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How Content Localization Can Benefit Your Company in a Global Market

Brent HeslopNov 13, 2019

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You’ve played telephone, right?

One person comes up with a phrase, whispers it to the next person, that person whispers it to the next person, and so on. In the end, the phrase has gone through so many iterations that it often no longer resembles the original phrase.

Content translation presents similar challenges.

Simply translating words to a new language fails to consider the different contexts and cultures, and continued translation can result in content that no longer resembles the original content.

Content localization, on the other hand, is an extension of content personalization. It includes translation, but also adjusting content to the culture of the new target audience to create value for them.

Let’s explore how content localization extends beyond translation to drive engagement with a global audience.

How Freeletics deliver localized content 80% faster

What’s The Difference Between Localization and Translation?

Translation is the process of changing a piece of content from one language (the source language) to another language (the target language).

For example, if a company creates an English resource guide, they might translate it into Spanish when the company expands to Spain, and then again into Italian when they target an Italian market.

This approach can shift the message of the content and introduce errors and cultural faux pas.

Translation alone does not consider cultural differences. Content translated to Spanish for Spain won’t have the unique syntax needed for Argentinian Spanish.

Content localization, on the other hand, would create stand-alone content that is technically correct and adapted to the differences in culture, search marketing practices, and legal requirements between the two markets.

Translation fails

Content Localization Goes Beyond Translation

Content localization creates content that is specifically designed for a market by working with local consultants and marketers.

To continue our Spanish example, that would mean local experts would provide different content for Mexico and Spain. Even though these countries both use Spanish as their national language; slang, syntax, and cultural differences remain.

To be successful in selling to a foreign market, brands must overcome more than just language barriers. They must create a customized message, which might include adjusting the following aspects:

  • Colors and Font: Content localization considers preferences in colors and fonts for a different audience. For example, in China, white is considered unlucky in some instances. Presenting a person’s name in red font in Korea in the past indicated the person is deceased, or if they were still living that you wish harm to come to them.
  • Content Layout: Many factors impact layout. Some languages require more or less space, text may be read left to right or right to left, or the audience may prefer mobile devices. Content localization considers these differences and creates a format that appeals to the audience.
  • Images and Visuals: Images and visuals should be changed to appeal to a new target market and location. You wouldn't use pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge on a website targeting London locals, for example.
  • Currencies and Measurement Units: Content localization includes changing currency, product descriptions, directions, and any other content that uses currency or measurement to reflect the preferred format of the new market. It may also include raising or lowering the price point based on the new target audience.
  • Laws and Regulations: Different locations require companies to meet varying regulations. For example, a U.S.-based company would need to adhere to the GDPR when addressing the EU market.
  • Marketing Practices: Effective strategies and competition vary by market. Localizing content may also include adjusting target key terms, link building strategies, and lead generation techniques.

Content localization also addresses the differences in content architecture between locations, including different buyer persona and popular content formats.

Why Does Content Localization Matter?

Consider this scenario: Your company is hosting two conferences about high-end dining—one in Chicago and one in New York.

Your company creates a landing page, brochures, Facebook event, and a visiting guide for each city. The language wouldn't change at all in this example; however, you wouldn't use the same images and content, right?

The speakers might cover different topics, and the conference held in different locations. In Chicago, green might be a fine color choice, but in New York, green could be associated with the New York Jets football team.

You would use Chicago pictures for the Chicago conference, and New York pictures for the New York event. Additionally, your recommended restaurants and directions to the conference location would be different, as would the online strategy you use to sell tickets.

This example highlights the difference content localization can make when it comes to creating content—even when it’s not overseas.

Other big business benefits of content localization include the following:

Overcomes Culture Barriers

To successfully market to a global audience, brands must adjust their marketing message and, in some cases, even their product name, to a new market.

Coca-Cola, for example, is called “kekou kele” in China—which translates to "delicious happiness." Their Chinese marketing strategy included handing out chopsticks and balloons to market the new product. Today, China is the third-largest market for Coca-Cola, selling more than 140 million sodas every day.

