Market Insights
Business localization: why does this factor matter so much?
Business localization is fundamental for Latin American consumers to decide to purchase from your company. From language to payment method options, see how to better carry out the strategy.
Business localization: why does this factor matter so much?
Mariana González Senior Marketing Analyst – PagSeguro Mariana González

Business localization is fundamental for Latin American consumers to decide to purchase from your company. See how to better carry out the strategy.


Expanding a business to Latin American countries can be challenging, especially when the target market and its particularities are not yet well known. Therefore, before taking a risk in this new endeavor, it is essential to outline a good strategy so that objectives are met and errors are minimized.

For this strategy to work correctly, it is important to know the new consumers as a whole — which includes language, customs, shopping habits, and other characteristics. At this point, obtaining information such as the most used payment methods, for example, is fundamental to succeed.

In this context, business localization is an essential tool for consumers to be able to enjoy new products and services without major issues, since adapting to the local culture brings each party — consumers and merchants — together.

Did you know that business localization as a whole can positively affect an expansion strategy's performance? Learn more about it below.

What is business localization?

Business localization is an expansion strategy where the products and services offered by the company are localized to a foreign, specific audience.

In other words, this strategy should be adopted when language and cultural barriers become a challenge to business expansion. Thus, betting on localization — adapting content, products, and processes to the local culture — has great potential to strengthen relationships between supplier and customer.

This strategy will ensure that user experience is more in tune with the profile of local consumers, since identification with the brand is a very important issue for potential customers.

How important is localization for business expansion?

One of the reasons why business localization is so important has to do with the consumer's need to understand and connect with the product they want to buy.

When a brand speaks your language (and we don't only mean literally) and offers a quick and appropriate experience at all points of consumption, it generates more trust and, consequently, more interest in buying (and buying again) from that supplier.

A company that neglects localization will be losing out to local competitors — who know their audience very well — and might not stand a chance alongside international competitors who do apply localization strategies in their expansion plan.

Localization also encompasses payment processes, such as the payment methods most used by the local population and their purchase preferences. Understanding that localization goes far beyond translating content is critical to understanding the potential that this strategy can bring to businesses.

What does it take to be successful in this process?

Understanding that localization is critical to business expansion is the first step. From there on out, it is necessary to look at the target market and the habits of potential consumers in order to build an efficient strategy.

This task is not that simple in Latin America, as this region is very diverse in many aspects: language, culture, customs, the most used payment methods, and very specific regulations.

Despite this, check out some crucial information about business localization in this region below to outline the best strategy.

Learn local consumption habits

Latin Americans are very diverse, and that means getting to know them country by country in order to arrive at a consumption profile that is as specific as possible.

However, they do share some consumer traits. For example, using mobile devices to access social media, play games and buy online is a characteristic observed among a large part of this connected population.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that Latin Americans prefer local payment methods, especially for cultural and currency reasons. In this regard, it is necessary to know the most used choices in the countries of interest so that a more specific and effective scenario can be designed.

Invest in each country's local payment methods

As mentioned earlier, each Latin American country has its own local payment methods, from domestic credit cards to instant payments and cash-based vouchers. Furthermore, the fact that a large part of the Latin American population does not have access to internationally-enabled credit cards reinforces the need for local payments.

In Brazil, for example, instant payment method Pix quickly became one of the most used by Brazilians. With a large share of consumers who prefer this payment method, it makes perfect sense to offer it to customers: accounting for 15% of all e-commerce in 2021, the rate will reach 31% by 2025, according to BoaCompra's Digital Renaissance in Latin America white paper.

Meanwhile, domestic credit cards lead e-commerce payments in the region, taking up 30% of total sales volume, also according to BoaCompra's study. Without them, therefore, you would reach a very small share considering all the consumer potential in the region.

Despite this, it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. There are ready-made solutions for those who want to make use of local payment methods in their expansion strategy without major complications — BoaCompra Payment Processing Solution is one of them, allowing foreign companies to offer over 140 local payment methods in 17 Latin American countries.

Create strategies to combat fraud in Latin America

Doing business in Latin America is a great opportunity for expansion. Even so, it is necessary to know a little more about issues related to the security of commercial transactions.

The region has a high rate of fraud attempts, which can be a problem for entrepreneurs that are not familiar with the local market. To solve this problem, it's important to establish partnerships with companies that have the expertise to deal with these matters without major complications, understanding the behavior of fraudsters and acting in a preventive way.

Having this partnership is essential in an expansion strategy, as it will ensure greater protection for both consumers and the company. That way, the most complicated and bureaucratic issues will be managed by those who know the problem closely, and you can focus on your core business.

Localize your customer service as well

It's no use having an excellent product, but failing in customer service — which also needs to be considered within business localization. A business strategy that does not value a great customer experience at all stages, including support, can lose a lot of sales due to this mistake.

As already mentioned in this post, Latin Americans need to trust and understand what they are buying. Offering customer service in the local language is a great alternative to retaining these people and ensuring complete satisfaction, from the beginning to the end of the purchase cycle. This should be a concern for anyone who wants to expand their business to this region.

In addition, excellent and well-localized customer service also considers the target audience of the services, whether a young gamer or an elderly person who is a consumer of luxury items, and their specificities in the search for support.

Finally, it is essential to understand the best channels for communication, according to the target country. When selling to Brazil, for example, providing service via WhatsApp is very important.

Therefore, ensure that customer support channels are also considered when implementing a business location strategy. This will help set you aside from the competition.

Regardless of your market, expanding your business can be an arduous task. In order for this process to be smoother and as successful as possible, there is nothing better than counting on the help of those who are experts in countries that you are interested in expanding to.

So, count on BoaCompra's solutions for foreign merchants aiming to successfully sell to Latam. Want to know more about how we can help you boost sales to the fast-rising Latam market? Then get in touch with us by clicking below:

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