Shopping behavior in the US, UK, and France has become increasingly similar, with consumers simultaneously seeking out the same content, products, and trends. For brands that operate at the global level, this homogenisation creates an opportunity to generate efficiencies through scale.
Global brands increasingly standardise site content and templates across regions, allowing better amortisation of their digital assets and ensuring a consistent brand identity. Even in China, often considered a market that requires high localisation, 70% of brands utilise a template for their local site — a sharp increase from 26% in 2015.
This lets centrally located teams design the site and distribute updates through a common CMS system, leaving local teams to execute and manage customer service. However, a global template is not a silver bullet. Brands still have to account for local specificities around payment options, fulfillment, and omnichannel preferences.
Similar economies of scale can be delivered on social media, as using a global account limits duplication of effort. Following this logic, 61% of beauty brands in France rely on a global account for their Instagram activity. Even when managing multiple local accounts, some content can be developed by global teams (such as hero photos and videos) and deployed identically across markets, while relying on local teams for media optimization and influencer activation. Video production can also be rationalised by targeting several geographies or using easy-to-update formats like text overlays.
For local brands, international expansion offers an opportunity to improve digital ROI and performance once market entry costs are absorbed. Smashbox and Urban Decay soared from the Average to the Gifted category in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty US after their acquisition by beauty conglomerates that fast-tracked their international deployment. On the other hand, local French brands such as Lierac are leaped-frogged by global brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty France, where they account for 60% of the companies that dropped in rank year-over-year.