International conversion


International conversion

See how Zonos affects cross-border conversion for your website.

Cross-border conversion differs from domestic ecommerce due to increased variables for translation, exotic payment options, currency conversion, duties, taxes, regulations, and fraud. These differences in cross-border sales and website marketing can increase risk and cause unforeseen pitfalls to your company’s bottom line.

Increasing conversion on your ecommerce website is still the goal, but adding the ability to ship internationally does not necessarily equate to increased revenue and enhanced resource consumption. Additional planning, goals, and support are required to get there.

Each category listed below will speak to attracting more international customers, maximizing your resources, and improving profits.

Landed cost experience 

When ecommerce retailers seek to make their site global, a landed cost that includes duty and taxes is the first step toward internationalizing. Providing a true and accurate landed cost calculation is of great value to shoppers. Correctly calculated landed cost (with duty, tax, and additional fees) can help eliminate the unnecessary emails and calls managed by your support team.

Alternatively, displaying landed cost can also have a negative impact on conversion. We know that a higher total price impacts purchase behavior. When you add the potential of another cost to the purchase, it may negatively impact your conversion rate.

However, not providing an accurate landed cost is just delaying the inevitable customs invoice the international customer will get surprised with at the door. Would you rather be transparent with customers upfront or give them costly surprises upon delivery? At the end of the day, displaying landed cost will generally increase your overall customer satisfaction scores and improve return business.

Impact on conversion

  • If you provide international shipping but do not display a landed cost, take steps to understand its impact.
  • Think about the extra resources you would need if you didn’t display a landed cost.
  • If your conversion tools go down, have a strategic plan. Be proactive, not reactive.
  • We have seen many customers successfully manage landed cost for specific countries by subsidizing the amount within the calculation rules. Including a cost buffer provides a secure method, increasing product sales while achieving the conversion metrics needed.

Maximize resources

  • When a landed cost is provided, it reduces hours of customer support time.
  • The user can receive the landed cost calculation within the prebuilt order confirmation email.

Improve profits

  • If you are comfortable managing duties and taxes for a specific country, use messaging to give shoppers confidence and increase conversion.

International shopping experience 

Zonos Hello has been specifically designed to serve the needs of international shoppers before they get to checkout. The most significant shopper loss occurs between the time they arrive on your site and before checkout. Hello’s technology is intended to improve these results.

When cross-border shoppers arrive on your site, they are greeted with a welcome message that lets them know your store does business in their country. The customer immediately recognizes they can shop and complete their purchase with peace of mind instead of having to dig around for any FAQ that indicates you do business internationally.

As shoppers browse your site, Hello can provide the ability for them to see the product total displayed in their preferred currency. This can enhance engagement by keeping shoppers from guessing what the conversion rate will be in their currency later.

Hello can also provide duty and tax estimations as your international shoppers add items to their cart to provide increased transparency of costs to expect. You can also add custom messaging within Hello to keep your shoppers informed as they navigate your website and products.

Impact on conversion

  • Pay attention to the results of a consumer seeing that price early in the purchasing decision and how it influences the conversion rate.

Maximize resources

  • Create localized custom messaging within Hello based on specific products or by country and product.

Improve profits

  • If you want to boost the likelihood that shoppers will complete their purchases on your website, adding localization features such as custom messaging and currency conversion can help. These features can keep shoppers on your site for longer periods of time and boost their confidence in making a purchase.

Checkout experience 

An international checkout that caters to foreign consumers enhances buying confidence and improves international customer conversion. There are several areas to consider for how the overall Zonos Checkout experience can optimize your website for cross-border.

  • Landed Cost (duties, taxes, and fees) - Our core product is built into the Checkout experience and will display the full landed cost at checkout, including duty, tax, and shipping fees. Transparency means zero surprises for international shoppers, increasing trust and confidence in your business.

  • Language - Checkout has the ability to translate the checkout page in their preferred language. For shoppers, the checkout process is the most significant part of the overall shopping experience and acts as the focal point for the customer’s financial and final buying decision.

  • Currency - Give customers the ability to complete their purchase in the currency they are familiar with using Zonos. Also, each country has a favored payment method, so provide your customers with the payment method options they prefer. Currency conversion and localized payment methods will drastically improve your chances of converting visitors into customers.

  • Multiple shipping options - International shipping is a lot different from domestic. The latter focuses more on no cost or extremely low-cost shipping to drive conversion; however, international more often than not will be on the higher end with costs. Improve conversion by giving customers a choice with multiple shipping options at checkout. Zonos is carrier-agnostic, so you can provide the carriers you want and as many options as you’d like to display.

  • Rate and service level pricing - Once you have your carrier(s) selected, you must consider the rate. Is your pricing strategy rate-based, flat-based, or flexible rules-based pricing? Zonos can help set or pull in rates based on your strategy.

