New Articles

Spanish Mobile Sites Deliver Immediate, Sustained Growth with U.S. Hispanics

Spanish mobile websites directed to U.S. Hispanics could generate more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Spanish Mobile Sites Deliver Immediate, Sustained Growth with U.S. Hispanics

Smartphones and tablets have transformed how consumers communicate and shop. These days, one in five people worldwide own a smartphone, and 60 percent of them use those devices as their primary or exclusive internet source.

Progressive companies around the world are adapting by launching mobile websites for their multi-lingual markets. But American companies are behind the times—few maintain Spanish-language mobile sites for U.S. Hispanic customers.

It’s a missed opportunity. Based on 2014 research presented by Google, U.S. Hispanics lead the country in adoption of new devices, they are one and half times more likely to buy mobile apps and digital media than non-Hispanics, and they now have a buying power of $1.5 trillion.

Spanish mobile sites are particularly affordable to deploy, when using existing translated content from a company’s desktop Spanish site, and the clients who do so see immediate and positive results.

One America’s largest pizza restaurant chains discovered last year that 33 percent of all visits to the chain’s Spanish desktop site—the version optimized for PC screens—was hailing from mobile devices.

Unfortunately, mere handfuls of those visits converted into pizza orders. Many visitors abandoned the site after viewing a single page via their mobile devices.

Why? A native mobile experience didn’t exist for Spanish speakers. By translating its English-language mobile site into Spanish, monthly mobile revenue skyrocketed by 481 percent. Spanish mobile-site revenue now represents over half of all revenue this company generates from its Spanish online channels.

Automotive parts company websites receive nearly 40 percent of its U.S. Spanish traffic from mobile devices. But the inbound Spanish mobile traffic of major auto parts manufacturer was anemic.

It turned out the company wasn’t connecting with customers in their language of choice, on their devices of choice. One the company launched a Spanish mobile site, traffic and engagement increased immediately, and quickly generated ROI.

Two years ago, the mobile phone traffic to one a major U.S. airline’s Spanish desktop site accounted for less than five percent of total visits and mobile conversions were in the gutter.

After launching a Spanish-language mobile site, the company’s Spanish-language engagement and revenue immediately increased. In fact, it recovered its initial costs in a mere five days.

Over the next six weeks, Spanish site traffic grew 80 percent—across desktop and mobile. Revenue from Spanish mobile users rose 363 percent.

The mobile site generated other powerful engagement metrics. Spanish mobile signups for the airline’s customer loyalty program increased by 269 percent. In-language mobile flight-status checks hit stratospheric heights.

The airline now projects to generate, in revenue, 379 times its annual cost operating a Spanish mobile site. The mobile site generates more revenue in a single day than it costs to maintain it for an entire year.

One of the smartest ways companies can connect with U.S. Hispanics is with Spanish-language mobile sites. No matter what language you’re fluent in, these results speak for themselves.

Charles Whiteman is senior vice president of client services at MotionPoint Corporation, the world’s #1 enterprise localization platform. He may be reached at

Success for luxury online retailers will come with shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Three Emerging Markets Perfect for Luxury E-Commerce

As a recent business feature in The New York Times put it, luxury retailers “believe in the primacy of the customer experience … in touch, and talk.” Indeed, luxury retailers excel at the exclusive, intimate, in-person consultative sale.

Historically, that might be one of the key reasons why the luxury sector hasn’t invested much in the web. Even with global online retail sales increasing nearly 20 percent annually, at least 40 percent of high-end brands haven’t embraced e-commerce, Bloomberg recently reported.

But the times, they are a-changin’. As the New York Times piece said, luxury retailers “have come to believe that the future of their business and a route to global expansion lie online.”

Why? The next generation of luxury customers is here. They’re younger, digitally savvy, practically minded, and impatient.

They’re also big spenders. Luxury ecommerce sales are expected to reach $21 billion in the next five years, says a recent McKinsey report. In fact, the sector is one of the fastest-growing in e-retail: “E-commerce has been described as the ‘next China’ for luxury in terms of opportunity,” an analyst recently said.

As with every retail sector, luxury retailers will soon feel the pinch as they saturate their core markets. The solution for sustained growth? Launching ecommerce sites in international markets.

It’s a smart play. In just three years, global e-commerce will hit $2.3 trillion. Most of that growth is hailing from overseas consumers.

Luxury retailers, here are three promising online markets to target with your e-commerce efforts. For now, they’re largely untapped by competitors, and are demonstrating appetite for online shopping.


Unlike the disruptions they’ve created in other BRIC nations, cheap oil prices have positively impacted India’s economy and growth. This translates into confident consumer spending, especially in luxury e-commerce.

