Big-box companies like Amazon and Walmart have only been enhancing their dominant presence in today’s market, particularly through recent eCommerce strengthening efforts. Their relentless takeover from acquisition to plain out-performance of smaller companies has similarly brought them to the international stage. Their expansion models however, have been significantly different with various results for their eCommerce success. Expanding global operations through eCommerce localization is widely seen as a key to global success, however, Walmart’s standardized supply chain cost-cutting model for instance, does not necessarily translate to an augmented bottom line, bringing to light the debate between standardization versus localization.
Standardization versus localization is among the first decisions any international business must make when they decide to venture abroad, as it dictates every business function that follows, from supply chain logistics to marketing tactics. The global pandemic this year has shaken the economy down to its core, and for global enterprises, it has meant that they need to reconsider expansion methods. With an overwhelming number of companies making the switch to eCommerce as the leading platform on which they do business, a more global focus has therefore come into play, increasing the demand for eCommerce localization. Just as the internet is global in nature, companies who use it must also adopt that same lens.
One telling example comes from the opportunity retailers like Walmart have seen for profit in Japan’s large market. In 2012, Walmart ventured into the Asian country with a standardized technique, forcing out supply chain inefficiencies to cut costs as much as possible. After not reaching margins as high as they expected, they reconsidered their entry technique and made the switch to localizing their eCommerce efforts by partnering with Rakuten, a company well-versed in the dynamics of the Japanese market. Like Walmart’s experience in Japan, many companies have used the internet and eCommerce as their global liaison to reach new markets ad consumers, requiring a new type of localization for successful business communication. Subject matter expertise of language, regulatory, and cultural matter is imperative for any eCommerce campaign.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Walmart’s initially failed venture into Japan, and other countries worldwide, can essentially be explained by a lack of localization efforts. The retail behemoth has recently invested in Rakuten, a well-established Japanese eCommerce infrastructure, among other partnerships with eCommerce entities worldwide. As Walmart feels increasing pressure from Amazon in the battle for market control, they have sold many of their physical stores and warehouses to invest in new eCommerce possibilities, with their eyes on new markets as well. Their heavy investments in eCommerce have brought about the unavoidable need for multilingual localization solutions.
Walmart’s partnership with Rakuten shows their commitment to localization over their usual venture technique of standardized operations, as they have taken on new business techniques and entered new markets. Although the deciding factors for each standardization versus localization decision are numerous, there is one aspect of every business that must be localized regionally: language. Multilingual solutions are an imperative asset for eCommerce entities entering and operating in foreign markets, as precise end-to-end translation is needed for products and service sales, app development, and more. In-depth cultural understanding is particularly necessary for companies like Walmart, as they must predict how consumers in their target market will act in response to their standard offerings, as well as what they will buy and how they will go about doing so.
CSOFT’s global network of 10,000+ in-country linguists and subject matter experts can translate a broad range of content into over 250 languages to make any enterprise’s foreign venture seamless, compliant to regulatory standards, and culturally appropriate. CSOFT’s quality-assured, technology-driven terminology management and linguistic testing techniques ensure that your eCommerce content is both accurately and visibly translated for access in any foreign market.
Learn more about CSOFT’s eCommerce localization services here.