Localization for Retail: The Details You Need to Know

by Drew Evans
3 Minute Read

The pandemic lifestyle has shifted, and consumer spending has moved from in-person to online shopping. In the United States alone, there were nearly 210 million digital buyers in 2016. Since COVID-19 struck, that number has increased by nearly 10%. 

But for the digital presence of companies worldwide, this trend only increases the need for good online content - especially for customers around the world. After all, nearly 80% of customers expect that companies understand who they are and what they’re looking for. Research backs this data up - if the online experience doesn’t fit their locale, they may not purchase the product.

That begs the question - just how important is localization for retail, especially online? What are the most important things for companies to consider for retail localization?



One common strategy is hyper-localization. It’s a type of localization that digs deep into data to better understand how people are searching for, buying, and using products. Because many retailers now have both brick and mortar along with e-commerce, keeping shopping experiences seamless and simple is important. 

With data, however, brands are able to understand their customers on a deeper level, and localization becomes an even more critical piece to success. The more personalized a shopper’s experience is, the more likely they are to return. Localizing online content drives more customers to shop in store as well. 


Traditional Localization Best Practices 

But if hyper-localization is too focused or not quite within reach, there are other important considerations when it comes to the normal localization process. Content broken down by country, state, or region will help you connect with your customers and will give you the opportunity to create a specialized experience for your new locales and potential audiences. 

While translated content is an important starting point, though, there are smaller details that may be just as valuable in some cases. According to a recent CSA Research study, 73% of respondents said they preferred products with user reviews in their own languages. After all, people trust reviews from other, similar buyers, and seem more willing to trust them when they’re based in a similar location. 

Along with reviews, remember that each locale may require different currencies, basic formatting, and more. It’s crucial to reach each locale with the information they understand and know. If, for example, you’re moving into a tropical locale, it’s probably best not to use images and references to colder, snowy climates. 

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Ultimately, much of this process comes down to proper planning and understanding of your potential markets. Just as with other localization processes, doing research ahead of time to best track what markets to pursue and how can determine how successful your new localization campaign is.

To learn more about how you can optimize and plan a customer engagement strategy like this, watch our recent webinar Rethinking Your Customer Engagement Strategy to help you plan for the future.