Going global offers the opportunity to make a claim in international markets that are ripe with new potential customers. It is a strategic move and there are some considerations to make before you make the final decision:
- Am I taking into account the cultural element of my international eCommerce websites?
- How important is it to my customers?
- What can I do about it if I’m unsure?
On many occasions, SDL has been approached by retailers looking to go global to give feedback and professional analysis on their international website; to provide direction on the cultural elements; and keep their global brand message consistent and ‘alive’ in multiple languages. Enabling businesses to deliver relevant eCommerce content and language solutions for a superior digital shopping experience is what SDL does with the SDL eCommerce Language Platform. In this blog post, we’ll explore the cultural impact on your new target market.
Previous studies have demonstrated that certain factors of a country-specific website represent an important aspect of an internationalisation strategy. For instance, it has been found that cultural differences in cognitive content tend to impact upon online customer references in general and their search for information on websites in particular.
Language is a vital component of culture and it ought to be noted that regional variations can be totally different. A simple, but often overlooked, example is that in some cultures, we tend to nod to suggest “yes” and shake our heads to suggest “no”. However, in other cultures, such as Bulgaria, this response pattern is reversed. Something that could be easily missed if you plan on embedding video/rich media on your website.
Another area to review are idioms or figures of speech. For example, (as has been witnessed on a seasonal fashion website) “it’s raining cats and dogs” is an old English phrase, which may confuse other cultures that would perhaps struggle to understand that cats and dogs aren’t literally falling from the sky.
Neologisms, or buzz words, are also becoming more popular in today’s language. Neologism is defined as ‘a new word or a new use for an old word, or the act of making up new words’. With the proliferation of technology, words such as ‘vlogs’ or ’webinar’ are examples of neologisms that may not translate accurately.
These are some of the smaller cultural complexities that are out there in the localisation minefield, and taking into account certain cultural aspects enables your website visitors to understand and engage with your brand and ultimately take a step closer to converting into a customer. With the SDL ecommerce Language Platform, you will be in a better position to master these complexities and deliver relevant eCommerce content quickly and seamlessly.