How Localization Takes Retail Personalization to the Next Level

Retail personalization is the next big trend in e-commerce. Businesses are now expected to retain information about their users’ previous purchases, use them to make native product recommendations, and even re-target them to personalize ads.

With demand for relevancy on the rise, personalization allows retailers to better serve their most important target customer segments. Mobile apps, in particular, are a fertile ground for a personal buying experience, and localization can give brands an edge in very specific markets. Here’s a closer look at how localization is taking retail personalization to the next level.

What Is Retail Personalization?

Retail giants like Amazon pioneered the concept of personalization. A shopper’s past browsing and purchase history are used to make product recommendations, target advertising, and customize how information is presented. According to RetailWire, one store in the UK is improving its personalization to the point that it can foreshadow the trend’s overall direction.

Using a unique algorithm, the company can display 1.2 million versions of its homepage to shoppers depending on their interests, and expects that number to rise to 3.5 million versions by the end of the year.

Although most brands aren’t taking personalization to this extreme, it raises important questions about how best to tailor their content to global audiences.

Personalizing in the Age of Global Shopping

Two advantages of online shopping are that buyers now have infinite choices while brands benefit from larger customer pools. But with a global customer base comes a level of personalization that hinges on translation into multiple new languages. How many do your customers speak? Do you have essential content available in those languages so their shopping experience is seamless?

Retailers now thrive on a personalization strategy that solves technological problems they never used to have — specifically, how to determine a shopper’s location, interests, past browsing history, and linguistic preferences. When supported by robust translation software, it becomes easier for retailers to quickly and easily serve customers compelling content in their native languages. Think of it in terms of both a standard online presence, as well as a mobile app.

Focusing on Mobile App Localization

Juniper Research suggests mobile devices will account for 30 percent of global retail shopping by 2018. So mobile app localization is going to be a priority for retailers that are working to increase relevancy and sales through initiatives like personalization.

First-level personalization, alone, ensures that content — from sales information, to product descriptions, to branded marketing collateral — appears in a shopper’s preferred language. After that, further personalization based on past buying and browsing behaviors will be especially powerful.

Mobile app localization — and any localization component of a retail personalization plan, for that matter — begins with a clear strategy for translating content. Translation integration makes it easy for businesses to localize content on a variety of platforms.

The software can identify what content needs to be translated, serve it to professional translators, and then automatically publish it as it is approved. This process happens quickly and efficiently, without diverting important developer and management time away from your company’s core focus.

When combined with other personalization technologies such as GPS-based content serving systems, you have a powerful way to attract your shoppers’ attention and increase your conversations with them.

Personalizing the retail experience is a major focus for e-commerce businesses that are committed to growth in the next few years. Two of the biggest opportunities for businesses are in translating their content for global audiences and focusing on the mobile channel. Businesses that take advantage of this through localization, personalized marketing, and mobile app development will come out ahead.