Think Firefox For International Sales

    December 11, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

An American-based online entrepreneur may be willing and capable of handling sales to European destinations, but their websites need to be able to properly handle visits from those prospective customers who may likely arrive via the Firefox browser.

An entire business world exists beyond the borders of sea to shining sea in America. Businesses from small operations to giant multinationals have found customers in the US. There could be plenty more customers just waiting for the chance to spend money on one’s site when international sales open.

It’s important to welcome these visitors as professionally and effectively as possible. For sites that have been around for a while, or even new ones whose developers have built a site first and foremost to look nice in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Firefox users arriving from abroad may see something different.

It could be very subtle, such as a piece of CSS code that works fine in accounting for something viewed in IE, but looks decidely odd in Firefox. The non-IE audience, particularly those coming from Europe, should be actively considered.

Search marketing firm Xiti Monitor of France has found plenty of users in Europe favor Firefox. A map appearing in The Inquirer showed usage ranging from around 13 to 40 percent by country in Europe.

Scandinavian countries and those in Central Europe showed usage by a quarter or more of their Internet-using populations. On average, the report noted 23.2 percent of Europe uses Firefox.

The entrepreneurs who have currency conversions, bonded warehouses, and shipping arrangements all in place for the Continental customer should be sure to fire up Firefox and walk through the site before opening or reopening it to international business.

If that walkthrough doesn’t yield the same seamless experience to the customer, it will be important to fix that. There is no good reason to jeopardize the potential in gaining a loyal customer by failing to catch something that looks good in IE, and not so good in Firefox.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.