The Global Dimension of a Digital First Strategy


Social changes, a global pandemic, and financial shifts are converging. The results are both short and long-term transformations to the digital experience for global businesses. Successful businesses now understand that their customers are driving and speeding up this transition. Across a range of verticals, innovators are already participating in a digital transformation for the long term.

Why the pivot to global digital transformation now? Big shifts in customer behaviors — what they want, and how they communicate — are accelerating with society and business changes. Fewer face-to-face interactions, the desire for more targeted communications, less reliance on paper transactional forms, and faster business cycles —- all point to the need for your business to offer more complete digital offerings.

How are successful businesses harnessing a digital first strategy to meet these customer changes? In April 2020, global ecommerce retail sales increased by 209% YoY. The global pandemic provided a jump-start for a new wave of commerce innovation. To enable digital commerce and drive the customer journey across touch-points, nimble global companies provide high-quality product and native transactional information in their customers’ languages. Multilingual content effectively engages your global customers to make informed purchases. It’s a loyalty-building tool for your brand.

Companies who have already digitally integrated their businesses are agile enough to quickly adapt global messaging and multichannel marketing to all their campaigns. Campaigns, support features, and communication in customers’ target languages and locales are your tools to actively create larger global markets and expand company revenue.

The new reality requires your business to fully understand that all customers, both local and international, drive future success. Both sets of customers require digital engagement. For too long, traditional go-to-market programs have narrowly focused on a “home” market-based strategy. Analysis from CSA Research, a global market research firm, confirms that customer experience is most effective and produces the most robust customer journeys when the experience is available in a native locale and the customer’s language. (see summary,

Adopting digital transformation for your global customers builds out a complete customer experience. It’s not just for the “home” (e.g., U.S. or EU) market ; rather, it gets expanded to address the needs of specific international regions.

Making the Shift

Let’s look at how digital-forward businesses have moved ahead of their more traditional competitors’ business models by early adoption of a global digital first strategy. What was their formula? Here are critical steps they took.

  • Put customer experience first
  • Embed global readiness into your customer offerings
  • Review and reframe relevant content — ensure it is multilingual and published through multiple channels
  • Refresh and create new business processes that support digital transformation
  • Prove the strategy’s success (or identify gaps) with data analytics
  • Include self-help features

Without adopting these strategic steps, you will leave behind a large number of global customers who may not read your content, communicate with you, or make a transaction within their regional business environment.

A Digital First Alignment

As a strategy, digital first can be implemented swiftly and incrementally. Digital first expands your basic digital offerings. Each step integrates global features and support, which in turn creates a path to a larger, more engaged customer base. Success with global digital transformation gives the customer full accessibility to local content; increases speed in information flow; provides a native transactional experience; and increases touchpoints in your offerings for all customers.

Global economic and cultural events continue to accelerate massive shifts in both business practices and customer demands. Rapid adoption of a global digital first strategy positions forward-thinking companies for future success.

Follow us for more in-depth information on the steps toward becoming a fully digital first business.