Web Sites Should Focus On Localization

    January 22, 2008

Thirty-seven percent of all large U.S. companies have not translated their Web site content into any other language, even though the average number of languages for the top 10 global brands is around 30 according to JupiterResearch new report "Web Site Localization: Best Practices in Global Expansion."

Large companies that are not creating content for non-English speaking
markets, domestically or internationally risk losing market share to competitors with relatively more targeted strategies.

Zia Daniell Wigder

"The most successful companies in the long term will be those that develop unique sites that take advantage of users’ different behavior and expectations," explained Zia Daniell Wigder, Vice President and Senior Analyst at JupiterResearch.

"Given the limited budgets for consumer research and lack of data on some global markets, companies must position themselves to rapidly collect, analyze, and act on analytics data from international web sites."

According to the report the global online population will shift over the next few years, but companies should consider that online population does not always correlate with online spending. The number of online users in Western Europe outranks that in the U.S., the U.S. online advertising market remains larger than the European online advertising market.

In 2007, online ad spending in the U.S. was close to $20 billion, as compared to $11 billion in Europe. In contrast, online retail spending in Europe was about on par with that in the U.S.

"Companies investing in international markets should have a long-term strategy that follows the flow of individuals online," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch.

"They should have a short-term one that enables them to capitalize on the areas of the world in which consumers and businesses have already begun to allocate significant funds to the online channel"