Singles’ Day 2019, behind Alibaba’s success

China 1, United States 0, and it’s kick-off time. The rivalry between E-commerce giants Alibaba and Amazon will in all probability be won by China again this year.

Cina ecommerce

Just a few short hours after the end of the eleventh edition of Singles’ Day, China’s equivalent of Black Friday in the US, Alibaba closed at 268.44 billion yuan, which is equal to 38.37 billion dollars, in 24 hours. The first billion was earned just one minute and eight seconds into the event. These mind-boggling figures are certainly the result of a mix of demographic, media and economic factors.

Here, we are going to look into the dynamics that influenced the purchasing choices of Chinese consumers during the day rather than sales and profit figures.

In one study conducted by AlixPartners a month before the event, 2,000 Chinese consumers were interviewed. The goal was to get a better idea of how consumers were feeling during a period of economic uncertainty and to identify new trends in purchasing decisions during Singles’ Day.

The results of the study reveal an average expenditure forecast of RMB 6,265 this year ($893.99), an increase of 54% compared to the previous year.

Of the consumers interviewed, 57% estimated that they would spend over RMB 5,000 ($713.48) this year and 18% predicted that they would spend more than RMB 10,000 ($1,426.96). This expected increase shows that the slowdown in Chinese economic growth and the current trade war has not affected the general propensity to shop on Singles’ Day.

Marketing trends for Singles’ Day 2019

Electronic coupons and targeted banners still work, but the launch of new products and live streaming have strongly influenced traffic and sales. Conversely, engagement channels through text messaging, offline announcements and e-mail seem to have lost their appeal. Even social media channels have strongly impacted online sales, with only 16% of those interviewed stating that they do not pay attention to social commerce channels.

Generally speaking, Chinese consumers are rather open to marketing innovations, even if the data show that methods such as live streaming work only for impulse purchases or for products that consumers are very familiar with. However, new products require more research and careful price comparisons.

Companies that performed best were probably those that were able to understand the nuances of promoting different products. Blindly investing in new trends without understanding the needs of consumers can result in low returns and weak sales, especially on such an important media occasion like Singles’ Day, which represents a showcase with a strong impact for global brands.

The effects of American trade tariffs on Singles’ Day

Speaking of large showcases, over the next few days, we will most certainly have more in-depth data on the results of the eleventh edition of Singles’ Day, but it is not difficult to forecast a decrease in sales for American companies.

One of the main trends in consumer purchasing decisions was probably the ongoing trade war between the US and China. The survey shows that 78% of respondents believe that buying American brands will be affected by tensions between China and the United States, and 70% said that the trade war will have an impact on their overall purchases.

More than half of respondents (51%) indicated national loyalty as the main reason for not buying American brands, followed by quality (27%), the price (16%) and speed of delivery or customs (6%). As a general rule, the majority of Chinese consumers seem to prefer local brands (61%).

Alibaba and Amazon, better sales thanks to professional translations

It sounds like a cliché, but the title of this last paragraph does nothing more than illustrate the success stories of brands that have been able to conquer foreign markets.

Remember the controversy that arose after the Dolce and Gabbana advertising campaign? That was probably the most glaring case due to the fame of the brand involved, but it is certainly not the only case of sloppy localisation.

A country like China, with extreme internal inconsistencies and a cultural identity as strong as it is heterogeneous, looks at foreign products with two perspectives. On the one hand, for many Chinese people, foreign products are synonymous with high quality and, for that reason, they are in high demand. The events of the last few years, however, have begun to create a feeling of disinterest towards international brands due to the poor ability of the latter to adapt their communication to the cultural identity of the local population.

In this context, a professional translation agency like ours is able to provide more than just quality translations into Chinese. Our job, in these cases, is to work alongside our customers as language consultants, with the support of Chinese mother tongue linguists, to study the communication formulas suitable to provide a terminology register that fits the reference market.

Specifically, Intrawelt is available to step in and help:

  • Identify the cultural characteristics of the target audience;
  • Pinpoint the specific language of the target audience;
  • Avoid using language that is too complex or, on the contrary, too simple;
  • Identify the right target by meeting the needs of the real audience.

