Embedding Global Readiness


Top Tips from Ten Industry Experts

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Digital-forward businesses have moved ahead of their more traditional competitors by the early adoption of a global digital first strategy. What was their formula? There are several critical elements, as we have outlined in our blog on The Global Dimension of a Digital First Strategy. We asked ten industry experts to provide us with their tips for success in one of these areas; embedding global readiness into your customer offerings. Here’s what they have said:

Success hinges on relevant and authentic local content

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Tommaso Rossi | Director, Vendor Management | Expedia

“Global Readiness is not only a matter of quantity and expansion. Instead, it is strictly linked to quality and accuracy. A successful global product usually displays relevant and authentic local content. It is widely accessible, and it is designed by thinking of the end-users and how to engage with them. The four main steps to guarantee global readiness are:

  • Design your product around the end-user
  • Select the right mix of automation and creative writing when sourcing its content
  • Focus on multilingual searchability by localizing your metadata
  • Test your product local relevance before the official launch

When thinking of your product’s global readiness, I would always focus on what would make a successful content experience and build my multilingual strategy around that final goal.”

Create friction-free customer journeys by internationalizing your payment options

“Know the preferred local payment options for your eCommerce markets. Friction-free customer journeys right through to checkout and payment placement are key to avoiding abandoned carts and lost sales. Be sure to internationalize the payment options and cater for your customers’ preferences in the local markets. Not all countries embrace e-commerce payments by credit card, PayPal, or digital wallets alike.

In Germany, for instance, SEPA payments are widely used. iDEAL (online bank transfer) is one of the most popular payment methods in the Netherlands. Klarna’s ‘shop now-pay later’ system is enjoying growing popularity across Europe.

In Australia, ZIP, another ‘shop now-pay later’ payment method, is popular with shoppers. In New Zealand and Australia, offering POLi (Pay OnLine), which enables consumers to pay online from their internet banking, increases the market reach of many merchandisers. In China, mobile-first payment methods Alipay and WeChat Pay are key. Do your research and design your site to dynamically display country-specific payment methods for maximum reach and user experience. And, … it almost goes without saying, translate your checkout forms to convey legitimacy and build trust in your brand globally across markets.”

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Sibylle Eibl | Director, Solutions Architecture | Vistatec

Focus on delivering more than just out of the box localized user experiences

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Emil D. Atanassov | Vice President Internationalization | ServiceNow

“Forward-looking companies have to provide far more than just an out of the box (OOTB) localized user experience: We must enable our global business users with consumer-level tooling that works seamlessly with their own content.

Localization quality should be measured in terms of usability in addition to the well-established language quality models around spelling, mistranslation, style, and punctuation. Feedback on language quality from across the organization can be subjective, inconsistent, or sometimes contradictory. Comparing the localized product with the usability scores of the English baseline (OOTB + customized) would be a more relevant measurement. It could become another quality attribute that assesses how usable and intuitive interfaces are overall.”

Integrate localization into the entire building process

“Bring localization within other team’s workflows and tools so you can become a part of the entire building process. When working alongside design and tech, you will enhance your user experience globally.”

“Find some “allies” in other teams (Content, Design, Tech) who can support the idea that localization needs to be considered during their workflow cycle, not after.”

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Anne-Sophie Delafosse | Localisation Manager | Deliveroo

The importance of digital flexibility

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Jamie Kincaid / Senior Translation and Localization Manager | KnowB4

“2020 forced many people to shift to working from home virtually overnight, leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Being flexible and ready to pivot on short notice allowed us to provide targeted educational translations quickly in this ‘digital first’ environment. This was critical in enabling us to stay true to our mission to provide our multinational clients and their end-users with inclusive and accessible new-school security awareness training.”

Placing trust in your local language experts

“There’s no such a thing as a “global language.” Global readiness to me, therefore, means being able to trust your local language experts to make decisions and to convey your brand stories in a way that resonates with your audience in their market. Only then you get true global storytelling.”

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Sophie Top / Digital Content Strategist | Adidas

Global readiness is the key to quick and effective local experiences

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Bruno Herrmann | Globalization and Localization Leader

“As a global product or content leader, you must bear in mind there is no sustainable localization effectiveness without timely global readiness. In other words, global readiness determines how quickly and effectively you can deliver local experiences. Speed and quality are key to making an immediate difference and making an impression in the mind of customers in the long run. Segmenting, pricing, and selling your offering at scale are paramount success factors internationally. Stop considering your global readiness efforts as being a cost driver and start turning them into a profit driver.”

Tailor your strategy by understanding local differences

“Invest time in understanding local differences, i.e., different attitudes to risk, privacy, or formality, user needs and requirements, value of your selling proposition in other markets, etc. This knowledge will help you tailor your strategy for increased effectiveness in your international markets.”

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Esther Curiel | Localization Operations Manager | Indeed

Inclusive design improves usability for everyone

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Jameson Hoscyns | Former Language Services Manager | American Express

“Think and plan inclusively. When localization, internationalization, and digital accessibility all work together, you can build on each other’s goals and learn to anticipate the needs and wants of the end-user because inclusive design opens up the pipeline to include the framework needed to not just allow for translation, but to improve usability for all people.”

Brief and involve your designers and developers from the outset

“You have to brief and involve designers and developers from the outset to make your content and products globally agile and locally relevant. This implies enforcing global creation standards, leveraging customer experience data and insights as well as including global readiness milestones in product roadmaps and plans of records. Global readiness is sometimes taken for granted and is therefore considered as optional or unnecessary to measure. It must be formally tested and validated as part of global content and product operations.”

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Bruno Herrmann | Globalization and Localization Leader

Partner with your content creation teams

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Esther Curiel | Localization Operations Manager | Indeed

“Partner with your content creation teams to produce global-friendly content. This will go a long way towards improving the quality (and usefulness!) of the localized content.”

Internal knowledge is essential; know your content better than the content creators

“Know your content better than the content creators! Pressure points will always exist in translation, and having an idea of where and what they are will give you an advantage before and after they become problems. Knowing more and being able to have a technical conversation about translation will improve not only the quality of the translations themselves but the working relationship with your providers.”

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Jameson Hoscyns | Former Language Services Manager | American Express

Utilizing pseudo-translation to reduce issues in your localization cycle

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Daniel McGowan | Senior Performance and Globalization Engineering Manager | FireEye

“Integrate pseudo-translation into your build and verification process. Use automation to generate a pseudo-translated product with every build. Have development engineers validate any new strings in the pseudo-translated build as they are added to the product. A careful pseudo-translation configuration can be used to check for hard coding, layout (by using variable string expansion – short strings are expanded more than long ones), character corruption, Unicode support, and string concatenation all at the same time.

This can significantly reduce issues during the Localization cycle and, if well implemented, will have little or no cost during development. “