Fourth Source: Meeting Global Customer Demands with Localized Experiences Across Channels*

Kuala Lumpur, Capital of Malaysia. Photo: Baltic Media

Local cultures and preferences are typically accounted for in brick-and-mortar stores, but these intricacies are often not reflected online. However, recent global research from GfK shows why retailers can no longer think of in-store and online shopping as separate entities.

Shoppers across the globe indicated that they are engaging with the online experience while in stores – using mobile devices to compare prices, contact family or friends for advice and take photos of products they might buy.
According to this research, shoppers in South Korea, China and Turkey are the most likely to compare prices in-store on their mobile phones, with 59, 54 and 53 percent respectively saying they regularly do this. Additionally, shoppers in Mexico, Poland and Turkey are the most likely to use their mobile phones to contact a friend or family member for advice while in a store, with 55, 53 and 52 percent respectively claiming they regularly do this.

With globally dispersed shoppers proactively bringing their online and in-store experiences together, retailers need to ensure they are offering a consistent, localized experience both physically and digitally. Too often, language is an afterthought, but in today’s increasingly global economy, retailers that can replicate the in-store experience and achieve a localized approach to online shopping will have a significant advantage over those who do not.

Contextual online shopping experiences are particularly important when it comes to reaching digitally savvy millennial shoppers. It is projected that this generation will soon reach $2.45 trillion in global spending power, so engaging with them should be a major priority for retailers. In a survey of 1,800 millennials worldwide, SDL found that language plays a critical role in how this important demographic makes purchasing decisions.
The findings reveal that being culturally sensitive goes a long way when looking to engage with these younger and digitally savvy consumers.

However, successfully localizing online customer experiences can be more complex than it appears. To succeed at localization, it is critical for brands to target consumers in their native, not geographic language. Even within the same country, consumers live in multilingual settings.

In the United States, for instance, one in four millennials reported that they speak another language at home. In other English-speaking countries, this ratio climbs to 32 percent. Retailers need to be highly sensitive to this and avoid making assumptions based on geographic location, as reaching consumers in their local language presents an opportunity to successfully connect with many more consumers. If organizations embrace a localization strategy that goes beyond geographic boundaries to connect with customers through culture and conversation, it becomes much easier to establish trust and build brand loyalty.

Link to the full article HERE
*Paige O'Neill
Paige O’Neill is Chief Marketing Officer of SDL.