For further details or to send us a request for information on our services, feel free to contact us at any time.


Cross border trade

Cross-Border Trade: the current state of affairs in transnational e-commerce

The technological revolution of the last 10 years has ushered in new communications infrastructure which has redrawn geographic borders and time lines for global commerce. Almost the whole planet is inside a system of technologies capable of reducing geographical distances between citizens and, in the context of trade, between companies and consumers.

The advent of the digital economy has changed human relations, allowing a speed in long-distance communication that is now comparable to physical proximity. The natural consequence of a revolution of this magnitude has been the transformation of all other types of relationships, political, cultural and commercial. The latter, in particular, have been overwhelmed by the introduction of new infrastructure that has eliminated geographical distances in the sale of goods and services.

In this context, the issue of Cross-Border Trade has become a central element to business strategies. Every company can access potentially suitable infrastructure to promote the sale of its products on a global market, and on the flip side, every consumer is able to buy goods and services from anywhere in the world with just one click.

Purchasing choices and linguistic variables in cross border trade

cross border trade eurostatA recent report from Eurostat has shown an ideal situation for European and global e-commerce. In the UK, for example, 86% of Internet users shop online. The percentage is 84% in Sweden and 82% in Germany. In Italy, the percentage is around 43%, compared to the European average of 68%.

A more careful analysis, tells us that some markets like the United States, Britain and Australia prefer to make purchases from local retailers or from the big giants of online sales (like Amazon). Contrary to those finding, the Eastern European market shows no hesitation in buying from foreign e-commerce portals. This is what emerges from one study conducted by Paypalon global buying habits.

traduzioni linguistiche ecommerce According to the respondents’ answers, the choice to buy products from local online shopping sites is mainly due to language.

On several occasions, we have referred to the article written a few months ago about the role that Linguistic identity plays in the conquest of foreign markets, and the research conducted by Paypal partially confirms our thesis. Analysing the data from the infographics above and below, it appears that, overall, an important part of the world population does not feel safe buying products on portals and foreign websites where they cannot use their own language.

Multilingual e-commerce, a necessary condition

One of the peculiarities of a market that would like to be defined as transnational is its geographic extension without borders. At present, however, the e-commerce sector is confronted with a large share of consumers who purchase exclusively from national platforms and distributors. To be agenzia di traduzione ecommerceprecise, there are two main purchasing channels: national and large global platforms such as Amazon or eBay.

In both cases, there is a difficulty for companies in conquering transnational markets directly through their own channel and brand. Without a doubt, there are a variety of factors that make the process of digital globalisation of companies difficult. There are still customs restrictions, geographical, economic and political variables, but one of the causes is also traceable to the language management of a company’s e-commerce that is not oriented towards global customers.

According to the 2019 Idealo report, only 8% of digital stores in Italy present their e-shop in a second language other than Italian. Spanish and British e-commerce lead the way with 24% of portals in two languages, followed by Germany at 12% and by France at 10%.

Professional Translation and Localisation Services in e-shopping

Once the strategic importance of multilingual management of e-commerce has been defined, there are two ways that a company can achieve the goal of transnational sales. The first is to translate all the pages of the site into different languages, depending on the target national markets. For example, if the goal is to sell products in Latin America and Europe, translation and localisation process the consequence will be to translate each page of your site into Spanish, Portuguese PT and Brazilian Portuguese, English, French, German, Italian and Russian.

Once the target languages have been defined, relying on professional translation agencies such as Intrawelt facilitates subsequent steps and reduces project management times. In fact, in addition to the translation of all the website pages, the most structured and professional agencies are able to deal independently with all the content management, from translation to online publication.

A second option, while more complex, but certainly more effective, goes beyond simply translating each individual page and includes the localisation of the content for each country. With the term localisation, we mean the creation of a website from the ground up, a site with content that has been created independently for each country, using the local language and therefore identifying communication with the customs and culture of local consumers. This requires a higher quality of work in the development of texts and content suitable for the local language, with a great advantage in terms of effectiveness.

The linguistic service agencies that offer localisation services , in fact, go beyond simply translating the text produced. They also offer linguistic advice in choosing the actual content. In this way, local consumers are not visiting a foreign website translated into their language, but will find a portal in which they will recognise common elements with their linguistic and cultural identity, strengthening the relationship of trust that still persists between the retailer and consumer.

