Technology has wedged its way into becoming an essential part of our everyday purchase activities. It’s expedited delivery, salvaged cravings of instant gratification, served as a resource in the form of reviews and most importantly, it’s established a blue ocean of endless choices to consumers located in every corner of the world.
Known as eCommerce, this online global retail marketplace is nowhere near a moot point in its efforts to colonize us. The power of digital retail stems from a brand’s ability to understand the varying patterns of behavior amongst global consumers, guided by native culture, environmental characteristics and context.
Also known as localization, online brands who are looking to grow beyond a virtual mom and pop, need to take eCommerce localization strategies into account to measure up against major eCommerce brands. As the key instrument being utilized by major brands today, localization is a game changer that is supercharging brands in their efforts to capture heightened demand stemming from the onset of the global pandemic.
What is eCommerce Localization?
Simply put, eCommerce localization is what was once watermarked as a day out to your local shopping center and now understood as a quick visit to your phone. You visit an online retailer because if you could, you’d visit this same brand in-person. They get you, your needs and explicitly demonstrate this in every part of your experience with their brand.
It’s that but on a larger scale with reach and tentacles into more than just one local market. Some of which reside within the brand country of origin and others which do not.
The prerequisite in making this all happen is deep mastery, turned into action, of every single audience a brand wants to reach, down to the very last detail.
These stats collected by AI-powered localization platform BLEND reveal the uptake of localization efforts used by the Top 50 global brands as of July 2021:
- 46% of the top 50 websites offer more than four language choices to their overall audience to enable a localized and native experience.
- Sixteen of the top fifty brands attract more than 20% of website traffic from external countries.
- Samsung, Shein, and Apple all offer their websites in over 30 languages worldwide, drawing over 50% of their site traffic from foreign markets.
- China-based eCommerce vendor AliExpress receives a whopping 91% of its web visits from foreign traffic around the world, with its greatest chunk of web traffic coming from Brazil.
- The eponymous Netherlands-based travel merchant Booking.com receives a similarly impressive 85% percent of its web traffic from foreign visitors as well and is available in 49 languages with its most popular consumer base in the United States.
- The top five eCommerce websites ranked by share of traffic from external countries are: Aliexpress, Steams, Booking.com, Samsung, and Ikea.
According to Inmar Intelligence, 91% of people make their holiday purchase at the last minute.
As the season is upon us, if you’re in a pickle chances are you will likely not turn to a brand whose website is in a foreign language. You will also not likely visit an eCommerce retailer that offers an unfamiliar customer experience vis-à-vis their website, and you will certainly not buy from a brand that hasn’t tailored their offerings to your needs.
While a brand may have what you need, available and ready for purchase in plain sight, if it doesn’t connect with you on a fundamental level, well, it’s not getting your money.
Major players within the eCommerce space have localization down to a science. AliExpress is one of those brands who is moving at lightspeed in its exertion of localization efforts across different facets of the company. Their Livestreaming translation service in real-time is just one example of what Aliexpress is doing to remain ahead of the competition. In 2020 the company announced its elaborate localization plan to cater to global audiences who already purchase from the behemoth and who are situated in over 200 countries and regions.
“Samsung, Shein, and Apple all offer their websites in over 30 languages worldwide, drawing over 50% of their site traffic from foreign markets,” says Yair Tal, CEO of BLEND. “We see this trend of global multilingual expansion among large brands and small sellers alike, and COVID-19 had a lot to do with it. From a pound of tomatoes to a brand-new Tesla, shoppers, regardless of age or previous shopping habits, adapted their habits to suit the new pandemic-shaped retail reality and they prefer brands that speak their language.”
As your business begins to expand, so will its presence. To avoid missed opportunities of engagement with prospective customers, your brand needs to be miles ahead in the execution of its localization plan. To be one of the few who can capture a new consumer base that’s guarded by local diversity and a focal point for thousands of other brands, the best way to stand out is by blending in.