Daily Insights

How to Optimize Local Content and Commerce for Global Scale

By: Evan Bakker | Dec 10, 2019

As e-commerce matures in core business-to-consumer (B2C) categories across the globe,

established brands have a wealth of choices for expansion into new regions. However, the plethora of distribution models and local variables open the need for tactical approaches when targeting content, features or capabilities in a particular geography—defined as “localization”—on brand sites, social media, and email. These channels remain crucial content and commerce hubs that can drive acquisition, conversion, and retention even in the face of scalable marketplace opportunities, according to Gartner L2’s latest Localization report

Brands are moving iteratively to render their sites locally relevant; for example, while 98% of analyzed brand sites translate homepage navigation for a specific region, 44% of brand sites with video do not showcase local languages, subtitles or production assets. Although site templates can help brands achieve scale—49% of brands had a consistent site template across all their respective analyzed regions—content still needs to resonate, necessitating local asset creation.

Likewise, brands need to differentiate their commerce strategy, outsourcing to marketplaces in APAC regions while pushing to check out on brand sites in Western ones. Brands need to top off their sites with a digital marketing agenda that leverages global social media platforms and email while infusing sufficient local context to maximize performance.

On a regional level, there are promising signs that brands’ localization strategies have matured. Europe-based sites, for instance, have seen significant improvements in key areas like buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and free shipping. Fifty-five percent of France-based sites now offer BOPIS, compared to 24% in 2017, and 97% of Germany-based sites provide free shipping, compared to 77% two years before. Furthermore, 96% of Brazil-based sites now feature translated creative copy on the homepage, up from 88%.

The third Gartner L2 Intelligence Report: Localization 2019 covers 92 brands representing four sectors, including two retailers, and identifies best practices in optimizing sites, social media and email channels for local audiences across seven countries—the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Brazil, Japan and China.