Successful global marketing strategy requires adjusting to local cultural norms and creating content and branding that makes locals feel as if the content was created especially for them—because it is!

Increases Sales

When it comes to deciding where to spend their money, consumers are far more likely to spend money with brands that speak their language.

Over half of consumers said that the ability to find information in their native language is more important than cost.

Survey results of 2,400 digital web consumers' preference for localized content

In addition to language, preferences also vary by geographical location. Localization is designed to identify these preferences, then create content that caters to these differences. For example, Italian users tend to prefer a more casual online approach, so localizing content for Italy might include changing the tone and adding humor.

Localized content is effective at increasing sales because it addresses not just language needs, but also different marketing practices and preferences that appeal to diverse audiences.

Builds Brand Loyalty

Consumers are loyal to the brands they trust and feel a connection with. By creating localized content, you are showing a new market that you understand who they are and what they need. This translates to a higher level of brand loyalty, which makes customers less likely to churn.

A lower churn rate results in a decrease in marketing spend and an increase in the lifetime value of your customers.

Increases Brand Integrity

Brand integrity is how consumers perceive your brand based on your content, marketing strategies, and even product packaging. When it comes to content localization, brand integrity can get lost in translation.

In 1987, Braniff Airlines created a campaign to highlight its leather airline seats. An issue arose when that campaign was translated and played on the airwaves in Mexico. The original ad encouraged users to fly "in leather," which sounds nearly identical to "naked" in Spanish.

Localization goes beyond translation to look for conflicts or hidden meanings to help brands avoid faux pas and maintain brand integrity across global markets.

Reduces Customer Support Costs

When customers can easily locate the information they need in a format and language they understand, they are less likely to require the help of your support team.

For example, if an Italian user can find a troubleshooting guide for your product in Italian, they may be able to solve their problems faster, which reduces frustration and prevents a call to your support team.

Content Localization Success: Support Your Content and Your Team With the Right Technology

The most significant challenge companies face when approaching content localization is the sheer size of the project. It can feel overwhelming, which results in many companies choosing to translate content and call it a day.

The issue is, as explained above, merely translating content is not enough to effectively target and convert a global audience. Instead, companies should look for a technological solution that makes it easier to manage the content localization process and reduces frustration.

Contentstack is an omnichannel-ready, headless CMS that offers sophisticated multilingual and localization capabilities. These features allow your brand to create and publish entries in any language and cater to a wide variety of audiences by serving content in their local language. Advanced marketing features also make collaboration far easier with approval workflows, image management, and versioning and rollback capabilities.

Create once, distribute everywhere with Contentstack

Learn from a Brand that's Mastered the Art of Localized Content at Scale 

Freeletics, an AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app, cut production time for their localized content by 80%. Learn how in our upcoming fireside chat.

How Freeletics delivers content faster webinar

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Headless commerce architecture: revolutionizing e-commerce for the future

