Personalization is a hot topic in the fashion industry. However, personalization alone does not provide the same benefits in the global market. Today, fashion clothing is widely available and can be purchased by consumers anywhere in the world. means to be
Globalization, fast fashion and increased accessibility have given consumers around the world the freedom to shop outside the local box. But now retailers need to ensure they can meet the challenge of making their products local and attractive.
Localized to meet cultural expectations
The climate and culture of the region greatly influences what the customer wants. An effective localization strategy ensures that your target audience and new customers receive not only a personalized experience, but one that meets their linguistic needs and cultural expectations.
According to one study, 72.4% of consumers are more likely to purchase products from websites in their native language. The survey also shows that 55% of global consumers prefer to use their native language when shopping online. It accounts for over half of all retail customers worldwide.
Given the unique characteristics and expectations of each cultural market, localization helps build trust and understanding of the local context, culture and nuances combined. It can be used as an effective retail strategy for brands to align their merchandise, marketing and branding to appeal to different segments of their existing and prospective customer base.
In addition, localization enhances each independent component of the overall consumer experience, each of which influences consumer behavior. These factors include everything from local language usage, culturally relevant product descriptions, convenient payment, returns, and contact methods. Incorporating these elements makes it easier for your customers to find out what they want: your product and make a buying decision.
Rethinking Retail ROI
Your localization strategy should be an aspect of your international expansion plan, not an afterthought. If the end user is the focus and reason for expansion, it should inform every activity they do in their journey.
Localization helps increase sales, facilitate access to new markets, ignite and strengthen loyalty, and customize the overall experience. For many global companies, growth is synonymous with localization.
A well-known example of a successful retailer that has experienced successful localization is Zara, a major apparel brand. Zara’s localization strategy has turned the fashion retailer into a global brand that is familiar and thriving in Europe, Asia and North America. This is because, first and foremost, Zara’s Spain-based design team works with each market to localize the brand’s products. As a result, Zara has expanded to 77 markets worldwide.
Recently, there has been a strong movement toward local production for local consumption. By ‘localizing’, global companies are more likely to remain competitive against locally based companies.
Access does not equal purchase, and we are no longer in the early stages of the silent revolution that took place in the consumer market more than a decade ago. Retailers need to demonstrate that they have changed with the times, from native languages and tone of voice to adapting prices, currencies and payment methods to suit local tastes. Your shipping and customer support, as well as your return policy, should all feel local to your customers.
Localization begins before the consumer reaches your app or website. Starting with ad localization and localized his SEO strategies, emails through his marketing, invoices and almost every touchpoint to help people find you in their native language.
Retailers who can prove they meet new, more ethical consumer standards will be able to thrive in a more conscious world. Especially given that this is not an expectation, but a requirement from her Generation Z, the fastest growing generation in the world.
Being local doesn’t have to mean having a store right next to your customers. It’s about making consumers feel like you’re part of their community. In fact, localizing your online presence is more important than ever.
Hila Shitrit-Nissim is BLEND’s Chief Marketing Officer. BLEND is an AI localization platform that works with brands around the world to help them implement stronger localization practices and strategies.