Localization of the Omni-Channel Experience

iStock_000069706991_LargeWelocalize recently attended eTail 2016 West Conference held in Palm Springs, California, February 22-26, 2016. It represented an opportunity to engage in conversation and share localization best practices with clients and colleagues involved in global e-commerce and online retail activities.

The eTail West 2016 event brought together over 2,500 retail professionals from several different industries and focused on some of the most talked about topics in the industry. These topics included: social media strategy, website aesthetics, mobile marketing strategies, in-store marketing strategies.

Welocalize experts were able to discuss strategies on how organizations can expand global reach through multilingual digital marketing solutions for web and in-store as well as mobile apps, SEO, app store optimization (ASO), pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and social media.

Here are some of the hot topics and key discussions that took place at the event:

#1: Omni-Channel Approach has Many Touch Points

There are many various ways e-tailers and retailers alike leverage all the different customer touch points to develop a holistic customer experience. From measuring a customer’s reactions when they visit a retailer website, to the various channels that are used to direct a potential buyer to make a purchase. Some of the biggest challenges are measuring the ROI for the chosen marketing strategy, and identifying the best practices for monitoring conversion rates for each marketing methodology and campaign. Due to the highly competitive nature of the consumer and retail industry, conducting business in one country, with an omni-channel approach, has many challenges.

Note: The definition of omni-channel is to take a multi-channel (touch point) approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by phone or in a storefront retail property.

#2: Going Global is Challenging

When you introduce global markets, for example for retailers wanting to expand outside of the United States, each retailer is faced with a whole new set of challenges to overcome. In several of the discussions at the event, when discussing global growth and customer retention, that overall opinion was quite bleak. This came as no surprise as the challenges to get the omni-channel approach correct in the United States are overwhelming and competitive enough, let alone in other countries.

The message here is to have no fear! Working with a multilingual marketing agency is very powerful, for domestic and international markets, and relatively inexpensive way to perform A&B testing in other countries to track the ROI. For example, if you have an email campaign that has a conversion rate that meets the benchmark for success in the US, this can be successfully delivered in new markets. With the right multilingual digital marketing agency, you can appropriately localize and recreate content to meet language and cultural requirements, aesthetics, and overall brand message within the email campaign. A specialist agency can work with you to determine what success factors will be the benchmark to realize the ROI of localizing the campaign into other languages and target markets.

#3: Where Do I Get the Budget to Go Global?

Many e-tailers face challenges in terms of securing budget for their own marketing activities within the omni-channel experience. How does the social media director make a business case to implement a social media campaign in German and Spanish? Is a ‘like’ on a Facebook versus a retweet versus a click-through on a banner ad, more or less valuable than having portions of your website translated? What will ultimately give your customers the best online and in-store experience?

The reality is that there is no silver bullet when it comes to knowing what your own brand’s multilingual omni-channel approach will be. The message at eTail West was loud and clear. The customer journey is always dictated by the customer. Each investment for localization and translation services needs to have a measurable output and this is achievable when working with multilingual digital marketing campaigns.

With global brand clients, including many in the consumer, e-commerce and retail sector, Welocalize first understands the critical business objective driving the need for translation and works to establish the most appropriate service line to ensure the critical business objective is met. Whether you are looking to increase revenue in China by 10%, or reduce customer complaints in Portugal by 90%, each goal must be recorded and tracked to ensure your multilingual approach is working. This will get you the business results the C-suite management is most interested in and that will get you the right levels of budget approval.

#4: How Do I Keep the WHOLE Customer Experience Consistent?

I made a sale in China! So how do my customer support teams speak with my non-English speaking customer now? Another big discussion at eTail West was consideration for how the customer service department and after-sales support will augment to serve non-English speaking customers. If an email campaign has worked in new language markets and has resulted in sales, you now have paying customers in another country that need product support in their native language. Hiring a dedicated bilingual customer service representative is an expensive investment.

There are inexpensive ways to apply an automated language translation to product queries coming in from your overseas customers. The right language services partner will help guide you through the most effective way to handle non-English customer service queries.

Welocalize understands that any investment to translate portions of the omni-channel experience require foresight and a business case to justify the investment. Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide, helps global brands reach international markets through the cultural adaptation of content on multiple digital marketing channels. Whether it’s multilingual social media campaigns, email campaigns, web and mobile content, transcreation and copywriting or international SEO, CRO or ASO, Welocalize combines digital expertise and language services to help you take the best steps forward to growing globally and reaching new customers.

matt gaitan 2016Did you attend eTail West? I’d love to hear your comments. Drop me an email matt.gaitan@welocalize.com. If you want further information on Welocalize’s Adapt Worldwide multilingual digital marketing solutions, click here.


Based in Portland, USA, Matt Gaitan is Regional Enterprise Sales Director at Welocalize.