Sunday, July 15, 2012

How are brands adapting websites for international markets?


Creating websites that target different international markets is about more than just translation. Content needs to be localised, while web designs that adapt to local audiences can be more effective. 
There are cultural differences which will affect how your site performs overseas. In Sweden, for instance, simplicity and speed of use are all important, whereas the French online shopper prefers a more design-led experience. 
Here are some examples of brands that have adapted their websites to appeal to foreign markets, including some taken from our Internationalisation of E-commerce Best Practice Guide, 

Technology and design challenges for internationalisation

Same platform?
Will your existing e-commerce platform provide you with the ability to create localised online propositions?
Content management
Do you have a separate content management system (CMS) or a CMS capability built in your current platform? An effective CMS will make life easier by allowing you to make a change to a master template, which can then be deployed to all country variations.
It will make global search optimisation exponentially more effective by eliminating problems on a global scale rather than requiring individual country-level remediation.
Variances in design and user experience for different countries
See the Adidas examples below. There are many similarities and the design has the feel of a global template. However, the promotions, products featured and the language used were very much tailored towards the needs of the local market.
Variances in shopping behaviour
Different aspects of the customer journey have varying levels of importance for consumers from different markets. Therefore the user experience needs to take account of these variances.
Examples
Here are five examples of brands and retailers, showing how they have adapted their sites to cater for different foreign markets.
Some have very different site designs, some have used a similar design but have adapted content and promotions, while Amazon just does what Amazon does... 

McDonald's

Compare the UK version of the site, which is relatively sparse and is promoting its Olympics sponsorship. 

In China, the site is much busier, a video plays automatically when you visit the page, while prices and offers are clearly displayed: 

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