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WEBINAR OVERVIEW What does it really take to reach global customers to convert sales?

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In a recent InternetRetailing webinar, What does it really take to reach global customers to convert sales? we heard from Jesper Larson, partner director EMEA at inRiver, and Aoife McIlraith, senior director global search and marketing services at Lionbridge on what’s involved in going international, with a particular focus on sharing product information across borders. Here’s a bulletpoint overview of the event.

Jesper Larsen of inRiver opened the webinar with an introduction to inRiver.

• He focused on the challenge of scaling business to communicate to many different markets, for different languages but also potentially as they move from B2B to B2C.

• B2B very much about managing more variations of the products. Local variations, with different combinations of hardware and software, and with a long-tail assortment from drop-ship suppliers.

• Channels: growing in numbers, retail channels as well as international and external solutions such as point of sale.

• Industries: wholesale may require different specific formats, creating another channel for product information.

• Used to be the case that companies produced products and content and just broadcast it. Today have to think from the consumer perspective.

• Empowered consumer is running the show, deciding what to search for.

• What kind of criteria are customers using when they search for a product? Important to monitor, search for consumer behaviour.

• Search and evaluate is very much where more information comes in before the customer looks at conversion phase. Start to invest in digitalisation from the front-end but then becomes obvious they lack the information they need to support that.

• Personal example: my hybrid

• Great customer experience: what’s valuable data? Must be correct, consistent and desirable.

• Three basic rules for data: keep information clean, give it context, don’t include too much channel-specific context.

• Process: enrich, plan & releaes, publish.

Aoife McIlraith of Lionbridge started with an introduction to Lionbridge.

• Importance of translation in a world where English is a native tongue for 17 out of 196 markets; world is 5-6% English-speaking.

• Important that digital natives localise content.

• Need to address all markets, which can be complex.

• Partners and agencies witth multilingual at the core should be able to help.

• Look at translation, transforming the process to reach a global customer.

• Can’t be an afterthought: needs to be part of the original business strategy

• Manual to digital: manual processes in large sets of content that need a PIM like inRiver.

• Optimise project delivery processes.

• Big believers in the all market approaching fundamental to measurable and sustainable ROI across markets.

• How much time, effort, budget and resources do you and your company dedicate to home market? If you took them out would you have the results that you want to scale in other markets. Need to view every market on a per market basis.

• Doesn’t work to reuse English strategy in new markets for global customers.

• Processes for succeeding in all markets

• English centric may break in other markets: text in German may break the design since expands by up to 30%

• PIMs systems help to get content into other languages, store it and publish it.

• Buying patterns; 72% spend most or all time in websites in own language; 72% rather buy in own language. 55% only buy from websites in own language, 56% say information in own language more important than price.

• International content: nearly 55% of content in English, less than 25% can speak English at all.

• Really big brands now cover nearly 30 languages on average (Microsoft about 100)

• Think about your markets, do the research and see what the opportunity is. Justify localisation spend through the data.

• Do you know your customers? Devices, channels, search intent, cultural nuances.

• If mobile only, don’t spend budget on desktop.

• Do shoppers convert on lowest price, trust, experience?

• Importance of trust-centric content.

• Western use of strong selling messages may be offensive in other markets, while images and icons may not translate.

• Cultural impact of colours.

• Make sure imagery appropriate for different markets.

• Focus on locally relevant content, swapping in different images that work in different markets.

• Strategically picking level of translation effort that you want.

• Translation fine for FAQs, but smaller level of content around marketing: purpose can guide you to how much effort to put into it. Motivational: creating campaigns that have same results & emotions: conceptually faithful to the source.

• To achieve getting new global partners, can’t rely on provider to do it for you.

• Transcreative content highly effective.

Takeaways: try not to reuse UK centric strategy, each market needs own strategy. Content that’s optimised will reach those customers.

The webinar was followed by a Q&A session. To see the webinar, slides and hear the Q&A session in full, visit the InRiver/Lionbridge webinar page here.

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