Sears is hoping to expand sales to the US Latino market with a new line of clothing called Latina Life, due out this fall.
In preparation for this marketing push, I suggest that Sears rethink and re-invest in its Spanish-language Web site. For starters, there needs to be a link somewhere — anywhere — on the Sears.com Web site that indicates that there is a Spanish-language Web site. Drop by Sears.com and see if you can find it. I sure couldn’t.
And there really is a Spanish-language Web site.
It’s located at www.searsenespanol.com.
Unfortunately, searsenespanol.com is hardly an intuitive URL, and I’m certain a fair number of Latinos drop by Sears.com hoping to find Spanish content and going away frustrated.
But, assuming people do find the Spanish-language site (say by means of direct mail or advertising), they will still end up frustrated when they discover that most of the actual content — like the product descriptions — are still in English. I call this situation a “local facade” — and it can be a very bad thing if a company doesn’t effectively manage user expectations.
Not surprisingly, Sears scored poorly in our 2005 Web Globalization Report Card, but it really wouldn’t take too much of an investment of time and money for Sears to turn things around. Perhaps this is the year that Sears does just that … I’ll be checking back when that new line of clothing debuts….