When opening a brand site, shoppers who don’t understand the language undoubtedly become frustrated and could likely abandon the site before clicking a single page. Yet just 59% of brand homepages detect the shopper’s country of origin and automatically adjust their language in response, according to L2’s Localization: Site Content Strategy report.

This problem is particularly serious in markets where few consumers understand English. Just 35% of brands automatically redirect users to local sites in South Korea, according to the study. The numbers are similarly low in Brazil and Mexico, despite the fact that these three countries have some of the lowest English fluency rates. In Mexico, only 5% of the total population speaks fluent English, meaning that brands without auto-detect essentially neglect 95% of potential shoppers.

Local language detection

Forever 21 provides an example of how to do localization right. Across its nine country-specific e-commerce sites, the brand uses templates to maintain a consistent look and feel. But it still caters to local markets by translating into the local language, including navigation and buttons as well as product descriptions and other content – ensuring that shoppers will continue shopping.

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