set-up advice for transforming into a multi-regional website why not contact us and we'll be happy to help. 

  Tagged as : Features and Updates, Selling Online

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