The Internet has changed the rules of commerce and the way entire industries do business. Take B2B companies. Once relegated to transact exclusively with business buyers, at least 60% of manufacturers and wholesalers now leverage e-commerce platforms and sell directly to consumers, too.
Embracing B2C best practices helps B2B companies remain innovative and competitive. Engaging markets with “B2B2C” digital experiences—which include transactional websites, social media content, mobile apps and more—generates brand awareness and repeat business across a spectrum of new customers.
The next frontier of opportunity for B2B2C is global sales. This means innovative companies must localize their customer experiences for international audiences. After all, global consumers expect to be able to do business online in the languages they prefer.
If you’re an organization using a B2B2C approach in international markets, translating your website is no longer a “nice to have.” Twenty years ago, more than 80% of all online users were native English speakers. These days, it’s under 25%.
A 2014 Common Sense Advisory study revealed that 75% of global customers prefer to buy in their native language. Another study found that, given the option, 90% of European customers always choose their native language when online.
This study also found that 40% never purchase products and services in other languages.
The Upsides of B2B2C Localization
Localizing your digital content generates more conversions and revenue in global markets than not translating your CX. But there are other key benefits to localizing your customer experience, such as:
Translating your SEO-rich digital content helps multilingual international customers find your brand online, which increases your website’s organic traffic. Localizing omnichannel assets, Twitter cards and Open Graph data can also boost referral traffic to your international sites.
Localizing product information and conversion funnels is critical, as it reduces bounce rates and increases time on-site. So is using language-detecting technologies to greet customers in their preferred languages—even if it’s to direct customers from your domestic site to a localized version.
Localizing your CX demonstrates your company’s interest in international markets, and encourages customers to get to know, purchase from, and stick with your brand. Try highlighting regional holidays, celebrations and exclusive promotions to further drive customer trust.
The Challenges of B2B2C Localization
Localization is vital for creating an engaging CX, but most B2B2C companies experience challenges when they try to make this important pivot. Their lean teams aren’t equipped to handle the heavy workloads and ongoing technical burden associated with CX localization.
Most try to offset these burdens by engaging a conventional translation vendor to localize their customer experience. These vendors, which don’t specialize in localizing dynamic digital content, aren’t often a good fit for these ambitious projects. Here’s why:
- Their translation solutions were originally built for simple offline documents, not sophisticated websites, multimedia and omnichannel content
- Their complicated and manual translation processes, while fine for offline content, generate significant delays that can take weeks to resolve—an unacceptable timeframe for online business
- Their solutions can conflict with website CMSs and other back-end technologies, requiring significant IT development—generating more costs and delays
Perhaps most importantly, legacy translation vendors don’t have the technology to accurately detect all the translatable content on a B2B2C website, which often includes multimedia, single-page applications and content loaded from third-party sources (such as shopping cart capabilities).
The content they do detect is often at risk of being inconsistent with surrounding text and other elements. This is due to a lack of modern translation technologies that provide a real-time view of how localized content would appear on a published page.
These shortcomings conspire to create a “mixed language” online CX where some content may be localized, but important content remains untranslated. Further, when webpage templates aren’t optimized to accommodate longer translated content, serious design issues with navigation, headlines and other UX elements arise.
These websites look amateurish and may not properly function. International customers have little patience for this, and often abandon the site without converting.
Best Practices for B2B2C Translation
With so much at stake, look for a website translation solution built to handle the demands of localizing your customer experience efficiently and cost-effectively. As you evaluate your options, ask:
- Is the solution built with the express purpose of minimizing complexity and cost?
- Is it turn-key at launch and ongoing, with all personnel, processes and technology provided by the vendor?
- Can it translate and operate your localized website while optimizing the customer experience across all channels?
- Can it accurately identify, translate and publish new content in about one business day?
- Can it work with any CMS, website or programming language?
- Can its translation capabilities extend to omnichannel content?
The success of your company’s expansion into the global B2B2C space depends on technologies and processes that eliminate in-house burdens, not increase them.
If your company is B2B2C—or a B2B company with B2B2C aspirations—you’ll need a stellar customer experience to capture the attention and loyalty of end-users in every market you serve. Avoid the risks that come with in-house translation or traditional localization vendors, and look for translation solutions built specifically for website localization instead.
A modern solution to localizing digital content is the ideal partner for long-term success as you grow your company’s international reputation as a B2B2C brand.Last updated on September 11, 2019