Website Internationalization vs Localization: How to Benefit With a Headless CMS
Every medium to large-sized enterprise today wants to be able to enter new countries and regions and achieve internationalization. With good reason, too, as Deloitte points out that “internationalization is associated with technology and knowledge transfers that can also boost productivity and therefore real per capita GDP.”
However, to successfully do that, having content in one language is no longer enough, which calls for increased localization to adapt to different markets. Businesses need to be able to internationalize and localize their websites and other content assets for global audiences.
In this article, we’ll explain why brands are looking to embrace internationalization and how a headless CMS can help with global market expansion.
Internalization vs. Localization: What is Website Internationalization?
Internationalization and localization are often used interchangeably, but there are some important differences.
Internationalization means designing products, services, and internal operations to facilitate expansion into international markets. Essentially, you run your business in a way so that you can quickly bring your product or services to a new market without having to redesign everything each time.
On the other hand, localization is adapting a particular product or service to one of those markets. For many companies, localization is often associated with translation, but that isn’t the only thing. It could also mean adjusting the imagery used on a website to avoid a cultural issue or providing different shipping options and promotions for an eCommerce store.
Essentially, if you want to achieve internationalization, you need to embrace localization. Website internationalization involves designing your digital presence so that you can enter different international markets. As you might expect, brands that want to internationalize their websites will often need to localize their content as part of the expansion strategy.
Why Growing Brands Are Embracing Website Internalization.
Businesses are continuing to embrace website internationalization for several reasons.
Increase Customer Reach
Internationalization allows you to reach more customers with your business as you enter new markets and regions. Consequently, access to more customers means a bigger sales opportunity and more revenue generation.
Appeal to More Customers
To effectively internationalize your website, you need to localize your content, allowing you to cater to more customers. Giving customers in Germany or France content in their language or hints of their local culture can make your brand more appealing than if you tried to give every customer the same experience.
For example, German car-sharing company MILES Mobility offers its primary website in German. However, they also give customers the option of selecting another language, like English, or another region, like Belgium, and then displaying content in English, French, or German. And with any localization effort, this content isn’t simply translated but delivered with images and adaptations to each country or language.
Growth of Remote Work
Another reason for brands to internationalize their websites is the growth of remote work. Now that everyone doesn’t need to be in the same office or even country to work in the company, it provides access to even more talent. If a potential employee sees that you have a presence in their country, they might be more inclined to want to work with your business.
Increased Competitive Advantage
Brands that provide localized content and an international presence can gain an advantage over their competitors, who might only sell products or services in their current area. Businesses can go to market faster with new ideas and test hypotheses with different audience segments.
A growing requirement for modern businesses is the personalization of content. The localization required for internationalization provides a form of personalization for customers, which can improve their overall experience.
Another example is the German freight forwarding company Sennder which provides content in different languages, including French, Polish, Italian, Latvian, and more. Plus, with each language comes another sitemap as the needs of customers who speak the language could differ.
How a Headless CMS Like Storyblok Enables Website Internalization
To properly internationalize your website and prepare for new markets, whether today or in the future, a headless CMS is an excellent tool to have at your disposal. Storyblok is a headless CMS that’s ideal for internationalization, and here are a few reasons why:
Omnichannel Content Delivery
A headless CMS supports omnichannel content delivery. You can create a website just as you would with a traditional CMS like WordPress, but you don’t have to limit yourself to delivering that content to just a desktop. For example, with a platform like Storyblok, you can provide content to mobile devices, smartwatches, tablets, and many different digital channels, to create an omnichannel experience for your customers.
Better Collaboration & Content Workflows
Storyblok offers better collaboration between your colleagues and makes setting up workflows easier. Enterprise-grade features allow you to create different roles and permissions for different people working with the CMS. You can also set up workflows for content creation and approval before publishing. If you have employees working remotely, Storyblok allows you to set up the interface in their native languages to improve their experience and the customers’.
Translation features aren’t the only requirement for localization, but they are a crucial part. Storyblok offers field-level and folder-based translations. With field-level translations, you can keep the same components and structure of your website and change the language the content gets delivered in. Folder-based translations allow you to go a step further and change the order of components, allowing you to build different layouts for each language.
At take_it, we love using the folder-based strategy, as it makes it easier to provide proper localization and internationalization. Different marketers can be placed in different folders, allowing unique content and images for each region.
With a headless CMS, integration with other software tools is much easier as it uses APIs to make connections. This lowers the time developers have to spend making everything in your software stack work together. Storyblok offers integrations with crucial translation and internationalization tools, such as Lokalise and Smartling. You can onboard linguists on those platforms using these integrations to get the best translations possible.
Expand Into International Markets With a Headless CMS
Internationalization allows companies to reach more customers and better appeal to them once they’ve found your businesses. It also allows you to cast a wider net for finding talent and beating out the competition. When you want to begin moving your business into new regions and international markets, you need a solid strategy and support from the right technology.
Storyblok is a headless CMS that supports internationalization and localization. It is the perfect choice for businesses that want to expand their global reach with localized websites that cater to customer needs in different regions.
take_it is a certified Storyblok partner that can help you navigate the headless CMS waters and sail into new markets to expand your business. When MILES Mobility needed to migrate to Storyblok to help them improve their international presence, they turned to take_it for help.
Read the complete MILES Mobility customer story to find out more: take it_’s and MILES Mobility’s journey to a successful migration.