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3 keys to a successful retail website redesign

Estudios: 3 keys to a successful retail website redesign

Author: Craig Witt

Source: Retail Customer Experience 

Smart retailers know that sometimes a website overhaul is a necessary step for global and international growth. Redesigns often play a key role in these efforts.

However, global retailers are increasingly taking the opportunity during redesigns to localize websites and omnichannel content, too. Combining the two projects often controls costs and drives new business in international markets.

There are several best practices that retailers should keep in mind as they prep for redesigns. These tips can help expedite the localization process, helping to ensure the projects are set up for both short- and long-term success.

Keep design structure flexible

Translating content from English to other languages can create some significant — and problematic — variations in website layout and design if they’re not planned for.

When English-language text is translated into most languages, the resulting translations often include longer words and higher character counts. This phenomenon is called word growth or word expansion. Conversely, translating English text into other languages such Chinese or Japanese can actually create word contraction, or smaller volumes of text. Those variations can cause text overflow on some design elements – like menus or buttons – while leaving wide blank spaces on others. Those anomalies can create a disruptive and awkward user experience.

Creating flexible and dynamic pages, as well as leveraging responsive design practices, can help ensure that translated text fits and displays neatly on multilingual sites. Make sure any text boxes are set to «wrap text» rather than overflow, and allow for ample padding around existing text to accommodate variations once text is translated.

In addition, keeping text separate from images is a good practice overall, as it will help translators expedite the process of detecting and translating the content. This also allows search engines to index translated text, optimizing search results for international visitors.

In contrast, text that is embedded within a flattered image file is often easily overlooked, which means it’s far less likely to be translated. Untranslated content like this often alienates customers since the website presents a disjointed, «mixed language» experience. This can require expensive and labor-intensive graphics work to remedy.

Code for localization

Personalization is one of the most powerful digital strategies for retail, but doing it well requires thought and consideration — especially for global audiences.

It’s table stakes to translate all of your site’s core content for international customers so they can get basic company, product and customer service in the language they use most. But don’t forget the details that are easy to overlook. Make sure:
•    Product specifications use localized units of measurement.
•    Prices and purchase information are displayed in local currencies.
•    Customer service contact information is translated into the appropriate local market language (including addresses, phone numbers, and any forms or email addresses).

In addition, it’s possible to serve up products, promotions and offers that are specific to your global customer’slocation and geography, but it’s a capability you’ll want to set up early. That way, once you’ve translated your product offerings and catalog and designed your local promotions, you’ll be ready to display them for your customers based on their language preferences.

And if you’re capturing customer information on your site, be sure that your back-end systems and databases are equipped to handle data in multiple languages. Many non-Roman languages can appear as gibberish in databases that aren’t properly configured, making the information useless for your marketing or customer service teams in the future.

Find a solid partner

You don’t have to tackle your global redesign project alone. In addition to your trusted development providers and integration partners, look for an experienced partner that can help you review your project beforehand and identify opportunities and challenges you’ll want to address at the outset.

The right partners use a blend of technology and human expertise to help navigate technical considerations, the nuances of the markets you’re hoping to serve, and the task of translating, storing and redeploying all of your content for international visitors when your redesigned site launches. They’ll help you assess what to translate and when, and how best to balance your budget and the needs of your customers for a multilingual site that delivers an outstanding experience.

With a thoughtful and global approach to your website redesign project, you can ensure that your site will perform for your business, and that your international customers have an authentic, customized experience on your site that will keep them coming back for many years to come.


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