    • Rate-based pricing will display service and rate options based on the provided shipping calculations. Shoppers are charged the calculated amount and get their packages delivered without surprises.
    • Flat-based pricing begins by determining a flat rate to cover all or most of your shipping costs. With the right profit margin, the shopper has a cleaner and easier buying decision. Make sure you are not undercharging the market as this may negatively impact profits.
    • Flexible or rules-based pricing will enable you to quickly calculate shipping prices based on country, product type, product brand, or a combination of products and product totals.
  • Shipping and billing addresses - Avoid confusion by providing correct internationally-localized address fields at checkout with Zonos. Many consumers will jump ship if they get confused while filling in their shipping or billing information. Additionally, incorrect address completion can make packages difficult (if not impossible) to deliver, causing a negative impact on an organization.

  • Fraud - Too often, non-fraudulent buyers are excluded from purchasing based on the fraud tools provided by payment processors. Losing purchases due to fraud can cause a negative impact on conversion. Zonos has Fraud Coverage that can screen your buyers without excluding your non-fraudulent ones.

  • Custom messaging - Conversion is negatively influenced when a shopper becomes distracted or looks for answers to typical questions but cannot find the answer at that moment. The right messaging, in the right place and time, impacts the consumer’s engagement and eventual purchase decision. As you evaluate your consumer’s shopping experience, ask shoppers and your employees what didn’t they know and what would they like to know, that wasn’t available during the shopping process.

Impact on conversion

  • Understand how displaying a landed cost during the checkout experience will affect your business. If you do not provide a landed cost, what extra resources will be required to manage refused packages and international inquiries?
  • Checkout provides translation services on the checkout page, order-shipping confirmation emails, and abandoned cart recovery in 19 different languages, representing primary languages of 152 countries.
  • Consider if USD may convert better than the shopper’s local currency based on current exchange rates.
  • Always present multiple shipping options and lead with your lowest-priced option to drive conversion.
  • If you can provide a flat rate, consider it but also pay close attention to your margins.
  • Consider getting your address fields translated at checkout. The proper address increases consumer confidence and keeps customers on the right track.
  • Fraud tools should not only stop a purchase, they should allow the valid ones too.
  • Well-placed and properly-translated messaging keeps shoppers engaged.

Maximize resources

  • Landed cost transparency reduces customer support hours and resources.
  • Having a translated checkout may cause international customers to expect a more global level of support, but these shoppers are also savvy enough to use translation tools on the internet and typically use them for email correspondence. Prepare your customer support group with some conversion apps to translate international emails.
  • Zonos Checkout includes currency conversion to improve shopper support with minimal resources.
  • Be diligent about reducing the dimensional sizes when shipping. Work with your logistics provider to figure out the best options. A little extra warehouse work can save money.
  • Getting the correct address fields at checkout reduces the number of resources necessary to fix errors, reship packages, or refund cancellations.
  • When you have the right tools in place, you can eliminate fraud risk and maximize the opportunity for sales and conversion.
  • Take the time during setup and after you go live to enrich your messaging. Continually refine, measure, and improve. When developing international marketing plans, look at custom messaging as a method of connecting with your shoppers and customers.

Improve profits

  • Understand that landed cost may be different by country. Your strategy should align with your marketing and revenue goals.
  • With language services available during the checkout experience, you can worry less about where you are doing business and focus more on how you can increase profits.
  • Localized currency conversion can improve your bottom line.
  • Pay attention to your shipping options and rates. Don’t let unplanned changes and losses negatively sneak up on you.
  • The billing address is an essential piece of the puzzle for international ecommerce so making sure the fields are localized for your specific international shoppers is vital to your business.
  • When you have the right tools in place, you are mitigating the risk of fraud and maximizing the opportunity for sales and conversion.
  • Custom messaging helps create higher conversion leading to increased profits.


  • International ecommerce is a long-term strategy. When engaging in discussions about domestic conversion, see how those ideas, concepts, or tools will help international engagement and conversion. Identify those conversion stoppers and continue to develop and tweak your strategy for success. Continually look to adjust, measure, and improve.

  • Focus on increasing your amount of repeat customers. International shoppers want confirmation that they can trust where they made a purchase. Once they have found a trusted source, they are far more likely to repeat the purchase experience. It is easier to market to existing customers than find new customers. Repeat customers can lead to higher revenue and profits, helping you meet and exceed your company’s revenue targets.

  • The value of money is not the same between countries. Currency fluctuation can impact the final price and landed cost of a product. If the purchase price is higher than competitive standards, conversion may drop.

  • Pay attention to exchange rates with your top countries. Record the trends between your top countries and the related conversion rates. This information will allow you to improve the process of forecasting conversion and revenue for your business.

Frequently asked questions 

Will Zonos increase conversion for my international orders?

Our products can help you increase conversion, but improving the amount of international orders will depend on many variables. Landed cost calculations provide more transparency for your customers and saves resources by eliminating the pains of refused packages and costly surprises upon delivery. However, displaying landed cost means showing higher prices, which can also impact conversion if the price is a major factor for your international shopper’s buying decisions. Weigh your options and the consequences, and make sure you understand the impact of displaying landed cost calculations.

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