November 05, 2008

DNA 11 Speaks Foreign Consumers’ Languages and Boosts International Orders

 

Today Internet Retailer published an article highlighting DNA 11’s boost in international orders after adding French, Spanish, and German to its site.

Internet Retailer’s article is reprinted below.

DNA 11 speaks foreign consumers’ languages and boosts international orders

International markets have always been in DNA 11’s genes. They are also now in the e-retailer’s marketing efforts.

The online merchant, which creates pieces of art from consumers’ DNA samples, has long shipped internationally, but it’s now communicating that more clearly and speaking to global consumers in their own languages.

A little over a week after DNA 11 implemented the changes to better target consumers from more than 50 countries, co-founder Adrian Salamunovic says international orders are already increasing and bounce rates of foreign visitors have dropped.

The art retailer, which launched in 2005 and has annual sales of between $1 and $2 million, used a service from MotionPoint Corp. that employs IP Detection technology to spot where visitors are coming from so that the retailer can address them accordingly.

The system automatically translates prices into the currency of the visitor’s country, changes measurements to the metric system when needed and posts a flag of the consumer’s country on the home page, says Salamunovic.

As part of the increased focus on international markets, DNA 11 also created Spanish, French and German versions of its sites. Salamunovic says DNA hosts the English web site, while MotionPoint hosts the foreign-language retail web sites.

Speaking to consumers in their own language has made a difference, Salamunovic says. Bounce rates for visitors from French-, Spanish- and German-speaking countries was about 70%. Since it added the foreign language sites, that rate has dropped to below 50%, he says. And, he says DNA 11 is now receiving orders from Germany and Spain, which previously generated few orders.

The simple act of adding a country flag that corresponds with the visitor’s IP address also appears to help. For example, orders from Australia jumped 400% when DNA began welcoming Aussies with their country flag and offered them free shipping. “People look for visual cues immediately,” Salamunovic says. “They wonder, ‘Do you even ship here?’” The flag, he says, answers that question immediately.

While the return on investment is looking promising, Salamunovic says marketing to international markets takes significant planning.

“We’ve invested a lot of money in globalization and localization of our web site and business,” Salamunovic says. “It takes months to do it right. We had to implement 24-hour call center support, and we had to make sure we could translate incoming e-mails from customers.” DNA 11 also offers live chat in several languages.

To produce its art work, DNA 11 first ships customers a metal box with a DNA testing kit. Consumers take a cheek swab, fingerprint or lip print sample and mail it back to the retailer who uses the DNA to create modern Andy Warhol-esque art. Custom-made pieces take four to six weeks.

 

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