Growing companies can no longer ignore the data: developing and executing a global strategy is critical for business success. It generates more revenue and new customers, and ensures a company's relevance on the international stage.
In fact, companies that ignore this growing global opportunity may find themselves in an unrecoverable zone where it is impossible to close the gap between where they are, and where the global trend is moving.
This is especially true online, where it's become increasingly easy and affordable for companies to launch websites to serve many global markets. Businesses no longer need international brick-and-mortar stores or fulfillment centers to engage these consumers. These days, the risk of "going global" is significantly reduced, thanks to localized branded sites, versatile e-commerce platforms and global shipping and payment vendors.
Make no mistake: for an ever-growing slice of the world's population, digital sales channels such as desktop websites, the mobile web, smartphone apps and social networks represent the primary way people research and purchase goods and services. This isn't going away, and it's especially prevalent in emerging markets.
Internet Adoption and E-Commerce is Skyrocketing
Indeed, robust consumer activity in China, India, the Middle East and Africa are presently fueling much of the new year-over-year online sales growth. For savvy companies, regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa represent especially compelling growth opportunities. 2015 e-commerce sales were around 3% in these regions, illustrating a nascent consumer need, perfect for first movers.
Continual improvements to e-commerce platforms, language-translation solutions, international shipping, and payment solutions will drive further growth.
So will the ever-increasing global Internet penetration rate. More than half of the world’s Internet users currently live in Asia, Oceania and Africa. In just three years, more than half of the world’s population will have Internet access. In four years, two-thirds of global online traffic will be generated by wireless and mobile devices, the primary way most emerging-market consumers access the Internet.
So how can companies smartly reach these thriving untapped markets? The answer is online experiences, optimized for global consumers, served in their preferred languages.
The movement to engage these online consumers is already well underway. According to Byte Level Research, many of the world’s largest websites now support more than 30 languages. This represents tremendous growth; 10 years ago, the average was 14 languages.
Regardless of industry, capturing the attention of these new digital users is critical for business success. As we’ve written before, companies must transcend translation with culturally-relevant, savvy engagement via localized e-mails, local referral sites, regional search engines and more.
Localizing websites for just two or three markets each year can generate robust and sustained sales growth, we’ve found.
Defining Your Global Expansion Strategy
The challenges of global online expansion are largely two-fold: identifying the right international markets to engage, and then creating smart strategies for entering those markets. (These strategies often include the application of basic digital marketing concepts of international SEO, social and relevant local content and campaigns.) What are the right questions companies should answer to drive their international growth with localized websites? Based on our industry-leading experience, these are some of the most important to consider:
- What markets should I be targeting, and what KPIs should I be measuring against?
- How do I test markets to ensure my brand is relevant before I invest in the full international infrastructure that includes payments, fulfillment and customer service?
- What agility must I have to quickly launch a site, or test a new emerging market for my brand? How does the market’s locally-preferred language map to my content-management and technical ecosystem infrastructure? Do those systems support this language? Is my IT team ready to focus on other technology?
- Can my current organizational structure support managing an in-country website? If I have buyers, marketing managers or copywriters, what responsibilities should they have in this process?
By deploying and managing more than 1,200 websites for hundreds of companies in dozens of markets and languages, MotionPoint is armed with the unique perspective, deep analytics and peerless experience needed to help companies answer these questions and develop a laser-focused strategy—and help devise a plan to test and get actionable results.
Options to Get You In-Market, Fast
MotionPoint's turn-key Globalization Platform presents an effortless and affordable way for companies to enter new markets. Its technologies fully support and enhance this natural business evolution. We have multiple solutions that can accommodate customer needs, no matter where they are in their globalization journey.
We provide a multi-solution approach to solving enterprise problems.
MotionPoint’s Dynamic Website Overlay
For companies entering new global markets for the first time or who need a rapid solution, we recommend our Globalization Platform to render a fully-localized website. This secure approach delivers a turn-key solution, and can be launched in 60 days or less.
Further, the platform fully supports international SEO, in-language search, region-specific localized content, and campaign management tools and services. These solutions boost traffic, engagement and conversions for the localized sites we operate.
MotionPoint Web Services
As companies grow and succeed globally, they begin to embrace the larger ecosystem of online solutions. This usually creates a change in IT infrastructure, while simultaneously presenting opportunities to grow even further internationally.
We’ve found that after companies succeed in two or three global regions, they’ll often move select translated content through their enterprise content management systems, e-commerce web stores or international marketplaces.
Along the way, companies' IT teams often demand more control in the markets that have been successfully "conquered." These teams usually urge their companies to embrace language connectors and/or web services integrations to these systems.
For these companies further along in their globalization journey, we recommend leveraging the power of our Globalization Platform through MotionPoint Web Services. This approach allows content integrations between our platform and a company's e-commerce solution or content management system.
This approach is also used in parallel with our platform to deliver linguistically-relevant content to other channels such as marketplaces, e-mail, social networks and media—and important offline content such as in-store signage, traditional marketing materials and more.
MotionPoint’s platform and web services support the technical infrastructures companies have today, and effortlessly adapt as companies’ technical architectures evolve over time.
The Best of Both Worlds
Companies need not choose one localization method and stick with it. Our customers often leverage one approach for their most-valued global markets, while using another to test brand awareness in brand-new markets, or accommodate other needs.
Ultimately, our clients are empowered to utilize both approaches, depending on market dynamics and their omnichannel approaches to customer communication through mobile, e-mail and social channels. Our marketing, server monitoring and translation analytic dashboards create an actionable arena where we-and our clients-can troubleshoot, monitor and report.
Our solutions always complement, and never compete with, a company’s ecosystem infrastructure.
The Final Word
When you're eyeing new global markets for online expansion, it's often difficult to answer key strategic questions. Without sound data and experience to test and make decisions, the process can feel fraught with risk.
Thankfully, MotionPoint is armed with years of experience and a superior platform that works effortlessly with your existing technology stack. We'll get you into the international markets where you need to be ... and help you grow from there.
Contact us to learn how MotionPoint can help your company succeed in its globalization journey.