Headless commerce is a transformative approach revolutionizing the ecommerce landscape. This article delves into the fundamentals of headless commerce, its benefits and challenges, factors to consider when choosing a headless commerce platform, and some implementation best practices.What is headless commerce architecture?Headless commerce architecture is an innovative ecommerce framework that decouples the presentation layer – the user interface that consumers interact with – from the functional layer or the back end. This separation allows businesses to manage and update components that control features and functionality independently, leading to enhanced agility and ability for customization.The evolution of ecommerce architectures from monolithic to headless has been transformative and necessary to meet the dynamic needs of the digital market. Understanding this evolution provides valuable insights into the advantages of headless commerce.Advantages of headless commerceHeadless commerce architecture offers many benefits, including unparalleled flexibility, seamless scalability, and enhanced user experiences. Let’s explore how it excels beyond traditional legacy architectures.Flexibility and customizationWith headless commerce, businesses can create unique user experiences, cater to specific customer segments, and respond quickly to customer feedback and market trends.Faster development and deploymentsIndependent front-end and back-end development enables faster updates and rollouts of new features without disrupting ecommerce processes that keep your store up and running.Improved user experienceHeadless commerce architecture empowers marketers to deliver seamless and personalized user experiences across devices, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.Ease of useMaking content updates no longer requires a developer. Marketers, designers, and other business users can easily make updates without technical expertise and help from the IT team. Little to no coding is required to make changes to the presentation layer.Challenges of headless commerce architectureThere are a few challenges that businesses should be aware of before adopting headless commerce architecture, including:ComplexityHeadless commerce can be more complex to implement than traditional e-commerce architectures. This is because businesses need to develop two separate applications, the front-end and the back-end.CostHeadless commerce can be more expensive to implement than traditional e-commerce architectures. This is because businesses need to develop two separate applications, the front-end and the back-end.IntegrationBusinesses must integrate the front-end and back-end to deliver a seamless shopping experience. This can be a complex and challenging process.Choosing the best headless commerce solutionThere are many factors to consider when choosing the right headless commerce solution. TypeThere are two main headless commerce architectures: hybrid headless and pure headless. Hybrid headless architectures use a decoupled front-end and back-end, but the front-end is still connected to the back-end through a traditional API. Pure headless architectures have no front end, giving you the most flexibility in building your front end.FeaturesDepending on your business needs, choose a headless commerce platform that offers specific features, such as multi-channel selling, product recommendations, or personalization.Customer SupportThink realistically about the level of support your IT team will need when implementing headless commerce architecture. Some headless commerce vendors offer more support than others. If you need a lot of help with implementation or troubleshooting, you'll need to choose a vendor offering support without compromise.Current Tech StackIf you already have a lot of investment in a particular tech stack, you'll need to consider how well it will integrate with a headless commerce solution. Some headless commerce platforms are more flexible than others, so you'll need to research to find one that will work with your existing systems.BudgetThe cost of headless commerce can vary greatly depending on the platform you choose, the features you need, and the size of your business.Future plansIf you plan to expand your e-commerce business, you must ensure your headless commerce solution can support your growth. Some headless commerce platforms are more scalable than others, so you must choose one that can meet your future needs.Security requirementsSome headless commerce platforms have built-in security features, but you may need to add additional security measures to protect your data.Implementation: headless commerce best practicesTransitioning from a traditional, monolithic architecture to headless commerce can be complex. That’s why an incremental approach is often the best choice. Essentially, you can roll out different APIs over time rather than taking down your whole platform and building a new one. Here are some factors to take into account when implementing headless commerce architecture.Ensure your teams are readyTransitioning to headless commerce architecture requires buy-in and commitment from the top leaders to your marketing and IT teams. Getting this level of commitment may require education on the benefits of headless and training on how to use the system. It’s vital to have a skilled development team proficient in implementing headless commerce, so this team needs to get up to speed first. Then, before implementation, marketing and other business users may require training on previewing and publishing content and understanding workflow processes.Integrations with existing systemsUnderstand how your existing ecommerce systems and apps will integrate into the headless commerce architecture. Your IT team will need to understand what customizations will be required so that multiple apps and systems work seamlessly together.SecurityHeadless commerce can expose your e-commerce data to more attack vectors, so you must ensure your security measures are up to par. Some headless commerce platforms have built-in security features, but you may need to add additional security measures to protect your data.Learn MoreOur pioneering headless CMS empowers creative professionals and modern developers to deliver composable digital experiences at uncompromising scale and dependability.Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s headless CMS can help your brand deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Aug 11, 2023 | 3 min. read

