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How a Localized Commerce Experience Meets Customers Where They Are

Find out how localized experiences create personalized customer journeys that convert.

  • Article
  • 5 min read
  • Nov 23, 2022
Gayan Pathirana
Gayan Pathirana

Head of Technology, East

Commercetools logo in dark grey.
localization

Summary

A website that’s difficult to navigate can all but ruin your day, but a website that feels like it can read your mind makes any task easier. One of the best ways to provide your customers with the latter experience is to enable a localized commerce strategy that understands your customers’ needs and provides them with a unique, curated commerce journey.   

For global businesses, this means ensuring any digital storefront will be intuitive and familiar to use for international customers while offering custom commerce capabilities popular in their local regions. But how can businesses make this possible when they’re facing the limitations of legacy ecosystems that can’t be force-fit for changing geographies?

With great challenge comes great opportunity: while legacy systems restrict your business from rapidly expanding, composable commerce can help your business evolve to create personalized experiences for customers wherever they are. This MACH-based approach offers a much more flexible system where business capabilities can be combined together modularly rather than using solid blocks that cannot be moved. This is crucial for localizing customer journeys and giving users a personalized commerce experience, regardless of where they are. 

Here’s how we can use composable technology to help you build compelling, personalized experiences that will position your brand as a global leader.

Understanding local needs

When you decide to expand your business on a global scale, there are a few things to think about:

  • Local laws

  • Culture

  • Market dynamics

  • Taxes

  • Product needs and logistics

  • Available website add-ins

Adjusting these for each country becomes complicated and time-consuming, especially when using legacy commerce systems. However, it is critical to do so. As Twilio reports, 62% of consumers will not be repeat shoppers if the experience is not personalized — and if you don't take the time to make your website work well for each potential customer trying to interact with you, you'll likely lose them as a lead.

Research by Accenture demonstrates that this is a global challenge for many businesses, with 95% of executives reporting that localization expectations of their customers are changing faster than they can change their digital experience.

Clearly, commerce platforms can no longer be the rigid, monolithic, slow systems they once were. Companies need a new way of quickly adapting to business expansion and changing markets. 

So how do we find the best possible solution for different types of customers? This is where composable commerce comes in.

Harnessing a flexible platform to expand your business globally

Composable commerce is an approach that combines reusable components into a custom-built application. It provides a design solution that allows companies flexibility in their platforms — which is absolutely necessary for an expanding, wide-reaching business.

The strategy for designing this kind of system begins by decoupling the digital experience front-end from the back-end and implementing atomic design, a method that uses atom-like building blocks allowing customization. This is akin to evolving your tech stack into Lego pieces, creating an environment where you’re free to change out the pieces as you wish, which means you can offer different customer experiences based on where your customers are and what they expect from a business.

For example, if you use atomic design and your digital experience platform (DXP) is composed of modular business capabilities, you can choose which technologies you want to integrate and at what touchpoints across your user journey. For example, this might mean using Contentful for content management across all touchpoints, and commercetools or Commerce Layer as the commerce engine. 

Customer preferences and needs are ever-changing, which is why businesses need technology in place that allows them to both scale and adapt to meet their customers where they are and where they may want to be in the near future.

Kelly Goetsch Chief Strategy Officer at commercetools

This modular and flexible digital strategy helps your business learn and adapt in a matter of weeks instead of months since you only have to exchange 'lego pieces' and not struggle with large, rigid blocks that require a major overhaul to changing customer interactions.

So what are the big benefits global industry leaders enjoy when transitioning to a composable ecosystem and leveraging personalization to create long-term relationships?

Composable commerce translates to a 66% reduction in the time it takes to implement and launch a new digital storefront for FEMSA

This approach was critical for the globalization of FEMSA, a leading pharmaceutical company in several countries. They needed an efficient platform to accelerate the implementation of updates and content management in order to personalize the commerce experience to fit the needs of each country’s unique consumer expectations.

localization infographic

The strategy was to decouple their back-end in Salesforce, which, combined with Contentful and atomic design principles, gave us the required flexibility to deliver tailored customer journeys across multiple touch points. This project resulted in a decrease in Salesforce’s website load times by 700% and a 66% cut in the time needed to create new storefronts.

A major boost in customer base size and repurchase rates for Coca-Cola Embonor, thanks to a flexible tech stack

Apply Digital also harnessed the localization impact of composable commerce with Coca-Cola Embonor, a major beverage marketing company in Chile and Bolivia. They sought to strengthen their business capabilities with a modern, flexible, and personalized B2B platform aimed at the Chilean and Bolivian markets using composable commerce.

Working closely with this client, we developed a B2B commerce experience in 2021 that increased their customer base by 2,800% and boosted repurchase rates by 75%.

Customer preferences and needs are ever-changing, which is why businesses need technology in place that allows them to both scale and adapt to meet their customers where they are and where they may want to be in the near future.

Kelly Goetsch Chief Strategy Officer at commercetools

Localization as an expansion strategy

So, how can you adapt your company's web offerings to an audience that's speaking multiple languages within and beyond borders and connecting from all kinds of devices?

Think about it: just as your business is looking to grow, many others are gaining market share in an increasingly digitalized world, where competition is fierce, and alternatives are just a click away. This means that delivering a personalized customer experience is the key to setting your business apart from everyone looking to succeed worldwide.

Just like with FEMSA and Coca-Cola, by leveraging a flexible composable commerce architecture, you can adapt to fluctuations in local markets. Now you can integrate new services with ease, and react to data as it comes in, allowing you to make those small DXP commerce experiences that make a huge difference. This might mean showing tailored recommendations, audience-specific promotions, or remembering preferences. What matters most is that you curate a user experience that feels personal and localized.

Gauging your current delivery of a personalized commerce experience

Some things to consider when gauging where your company is at when it comes to the delivery of a personalized commerce experience for multi-location customers include:

  • Is the content on your site tailored to the user's language, geography, device, and location?

  • Does the commerce personalize shopper navigation and product recommendations based on the user's behavior and purchase history?

  • Is there a powerful search experience that enhances product discovery?

  • Does it provide a consistent omnichannel experience?

  • And most important, does your customer feel like your business knows and understands them?

In the long run, succeeding in business basically comes down to building strong and meaningful relationships with customers. And, the only true way to do this is with an ongoing localization and personalization strategy: implementing continuous changes for local markets and making the experience unique for each customer. In turn, having a flexible and composable ecosystem becomes a must.

Personalization impacts customer shopping experiences

An increase in personalization has a measurable benefit for customer engagement, retention, and conversion. This is supported by a recent McKinsey report, which demonstrated that  71% of users expected personalization, and companies that offer effective personalization generate 40% more revenue.

So now comes the most difficult question.

Does your platform have the necessary foundations to implement these technologies?

With composable commerce, you can introduce one tool at a time and build upon your existing technology ecosystem — making it easy to get started. 

At Apply Digital, we are ready to bring our commerce knowledge to improve your shopping experiences. If you are looking for a partner to guide the next phase of your market expansion and growth, reach out to someone on our team, and we’d be happy to explore how we can help your brand’s localization strategy.

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