Commerce is going cross-border, and providing opportunities for real growth along the way.
According to research recently published by Accenture, more than 900 million consumers — or 45 percent of all online shoppers — will purchase products internationally on the web by 2020. But selling your products to buyers outside your country is a major undertaking — it requires careful planning and a well-thought-out strategy to deliver a product experience in context for each of these new markets.
How do you prepare your product catalog for cross-border commerce? Of course, you’ll need high-quality translation and localization services to ensure your products are customized to each regional market. You’ll also need images that are appropriate for what buyers expect in their country, ensuring that assets conform to local norms and customs while providing an emotional connection with buyers in those markets, too.
The most important piece, however, is ensuring that your team can manage your product information and put it into the context necessary to be successful in those locales.
Cross-border commerce is a massive opportunity for growth in B2C and B2B.
Akeneo PIM is an enabling technology that can help your marketing teams put product information into context to reach more markets through cross-border commerce. Akeneo PIM centralizes all technical, usage, and emotional information for your product listings and catalogs while also improving workflows and scalability, acting as the central product information hub suitable for use by both brands and retailers.
A PIM acts as a single source of truth for all product data, allowing information to be efficiently translated, localized and put into context for each location and sales channel once complete.
Here are four ways PIM can help your growing business reach new markets:
1. Take the pain out of translation
When it comes to expanding to new markets, acing the translation process is crucial to success.
Cross-border customers expect to be able to do business in their native language, no matter where the company they’re buying from is based. To enable this, Akeneo integrates with popular translation agencies and tools like Translations.com and Textmaster to help brands and retailers manage 3rd party translations within the PIM.
The PIM also automatically tracks items and fields that still need to be translated, ensuring no incomplete records are published. That way, you can be positive that your products will resonate with an international audience.
2. When in Rome…
Content must also be localized so that the information is not only presented in the proper language, but also the correct vernacular and context for a given area.
Spelling “color” as “colour” in the United States, for example, could confuse customers. Images and other multimedia assets must be adapted to remain relevant and appropriate for buyers in these new locales. What’s more, brands and retailers must also convert product data, such as clothing sizes or product measurements, to units that buyers in these markets understand — displaying product information in a language or unit they don’t understand is a surefire way to lose a customer.
Akeneo allows companies to more simply and efficiently localize product data for international markets. For example, marketers can perform bulk actions to set US shoe sizes in US channels and European sizes in European locales and channels.
Putting your product data in proper context will make sure that product information will make sense for those customers.
3. Simplify processes
Before you can translate and localize product information, however, you need to know exactly what information needs to be localized.
In the modern age, time-to-market is vital, and time spent localizing information that doesn’t need to be updated can lead to delays. To help simplify this process, Akeneo ensures that both internal and external translation and localization teams see and edit only the information that needs to be adapted.
These automated and simplified processes are crucial for success, so workflows to support them should be in place to ensure your cross-border sales efforts reach their true potential.
Akeneo helps your workflow go global by allowing teams to collaborate using customized workflows that serve each specific product category and region. Every team member can see their next task within the PIM, eliminating the need for additional task management overhead. The PIM also reports on the progress and completeness of each item to ensure high-quality product information is ready to be published.
4. Feed the right information to the right locale
Once you’ve adapted and updated product information, it’s time for the task of feeding all localized product information to each locale your business sells in.
With Akeneo’s export profiles, the final, localized product information can be easily distributed to the appropriate eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, print catalogs, and other channels and storefronts via a variety of connectors available on the Akeneo marketplace.
With the ability to export the right information for the right locale and right channel, your localized product information streamlines the product information management process to more efficiently meet the needs of cross-border commerce. This will give your business better time-to-market and opportunities to pursue sales growth to customers around the world.