Navigating the headless commerce journey

E-commerce is evolving rapidly, in synch with customer expectations. Successful businesses must continuously implement new solutions to improve user experiences. Headless commerce architecture is a game-changer for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition. In this blog, we’ll define headless commerce, explore key benefits, look at how businesses use it, and how to determine if it's right for your business.What is headless commerce?Headless commerce is an architectural approach that decouples the front-end display from the back-end e-commerce application. It differs significantly from traditional monolithic architectures, where the front and back end are tightly integrated. The back end houses application programming interfaces (APIs). These components can be developed and deployed separately from each other. This decoupling makes it easier for businesses to make changes or add new features without disrupting their e-commerce processes. Consequently, these organizations become more flexible and agile when delivering personalized customer experiences across multiple channels.3 benefits of headless commerceHere are three key benefits of transitioning to headless commerce architecture. Flexibility in front-end designHeadless commerce empowers marketers, content creators, and designers to create custom user experiences. They become empowered to tailor user experiences by brand, target audience, or specific customer segments. And they can work in the headless commerce platform without coding skills or technical expertise. These teams can experiment with layouts, visuals, and interactions on multiple channels. They aren’t limited by fear of making mistakes, back-end constraints, or developer availability.Headless commerce facilitates the development of responsive designs that seamlessly adapt to various devices and screen sizes. The result is a consistent and user-friendly shopping experience for customers on every device.Scalability and agilityHeadless commerce allows businesses to quickly add or modify features and functionality as they grow or expand into new markets. They can more quickly respond to market demands and customer feedback, staying ahead of competitors.As technology changes, headless commerce architecture has the capability to evolve in parallel. As new software and services become available that customers expect for convenience, businesses can effortlessly integrate these cutting-edge technologies, such as AI-driven personalization or virtual reality shopping.Omnichannel approachHeadless commerce enables customers to interact with your brand the way they want. Customers enjoy a consistent shopping experience across multiple channels, regardless of where or what device they use. They can even switch between channels without losing their shopping progress or data.Leveraging headless commerce, companies can unify their online and offline sales channels, inventory, and customer data. This approach streamlines operations, minimizes redundancies, and enhances the user experience.Is your business ready for headless commerce?The transition to headless commerce can be complex. However, it’s well worth it for businesses willing to take the plunge. Headless commerce is an especially good choice for businesses that have the desire to do the following.Create custom user experiences tailored to their brand and target audience.Quickly expand to new markets or channels with fast rollouts.Streamline management of multiple channels and websites with one platform.Deliver a seamless customer experience across multiple channels.Be agile and responsive to changing technology, customer feedback, and customer expectations.Here are several use cases to demonstrate how businesses are using headless commerce.Personalize customer experienceWith headless commerce, businesses can create custom user experiences for their customers with omnichannel reach by leveraging different front-end frameworks and technologies. These include analytics tools that gauge customer feedback, enabling unique and engaging experiences for each customer segment.Reach customers on new channels and in new marketsHeadless commerce makes it easy to add new channels, such as new websites, mobile apps, social media and physical stores. Integrate with existing systemsIntegrate headless commerce with systems you already use, such as CRMs, marketing automation platforms, and customer support systems. As data is shared across multiple systems, creating a more seamless customer experience is easier.Reduce technical debtHeadless commerce architecture enables the migration of new technologies with little disruption to ecommerce processes and user experiences. It’s also typically easier and less expensive to maintain.Choosing the right headless commerce platformThere are many headless commerce platforms available. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Some factors to consider when assessing each platform include pricing and customer support. Also, look at each platform’s:API capabilitiesIntegration capabilitiesSupport for third-party applicationsScalabilityPricingHeadless commerce implementationOnce you've chosen a headless commerce platform, you must integrate it with your existing systems and databases. This may involve integrating with your product catalog, your order management system, your payment gateway, and other systems.The integration process will vary depending on the specific platforms and systems involved. However, most headless commerce platforms provide tools and documentation to help you with the integration process.With a headless commerce platform, you can develop custom front-end experiences for your ecommerce website. This means you can create experiences that are tailored to your specific audience and business goals.There are a number of different ways to develop custom front-end experiences for a headless commerce platform. You can use a variety of frameworks and technologies.Learn moreImplementing a headless commerce platform can be a complex process in the beginning. However, making the transition can streamline, speed up, and simplify processes in the long run. As we’ve mentioned, the benefits are many. The most important one is offering customers seamless experiences that promote brand loyalty now and into the future.Learn more about the benefits of headless commerce in our guide, “The Ultimate Headless Commerce Roadmap.”Schedule a free demo to see how Contentstack’s composable content experience platform can help your organization navigate the headless commerce journey.