India’s population of 300 million Internet users is mobile-savvy. About 70 percent of the country’s Internet-connected devices are smartphone and tablets. The luxury e-commerce market here will grow to $25 billion by 2016, according to one report, with a compounded growth of 25 percent annually. Expect most sales to center on high-end apparel, accessories, watches and electronics.

Despite the economic uptick, India is largely untapped by luxury retailers. This is great news for first movers. Of the 500 leading international luxury brands, only 30 percent have a presence in India. (In contrast, 70 percent of these top brands are present in China). With its blossoming economy, growing middle class, and favorable regulatory environment, India is an ideal market for exploration.


Thailand loves luxury. It’s already Southeast Asia’s largest luxury goods market: last year, its residents spent $2.5 billion on luxury goods.

There’s a lot going for this market. Housing costs are low, and disposable income is high. The largest share of Thailand’s population (20.5 percent) is between 30 to 34 years old, and earns over $150,000 annually. Residents 35 to 39 years old account for 18.6 percent of the population. They’re also increasingly affluent.

Internet penetration in Thailand is robust (54 percent), but mobile is where the action is. With a mobile adoption rate of 150 percent, Thailand is poised to become a player in the Southeast Asia’s biggest m-commerce space. In fact, some analysts believe m-commerce is the “last explosive sales channel” for luxury retailers.

With currently little competition online, luxury retailers may stand to win big in Thailand—especially retailers that persuade local smartphone users to hop onto the m-commerce bandwagon.


Economic recessions seemed to abound at the beginning of 2015. But Poland entered the year walking tall. According to Brookings, its “GDP per capita based on purchasing power exceeded $24,000 and reached 65 percent of the Western European (eurozone) level of income.”

This is supercharging customer spending, particularly in luxury. Next year, Poland’s luxury spending will hit about $3.4 billion. This spending won’t be focused solely in brick-and-mortar stores; Poland’s e-commerce spending will grow to $12 billion during the same time frame.

This is an ideal frontier for companies keen on expanding into an economically stable Central European market. At 67 percent, Poland’s internet adoption rate is very good, too.

With global Internet and smartphone adoption hitting stratospheric heights—and international B2C e-commerce sales growing year after year—luxury brands can ill-afford to sit on the sidelines. Now is the time expand internationally, online.

Engaging these emerging markets, especially in their languages of choice, can ensure a steady stream of new customers and sustained sales growth.

Charles Whiteman is senior vice president of client services at MotionPoint Corporation, the world’s #1 enterprise localization platform. He may be reached at

Providing consumers in emerging markets with mobile friendly sites is key to success in shipping export cargo and import cargo in international trade to those regions.

Six Powerful Tips to Reach Global Customers on Their Smartphones

If your company wants to expand into emerging international markets, it should invest resources in engaging those customers via their mobile devices.

Why? Smartphones are the preferred internet-connected device for many global consumers—and increasingly, it’s the only device they have for researching and purchasing products and services. Indeed, mobile ecommerce (m-commerce) is outpacing traditional e-commerce by 3-to-1. Next year, global m-commerce sales will reach $291 billion, nearly triple the sales of just three years ago.

It’s easier than ever to expand into new markets online, but the global mobile space still has unique challenges that could catch some companies unawares. Let’s look at a few “survival tips” to help conquer them.

Bandwidth: friend and foe. Bandwidth—the capacity of data that flows through network connections—plays a critical role in mobile experiences. Some markets have state-of-the-art cellular data networks with robust bandwidth accommodations, which deliver peppy load-times and performance. Others don’t. Companies must understand these market-specific inconsistencies and create content accordingly.

For instance, South America is home to some of the slowest Internet connections in the world—an important consideration to note, should your company wish to expand in those markets. According to Akamai’s State of the Internet report, Argentina has the slowest in the region, with an average of 1.8 Mbps. (The global average is 4 Mbps.) Attractive online markets such as Brazil and Colombia feature better, though comparatively slow, speeds of 2.5 Mbps.

Tip #1: If a market’s bandwidth is slower than what’s needed to effectively present your localized digital experience, your new customers won’t transact there.

We’ve seen companies, especially those in the UK, create international mobile sites with the assumption that global users have access to the same ultra-high speed bandwidth UK users do. This often results in disaster. Sites that aren’t optimized for slower connections usually see higher bounce rates. Users disengage when they have to wait.

Tip #2: In contrast, U.S.-based companies that target affluent markets with strong infrastructures (such as those in Europe) can reasonably assume these nations will have faster-than-average internet connections and higher-than-average smartphone penetration rates. This empowers companies to cater to those more robust “pipelines,” and higher user expectations.

