The role of localization in the fashion industry

There is an undeniable emphasis on customization in the fashion industry. However, customization alone does not bring the same advantage in the global market. Today, fashion clothes are widely available and accessible for purchase no matter where the consumer is located in the world. This means that localization is especially important for retailers looking to tap into the global market.

Globalization, fast fashion and increased accessibility have given global consumers the freedom to shop outside of their local box. But now retailers need to make sure they can meet the challenge of making their products appealing locally.

Localize to meet cultural expectations

The local climate and culture of a region greatly influences what customers want. With an effective localization strategy, target audiences and new customers not only benefit from personalized experiences, but also ones that will meet their language needs and cultural expectations.

According to a study, 72.4% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product from a website in their native language. The study also indicates that 55% of global consumers prefer to use their native language when shopping online. This represents more than half of all retail customers worldwide.

Given the unique characteristics and expectations of each cultural market, localization helps build trust and is a combined understanding of local context, culture and subtlety. It can be used as an effective retail strategy where a brand adjusts its offerings, marketing, and branding to appeal to different segments of its pre-existing and potential customer base.

Moreover, localization improves the quality of each autonomous factor that constitutes the total consumer experience, and each factor has an impact on consumer behavior. These factors include everything from use of local language, culturally relevant product descriptions, and convenient payment, return, and contact options. Integrating these elements will make it easier for customers to do what you want them to do: notice your products and decide to buy.

Rethinking Retail ROI

Localization strategies should be an aspect of international expansion planning, not an afterthought. If the end user is the focal point and reason for expansion, this should inform every activity you undertake in the journey.

Localization can increase sales, facilitate access to new markets, generate and strengthen loyalty, and help personalize the overall experience. For many global companies, growing has meant localizing.

Zara, the leading clothing brand, is a well-known example of a successful retailer that has achieved localization success. Zara’s localization strategy has led the fashion retailer to become a well-known and successful global brand across Europe, Asia and North America. Indeed, first and foremost, Zara’s design team based in Spain works with each market it is in to localize the brand’s products. As a result, Zara expanded to 77 markets worldwide.

Lately, there has been a strong push towards local consumption. Global companies will have a better chance of remaining competitive against local companies by “localizing”.

Changing expectations

Access is not synonymous with purchase, and we are no longer at the beginning of the quiet revolution that took place in consumer markets over a decade ago. Retailers will need to demonstrate that they have changed over time — from native language and tone of voice, to changing price, currency and payment method to meet local preferences. Shipping and customer support, as well as the return policy, should all feel local to the customer.

Localization starts before consumers reach your app or website. It starts with ad localization and a localized SEO strategy so people can find you in their native language, through email marketing, invoices, and virtually every touchpoint.

Retailers who can prove they are meeting new, more ethical standards of consumption will be able to thrive in a more conscious world, especially since this is not an expectation but a requirement from generation to generation. fastest growing in the world, Generation Z.

Being a local presence doesn’t necessarily mean having a store right around the corner from your customers. It’s about making consumers feel like you’re part of their community. In fact, localizing your online presence is more important than ever.

Hila Shitrit-Nissim is Director of Marketing at BLEND, an AI localization platform that works with brands around the world to help implement stronger localization practices and strategies.

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