Translation services in Food Industry

Why the food industry needs professional translation services

Two main industrial sectors are involved in the health and welfare of society: the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry.

Along with the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry plays an essential role in social development and well-being. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that in recent decades the Food & Beverage sector has experienced profound transformation in both production technologies and food communication.

New sensitivity in the food industry

It’s a well-known fact that global food habits are undergoing substantial change. Air pollution, the use of pesticides, hectic and more sedentary lifestyles, these are only a few of the factors behind this shift. The appearance of new diseases, the proliferation of food intolerances and documentation of psychosomatic food-related disorders have not only been a wake-up call for public health, but have also contributed to the development of a new-found food awareness.

The food industry’s assertive effort to steer production towards more natural, less processed foods with fewer chemical agents and additives is no coincidence.

The development of production technologies and the growing awareness of consumers who are becoming more and more fastidious about the quality of ingredients has forced the Food and Beverage market to transform its communication processes and embrace a new kind of food marketing.

technical translationsThe new Food and Beverage narrative

Food storytelling has historically been based on the sensorial experience of the product, but nowadays is much more focused on its history and life cycle. Now, advertisements often take the viewer through the product’s entire time line, demonstrating the careful choosing of the flour, the ingredients, showcasing the lack of additives or fats, farming methods and culture. Current marketing is no longer advertising alone, but advertising and food education, advertising and sustainability. The focus has shifted from the basic celebration of taste and flavour towards the consumer’s well-being.

The linguistic registers in food communication

The notion of communication in the food sector is closely tied to a need to utilise linguistic formulas able to attract consumer attention, ensuring the use of correct information about the ingredients and the composition of the products with regards to additives and allergens.

The proliferation of food disorders and intolerances, such as coeliac disease and lactose intolerance, has led national and international health institutions to regulate product marketing methods. In Europe, food labelling is governed through European Regulation 1169/2011.

The provisions wich came into force require sanctions for violating the provisions of Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011 establishing the obligation to indicate all allergens in order to safeguard the consumer. The normative provisions require sanctions for violating the provisions of Regulation (EU) no. 1169/2011 establishing the obligation to indicate all allergens in order to safeguard the consumer. They have become essential in order to protect the health of consumers and, at the same time, establish guidelines for the marketing of food products.

Translation agency services in food marketing

Professional translations for food industry

The food industry has a considerable impact on public health and, as we have seen, implies a need to use certain linguistic registers and communication rules. When a product is placed on different national markets, it is essential to use the right terminological glossaries to describe the ingredients, the allergens and all associated intolerances.

For this reason, companies in the food industry need professional translation agencies, like Intrawelt, which are able to navigate the linguistic and terminological variables that arise in the different target markets.

With support from terminology management technologies, we can build dedicated customised glossaries for each customer. In this way, the commercial communication of products is managed harmoniously in various target languages, avoiding terminological errors that could be harmful to the consumer’s health.

Reliance on specialised translation agencies is the best method to ensure that the product is compliant with international regulations on the use of the correct linguistic registers, while also maintaining a high quality standard of commercial communication effectiveness.

Continuing on the topic of commercial strategies, you can rely on a translation agency, such as Intrawelt, which has the advantage of being able to make use of the support offered in the localisation of food products. For example, in some cases, we have managed strategic consultation projects for choosing the name of products to be launched on different foreign markets. With the support of mother-tongue linguists, we are able to provide strategic information on the social and cultural dynamics that influence the purchasing choices of the target populations and therefore define the best linguistic and communications strategies for the choice of product names or the translation of recipes.

Intrawelt’s linguists, as well as being mother-tongue professionals selected in compliance with standard ISO 17100, are sector experts able to combine their linguistic skills with those of the relevant industry.

In the food and beverage sector, we manage translation projects that range from website localisation to translating product packaging, as well as sector-specific blog articles and technical translations of product labels. No matter what, our customers have the support of our specialised project managers, who are there to ensure a service that guarantees both efficiency and high quality, always within delivery deadlines.