And speaking of U.S. companies: Most don’t dedicate many resources to creating mobile-friendly experiences for domestic consumers. That’s a mistake, but it’s an even greater one for global markets. Even when launching an overseas site in a high-bandwidth market, don’t neglect to offer users a mobile experience.

Multi-screen experiences aren’t a global phenomenon. Technology pundits and marketers have been crowing about the ubiquity of the “second screen” experience for years, but that trend isn’t as omnipresent as you might think.

In mature markets, mobile experiences are used to augment content consumption. This might mean delivering real-time complementary experiences to “first-screen” television viewers, or creating access anywhere omnichannel retail experiences.

But emerging markets are different. In these regions, desktop computers never achieved the same levels of market penetration. Here, mobile devices have provided the first internet connection—an entirely new breed of “first screen.”

As a result, these consumers use mobile devices as their primary internet connections, and for a wider variety of activities. Analysis of desktop website traffic tells the story: According to data from StatCounter, the share of global webpage views on desktop has decreased 13 percent to 62 percent, compared to the same for mobile phones which has grown from 31 percent to 39 percent. Developing markets including Nigeria, India, and South Africa is where mobile’s share of web traffic dominates desktop.

Tip #3: This phenomenon isn’t limited to emerging markets. American companies keen to connect with U.S. Spanish speakers should ensure that their mobile experiences are localized, and that appropriate resources are dedicated to marketing to this demographic.

Tip #4: Offering a more robust, comprehensive, and user-friendly experience for your new global customers requires placing a greater emphasis on localized mobile sites. This is nowhere more important than in China, where there’s a developing one-screen society—mobile devices are simply displacing other media.

This is very different than the multi-screening we often hear about in the U.S.

The Power of Search and Mobile Design. Offering localized on-site search (OSS) functionality is also especially important for mobile experiences.

Tip #5: An in-language OSS experience that is predictive in anticipating users’ queries—and can account for common misspellings—saves users time, and increases engagement. Indeed, serving these users quickly may mean the difference between winning and losing a sale.

But having such search functionality won’t be especially effective if your company’s international mobile sites have lousy designs. In our post-mobilegeddon world, greater focus has been placed on desktop sites with responsive design, and mobile-friendly sites. But now, companies are increasingly facing a new question relating to mobile users: Should businesses stick with a responsive site, or deploy an exclusively mobile site?

Offering a responsive version of a site has several benefits—namely, companies can use their existing sites, and there’s no need for a separate team or budget to be allocated for its maintenance. However, this route becomes difficult when managing a large site, as the site’s complexity may not lend itself well to an optimized responsive experience.

Tip #6: Remember that for most consumers in emerging markets, the mobile experience will be the only experience they’ll have of your brand. Since they’re customized for smaller screens, mobile sites simply display better than responsive sites. Consider launching localized mobile sites for your international efforts.


Charles Whiteman is senior vice president of client services at MotionPoint Corporation, the world’s #1 enterprise localization platform. He may be reached at

Properly localizing international websites enavle companies to ship more export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Three Tips to Supercharge Your Online International Marketing

These days, the fastest and most economical way companies can penetrate new international markets is through the internet. And launching localized websites, in global consumers’ languages of choice, is the easiest way to do it.

Unfortunately, companies often abandon this global strategy when it doesn’t generate immediate results. These business are mystified by the outcome—they performed their due diligence, researched the opportunity, and dutifully launched a localized website. What went wrong?

In all likelihood, they were missing a critical ingredient: marketing.

Website translation projects are often assigned to a company’s IT, communications or ecommerce teams. These teams competently achieve the goal—launch a localized site—but they quickly shift focus to other items on their miles-long “to do” lists.

Doing so can swiftly doom a global online initiative. After all, new customers will never seek out your product or service if they don’t know it exists. And so, due to anemic marketing efforts, global sites generate very little traffic and even less revenue. They provide no value to the business.

There are several smart and economical ways to avoid this fate. Here are three strategies your company can embrace that, when executed properly, deliver great results in overseas online markets.

Email marketing. Your business undoubtedly has a successful English-language email marketing strategy already in place, but translating those primary-market English emails won’t be enough.

Your brand may be starting from near zero in international markets. Marketing is a different game abroad. Your company must craft unique messaging that builds its reputation, and consumers’ trust in these new markets.

In the case of one company, its email conversion rate was 10 percent for its English website but the traffic generated by these emails was less than one percent. Only English-speaking users who were really engaged with the brand were driving email-based revenue to the site.

Email traffic for this client’s French, German, and Spanish sites fluctuated between eight and 11 percent and conversion rates ranged from 2.49 to 3.29 percent. Our conclusion: The company’s email strategy successfully drove users to its international sites, suggesting consumer curiosity. But the comparatively lower conversion rates indicated the company needed further investment in gaining local user trust.

