Practicology & TranslateMedia release research identifying localization opportunities for global online retailers.
“The retail industry is still in the early stages of defining strategies for localization.”
Cross-border eCommerce has always been a major challenge for brands and retailers. This report shows that while global retailers have invested heavily in localization and have largely succeeded in presenting users with content in their own language, there are still many opportunities available to increase visibility and improve the customer experience in some of the major eCommerce markets around the world.
The report analyses the approaches to localization for 51 US retail websites in Australia, Japan, Mexico and for 42 UK retailers for Australia, France, Germany and the USA to see how the approaches differ between the different countries, cultures and languages.
The report assesses UK and US retailers’ localization efforts in a number of areas including: use of language across the site, merchandising and offers, mobile optimisation, search engine optimisation, social media, customer services, delivery and returns, pricing and payment.
Differences in URL structure and meta data localisation
It also appears that UK retailers appear to take a lot more care to completely localize their meta data for the US market (76%) than the Americans do for the UK (48%).
Localized mobile sites preferred over apps for UK retailers
Just 16% of UK retailers reviewed have created a German or French app, but 88% offer a German mobile or responsive site and 92% offer mobile or responsive sites in French.
Local customer service still a challenge
Retailers still have a long way to go in providing local customer service, even in English-speaking regions. E.g. only 32% of UK retailers definitely provide customer service to Australian online customers within Australian business hours.
Practicology Head of Internationalisation Nicola Huet said of the report findings:
“We can see both UK and US retailers have invested in localising their international websites in the last few years as a way of driving cross-border online sales growth. However, we feel that there are clear opportunities to localise further, and provide a truly localised customer experience for their international customers in key markets.”