The report evaluates the approach and performance of 82 direct-to-consumer brands in relation to their Global E-Commerce, Content Localization, Social Localization, and Cross-Border E-Commerce strategies. Local brand presence is evaluated in 12 countries across the 7 verticals of Activewear, Apparel, Beauty, Luxury, Non-Apparel Specialty Retail, Pure Play Retail, and Watches & Jewelry.
"While international expansion is often seen as an answer for revenue growth, variables like languages, currency, platforms, fulfillment options, and consumer preferences challenge brands to develop offerings that scale effectively across markets," explained Evan Neufeld, VP of Intelligence research at L2. "Leader brands have deployed digital tactics that enable them to navigate global markets by balancing the creation of select localized content with improved e-commerce capabilities."
Key findings from L2's report include:
Global Commerce Must Be Mobile: Ninety-nine percent of the 652 local e-commerce brand sites tracked are mobile friendly. However, only 7 percent of these sites accept mobile payments, indicating a missed opportunity as smartphones continue to surpass desktops to be the preferred device for browsing and buying. Adoption of mobile payments is highest in China (22 percent), Korea (21 percent), France (12 percent), and the US (11 percent).
Longtail Tactics = Differentiation: Certain localized features are widely adopted among brands including desktop sites in local languages (95 percent), localized product description pages (95 percent), and local returns accepted (93 percent). Yet top brands differentiate themselves with scalable technology like auto-detecting a user's country (61 percent), automated live chat (20 percent), and site templates (up 44 percent in Brazil and China since 2015).
Social is Local: Brands face a tough decision when it comes to planning their global social media strategies. CPG and Beauty brands invest in upwards of 20 local social accounts, while Luxury brands average only 2. Throughout February 2017, winning brand Anastasia Beverly Hills earned 11 percent of all Instagram interactions among Index Brands, featuring 42 percent of influencer content from the US, 40 percent from Western Europe, 10 percent from Australia, 6 percent from Canada and 2 percent from Pakistan.
"While brands have begun to acknowledge the importance of localizing global strategies, they continue to struggle to fill the gaps between their investments and consumer expectations," reiterated Mike Froggatt, Director of Intelligence research at L2.
Click here to explore L2's interactive visualization depicting e-commerce enablement versus local content execution across 82 global direct-to-consumer brands.
To access a complete media-only copy of L2's Intelligence Report: Localization 2017 contact [email protected]
L2 benchmarks the digital performance of over 2,200 brands across 12 sectors globally. Our proprietary Digital IQ Index® is the global standard for measuring digital competence. We analyze 1,250 data points across Site & E-Commerce, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile to provide brands with actionable, data driven insights on their digital performance.
SOURCE L2 Inc.