Email strategies in Russia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe are especially effective. These markets always deliver high open rates. If you want to capitalize on the curiosity of these international customers, be sure to make your messages clear, engaging, and local.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO). International SEO requires a similar, yet different, set of skills and tools than primary-market English websites. First, Google is not the top search engine in many important markets, so a fluency in regional search engines is a must. Publishing high-quality content is an SEO best practice, no matter the market or language. Maintaining a content-rich website with a great user experience signals to new global customers—and their regional search engines—that your localized website is an authority and can be trusted.

Keyword strategy is also different in international markets. In mature markets, companies almost always benefit from using branded keywords. In emerging markets success hinges more on words based on products, services, or long-tail keywords. Don’t bang the drum for your brand in overseas markets at first. Tout products and services first.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Localization and personalization—two tactics that deliver CRO—have become worthy investments for many companies. Many businesses test at least a dozen personalization variations on any given day.

Many of these tests deliver miniscule improvements to conversion rates; sometimes measured in the tenths of a percent. But these incremental boosts can generate large revenues for a site.

This kind of personalization is possible for global markets, too. Here, it’s especially important to know the local consumers and culture, and adapt the localized site to feel like an authentically local website.

For instance: Suppose your company is a recognized brand in France, and you operate a localized Spanish site for the Latin American market. It’s late spring in France, and so you create a campaign to promote bathing suits. Summer is coming, after all.

This promotion won’t just fail in Argentina—it’ll make your brand a laughing stock there. Argentinian users won’t appreciate that kind of campaign, as that market is approaching winter during that time of the year!


Charles Whiteman is senior vice president of client services at MotionPoint Corporation, the world’s #1 enterprise localization platform. He may be reached at

Following these tips will help global ecommerce sites become successful, allowing them to ship more export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Five Survival Tips for Launching Global Ecommerce Sites

For online retailers, international markets can provide instant and sustained sources for growth and revenue. But launching e-commerce sites in new territories can be intimidating.

Here are five survival tips to help you effectively engage these new customers:

Checkout and Shipping. Evaluate your order fulfillment process and adjust it to accommodate global customers. For instance: Does your current shipping provider offer overseas shipping options? Also, consider average order values (AOV) and typical order weights (the combined weight of an order including items, packaging etc.). These will impact shipping costs. Provide localized shipping address forms, too. Different countries have different address and name formats.

Localized Support. Providing customer service in an international market’s preferred language is also a best practice. This usually means translating e-mails, providing local customer service phone numbers and localizing “contact us” forms so they’re market appropriate.

This could mean using forms that are customized for local address formats, or having forms that require input in only a bare minimum of fields. For instance, western-style contact forms are often perceived as invasive in some Asian markets, since they ask for more personal information than local forms do.

Translation and User Experience. To be truly effective, global ecommerce sites should be translated. Localized content legitimizes a website, and resonates with consumers. But to achieve sustained success, an international website must transcend translation.

Savvy companies (or their website localization partners) use data-driven analysis—such as A/B tests and engagement metrics—to find ways to maximize the localized site’s user experience and conversion funnel (the process a customer takes, from the process of searching online and navigating an e-commerce site to finally making a purchase.)

This approach also extends to search engine optimization (SEO). Using localized keywords will make the site’s content SEO-rich, boosting the site’s rankings in regional search engines. URL translation is also important; it will improve search engine rankings.

Localized Payment Options. This may surprise many western companies, but payment methods such as credit cards and PayPal aren’t always preferred by international customers. In many markets, bank transfers, invoices, e-wallets and cash on delivery are all preferred payment options. Online retailers must cater to these local tastes, if they want to attract customers.

Take Japan. According to global payment management company CyberSource, half of Japanese consumers used credit cards for making online purchases, but nearly 20 percent prefer cash on delivery. Further, 15 percent prefer transfers at the bank or post office, and 11 percent prefer paying at convenience stores. They opt for these payment methods to avoid fraud and identity theft. One global payment service provider recently warned that companies that don’t support local payment types might sell only 20 percent of what they might otherwise generate.

Localized Sales Campaigns. Promotional campaigns such as discounts and reduced/free shipping absolutely contribute to an ecommerce site’s success. Companies can leverage these powerful tactics for their international markets, too. However, be sure to consider the nuances of these international cultures. Research the market’s travel holidays and gift-giving holidays—and conversely, holidays where people may do less shopping. Strategically time your important sales with those periods.


Charles Whiteman is senior vice president of client services at MotionPoint Corporation, the world’s #1 enterprise localization platform. He may be reached at