Coast’s head of ecommerce has warned that retailers who do not prioritise website localisation overseas will incur massive costs and could fail to attract customers.

Bianca Mercer told the Retail Week Ecommerce Summit: “Unless you get localisation right, you will waste a lot of money and pay over the odds to get going.”

According to Mercer, successful localisation means having the correct sizes of clothes for different countries, offering the correct payment methods for different markets, and ensuring retailers are aware of address format.

“If you fail to localise your site properly your conversion will be considerably lower,” she told delegates.

International website expansion is a key strand of Aurora’s multichannel strategy to drive international growth without needing to have a physical presence in every market. The fashion group has launched 26 localised websites in the last two years, with local language and payment methods tailored to each market. “There’s ecommerce growth in the UK, but to find top line retail growth one of the opportunities is going international,” Mercer said.

But, she warned, there are “different hurdles for each country that you need to be mindful of”, such as expectations around customer service, ease and cost of returns, and payment security.