Because the importance of food communication cannot be overstated, we invite you to contact us for a quote and further information about our professional translation processes.

fashion marketing

Fashion Marketing and social networks: the e-commerce of the future

In a fast-paced and unpredictable market like that of the fashion and luxury industry, brands are participating in a publicity competition of the highest level. The race to the top involves a battle with an end user who is extremely curious and attentive to details. According to studies on Instagram traffic, fashion lovers are extremely active on social networks: on average they are triple (3.63) the number of followers than those who are not interested in fashion, they follow around twice as many profiles (2.23), and they are 12 times more likely to comment. They also watch double the amount (2.35) of videos than the average user, and they also watch for longer.

Inbound marketing: the first step for efficient communication

Social Marketing Managers have very precise objectives: to create quality content via blogs and web platforms, plan email marketing campaigns aimed target audiences, maintain a quality brand image on social media, and last but not least, take advantage of e-commerce systems. Working in fashion marketing means knowing the fashion scenes and our daily lifestyles, dealing with continual evolution, an increasingly fervent globalisation, a hyper-interactive consumer and ruthless competition. Businesses in this industry need to know how to navigate the global market, offer a better quality product, equip themselves with competent and expert management, create a successful business identity, guarantee an efficient distribution network and aim to achieve an excellent level of customer satisfaction. In the fashion & luxury industry, outbound marketing tools have been locked in a box and forgotten about, and at the same time the developments in global commerce are bypassing the traditional inbound marketing tools. Pinterest Social Commerce

Social Commerce and Social Instant Commerce: the point of no return for fashion marketing

Social networks are now the most visited and influential places for discussion, and to represent a brand on social networks is a natural step to take, if anything the important thing is to understand how best to do it. Social commerce represents an anthropological evolution in the process of buying a product. It is a phenomenon that cannot be easily controlled since the strength of a brand is no longer solely linked to its communicative and strategic capabilities, but it is now influenced by user opinions on social media and e-commerce platforms. There are platforms dedicated to Social Commerce , for example MeToken, but in general all social networks have added a shopping function to their sites. In particular, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have added a “shop” for online shopping. For example click here to view Intrawelt’s Facebook Shop. For this social commerce process, brands need to be more concerned with keeping an eye on the market, listening to and reading product reviews, taking care of those that are, for all intents and purposes, the influential consumers. Therefore, for social marketing the consumer is the flesh and blood of a business’ communicative channel. It is a process that forces brands to present quality products with an ever-improving focus on the customer experience.   Version 3.0 of this process, in the fashion and luxury industry in particular, is the Social Instant Commerce where it is possible to purchase a product in real-time during special events. This purchase method is becoming more widespread among the fashion brands: during fashion shows and promotional events they promote the event on their social media channels, making the presented products available for purchase. For all intents and purposes we are talking about “just in time” shopping that lasts the duration of the event. In this way fans can purchase the clothes exclusively from the catwalk and wear them months before the official launch on the market.

The strategic role of global communication and translation

It is said that impeccable communication touches the heart (and stomach) of the consumer. A communication that touches the depths of the end user’s identity and that creates the necessary engagement to facilitate a bond based on trust and “love”. For this reason the choice to use only one language for communication could prove ineffective due to the variety of cultural and linguistic requirements of global markets. Trusting professional translation agencies allows for the provision of quality content, with a specialised knowledge of the most suitable linguistic registers and the dynamic cultures of the diverse local markets. At Intrawelt we work with a variety of clients from the fashion & luxury industry and we personally witness the benefits of localisation and translation of websites, e-commerce platforms or product launch campaigns. We specialise in the translation of product labels and descriptions, S/S and F/W collection catalogues, and we translate texts for websites and e-commerce areas as well as for press releases and marketing materials.   Considering the importance of image in the industry, we have DTP graphics experts who offer the highest quality graphic solutions along with a team of IT experts who manage CMS and e-commerce platforms. Fashion marketing is currently a laboratory experimenting with the boundaries that will soon involve the whole goods and services market. It is definitely a difficult challenge for the market players to face but at the same time it is momentous and therefore fascinating. Here at Intrawelt, we are ready for the challenge. Follow us on social media Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to see our updates or contact us using the following form to request information about our services.