Website internationalization can exponentially increase a company’s revenue when done effectively. There is significant profitability in entering each new market in a perfect plan, and internationalization is the key to implementing the tactics necessary to gain those profits. Ironically, for internationalization to bring in revenue, you have to create an approach that doesn’t strictly focus on the ending revenue result. While internationalization can be a significant revenue driver, you need realistic expectations and plans for the entire expenditure to overcome its challenges and optimize your ROI.
What is Website Internationalization?
Website internationalization refers to the process of making a website easily adaptable to multiple languages. It’s a tactical strategy that focuses on establishing the best content architecture, design, and commerce strategies to make a website viable across various countries with a unified aesthetic. While globalization focuses on assessing market entries for ROI, internationalization focuses on implementing the guidelines to best reach the expected ROI without completely redesigning a website for each new market. Internationalization is a broader map for localization that executes those guideline tasks for each market.
Three ROI Benefits of Website Internationalization
Three main ROI benefits bring the most value to the idea of internationalization and global scaling for a company.
1. New Market Accessibility
A company’s ability to sell goods and services in different countries is their market access. Opening a new business in new markets usually requires negotiations and compliance regulations for tariffs, quotas, etc. It can be difficult for physical companies to obtain access due to complex export and import negotiations. Website internationalization and localization allow you to enter new markets without requiring a physical company location. This scenario requires fewer compliance regulations and fees and creates a much easier avenue to leverage your brand and products in new countries.
2. Brand Recognition
A website is a great tool to build brand awareness amongst consumers. Localizing a website expands your consumer base with each new market to make it a global competitor. Expanding your brand recognition also builds credibility and increases website traffic. If you have search engine optimization (SEO) strategies in place, the increased website traffic can help significantly improve your Google rankings for even more company growth.
3. Reduced Overhead Cost for Market Entry
New market entries for physical companies can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and more depending on the company size and required working capital. Website internationalization and localization provide a lower-cost option for market entry. When working with a trusted localization management platform, you can develop a website translation strategy that becomes more streamlined with each new market and provides much easier scalability than traditional market entries.
Website internationalization also provides the flexibility of assessing ROI for initial market entries and adjusting strategies and localization timelines to optimize future results.
Challenges of Website Internationalization
There can be many challenges when it comes to website internationalization, and if they aren’t accounted for, they can increase overhead costs and reduce profits. The following are the most notable hindrances to consider:
Assess Website Architecture
A company’s initial challenge will be assessing how ready a website is for internationalization. Your website’s architecture and coding strings have to be optimized to ensure it can undergo localization without excessive file engineering to translate material and reintegrate it.
Evaluate Your E-Commerce Model
Another hurdle is assessing your company’s e-commerce fulfillment options for each market and ensuring your payment service is functional in each country. Along with guaranteeing your revenue, you also have to implement processes for paying taxes and other necessary fees for each market. An e-commerce model that allows you to use it across countries easily will optimize your company’s profits.
Create Practical Localization Strategies
“Website” is a very general term. Most companies have multiple sites, including marketing and customer support websites. Companies have to decide if they plan to localize all content for each country or plan for asymmetric localization for different countries. If websites aren’t localized identically, it can create a massive overhead for managing and scaling website content in all markets. This situation also applies to deciding on an overall approach for business management in new countries. A local approach delegates website management to a local agency, but that can be much harder to manage if you plan to have long-term company scaling. A central approach that keeps website management within a central headquarters creates more overhead but provides easier company growth.
Manage Your Internationalization Expectations
Knowing what to prepare for during a website internationalization process can help you avoid costly mistakes that significantly reduce your ROI. The best way to overcome the challenges of internationalization is to choose a localization management platform that can give you transparency and successful strategies during each phase of the process. While internationalization can have a high upfront cost and preparation, it is also an excellent driving force for increased revenue and growth.