In the rapidly changing world of e-commerce, companies are trying to connect with customers as much as possible to stand out and increase retention. Advances in data allow companies to track previous purchases, browsing habits, and even personal hobbies to try and provide the customer with the most personalized shopping experience as possible.
But what about language? In e-commerce, translation and localization processes are shifting from a cost center to an ROI strategy by replicating the same feeling the customer would receive in a local brick-and-mortar store. If a buyer feels like the online shopping experience is similar to their daily experiences in their home countries, they will be more comfortable and are more likely to make a purchase.
One company that placed this idea in the center of their business strategy was Connox.
The Problem: Ready to Personalize, No Translation System in Place
At Connox, a German e-commerce company specializing in home and furniture items, localization first was launched in 2010 when the company decided to internationalize outside of the German market into English. As they did so, personalization of the customer’s online shopping experience was of the utmost importance.
“Connox wants to offer the best possible shopping experience to customers all over the world,” said Josi Schlichting, Coordinator of International Shops. “We want customers to be greeted and serviced as if they were in a small local shop.”
Following the initial translation from German to English, the next step was to set up an e-shop for the Austrian audience in 2015. “We wanted to offer customers service in Austrian-German with payment methods they were used to, checkout processes and trust-certificates they know, as well as rating platforms, delivery times, and prices as if we were an Austrian shop. That’s our approach.”
Soon, Connox was translating from German into a total of four languages (French, English, and Danish) with localized subdomains (Austrian, Swiss-German, Swiss-French, and British English). Each language and subdomain have native translators, quality assurance, customer care, and marketing professionals alongside up to four translation agencies.
“At first, we had to learn how important localization really is,” Josi said, “and then we had to start setting up language teams and test tools, and then talk with translation agencies.”
To centralize processes for the multinational team and to make the localization workflow as efficient as possible, Josi and the Connox team chose Memsource.
The Solution: A Collaborative, API-Enabled Cloud Platform
After testing a number of CAT tools, Josi and the team chose Memsource for its open API functionality and toolsets that fit their needs. The platform was easy to implement, was user-friendly, and could easily import and export translation memory and term bases. The team can set job-specific settings, such as locking links, creating tags for sensitive formatting, and including links to websites and images. They were also able to collaborate with Memsource partner TextMinded (now part of Semantix) for additional onboarding and implementation assistance.
Connox localizes a variety of website content including product descriptions, names and details of the variants, and image names and descriptions. By using APIs, the files for translation can be exported from the in-house Connox system directly into Memsource and securely sent to agencies and translators. For new translation projects, there is an initial discussion about the project setup regarding term bases and style guides, and once established, the workflow happens efficiently without any unnecessary effort.
After the files are pulled into Memsource, translators around the world can collaborate, project statuses are updated in real-time, and translation memory reuses previous translations for consistency and savings. Once the translations are completed, checked for quality, and approved, the files are pushed back into Connox’s system. A final QA process occurs, and then the completed translations are published to the respective localized domains.
The Results: An Efficient, Streamlined Localization Workflow
After integrating with Memsource, Josi and the Connox team are able to manage the localization workflow efficiently with in-house and external vendors around the world.
Faster, better, easier
By utilizing the API connection, translation memory and term bases, and quality checks, Josi and her team have received considerable time savings – an increase in turnaround time between 30-40%. “Translations became better, coordination became easier and more transparent, and errors decreased because the tool is able to maintain consistency with the company’s style through the use of term bases,” Josi said.
A direct return on investment
The choice to localize into different languages and create a personalized experience for online shoppers has already started paying off for Connox. After an initial launch of revenue in their French and Danish e-shops (600% and over 1,000% respectively), Connox has seen an average of 20% increase in month-on-month revenue in both domains.
The in-house team works with up to four different external vendors with varying delivery dates and amounts of content. Vendors are provided with between 200-2,000 files per batch and return them within 1-8 weeks, depending on the number and deadline. Everyone involved in the workflow operates within the Memsource platform, regardless of location, and the Connox team can ensure all of the vendors are using the same terminology and are reusing previous translations with translation memory.
When working with multiple vendors on the progress of several translation projects, having oversight in real-time is essential. “Memsource makes it easy to keep an eye on the progress of different projects with different teams and languages alive at the same time,” said Josi, “and it allows us to analyze them whenever someone needs some information or an update.”
Reduction of complexity
As an e-commerce company, the Connox team needs to be fast and flexible to adapt to their customer’s everyday needs all over the world. Memsource’s API-enabled platform helps the team to connect directly to their internal platform reducing the need to send files over email, to address “the huge complexity of languages and cultural demands within a very short period of time”, and to quickly collaborate with service providers around the world.
A New Way of Doing Business
For Connox, diving into localization required adjustments and establishing new processes. “A good example is our new plug type page,” Josi said. “It identifies different plugs for wall outlets in countries around the world. We wouldn’t have needed this webpage if we didn’t localize or had plans to internationalize at all.” They have also customized their customer review page – each subdomain has quotes and success stories tailored to the specific locale and language.
But it’s paying off. Revenue is up, translation workflows are streamlined, and security has increased with direct file transfers via API. There’s only one question remaining: which language is next?
“Memsource helps us to keep an eye on complex localization projects while being both simple and easy to handle. They have a support team that responds quickly to customers and accepts our suggestions and wishes. I can highly recommend this tool to everyone.”
Founded in 2005, Connox is one of the market-leading online shops for designer furniture and home accessories with over 400 brands and numerous design awards.