Global Leaders and Best Practices in Tourism Websites.
Global Leaders and Best Practices in Tourism Websites.
I’m pleased to announce the publication of my newest book: Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global and Succeeding in the Translation Economy.
This book is the result of the past decade spent working with marketing and web teams around the world. I’ve long wanted to have something I could pass along that would demystify the process of product or website globalization and provide insights into languages, cultures and countries. Such as Brazil:
Too often people get overwhelmed by the complexity of it all, not to mention bewildering lingo and acronyms such as FIGS (French, Italian, German Spanish) and L10n (localization). What I always tell people is that you don’t have to speak a half-dozen languages to succeed in this field, but you do have to know what questions to ask. Hopefully this book will help.
PS: If you’d like to order multiple copies for your teams, quantity discounts are available. Simply contact me using this form.
For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, I benchmarked the following 10 enterprise technology websites:
Intel emerged on top for the second year in a row, followed by Cisco Systems and Autodesk.
A new entrant this year is HP Enterprise, which ranked relatively low, due in large part to limited language coverage, but is notable for a world-ready architecture and above-average global gateway.
Intel held steady over the year with support for 23 languages. Intel modified its web design to support a “fly in” navigational menu. The support section also is better integrated into the design this year.
As before, Intel does an excellent job of supporting global consistency. Shown below is the Brazil home page, which shares the same underlying template as other country sites.
The nice thing about placing the Intel logo in the middle of the design is that you don’t have to worry about the logo shifting from side to side when the layout flips for bidirectional text, such as Arabic, shown below.
Notice the globe icon in the header — easy to find and use for anyone who wishes to navigate to a different locale. This is a relatively new (and valuable) addition to the mobile site, shown here:
Cisco remains the language leader of this category with 40 languages. Cisco debuted a new web design over the past year. Shown below are the before and after designs.
The most noticeable improvement is the addition of a globe icon in the header to indicate the global gateway. This is a small but important step forward in ensuring that users more easily find where they need to go.
Oracle most recently added support for Ukrainian and Arabic, increasing its language total to 32. Meanwhile, SAP dropped two languages over the past year, lowering its language total to 35 languages.
IBM is on year two of its new web design. It remains steady with 38 languages. Unfortunately, the global gateway is buried in the footer of both the desktop and mobile websites.
HP Enterprise is a new global website born of a spinoff from HP. The web design uses a lightweight, responsive template and includes the perfect global gateway icon in the header — yes, the globe icon.
Unfortunately, I found the global gateway menu to be buggy and difficult to use — and it is demoted to the footer on the mobile website.
I’m pleased to announce the new book Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global and Succeeding in the Translation Economy, due out on April 10th.
Think Outside the Country is isn’t strictly about taking a website or mobile app global, though you’ll find plenty of real-world examples about how to do just that. Ultimately, this book is about taking yourself global. It’s about providing an understanding of the globalization process along with country and cultural insights so you know what questions to ask when you’re asked to, say, introduce a product into a new market or launch a global marketing campaign.
This book is intended for people who want to help their organizations expand into new markets as efficiently as possible without any embarrassing or costly mistakes. And this book is about showing respect for the people who live in these markets.
You won’t speak every language, understand every culture. And that’s okay. Nobody knows everything. But we can all know a little bit about a lot. More important, we can know what questions to ask. This book will help.
You can learn more here.
And it’s now available for preorder on Amazon.
PS: We will also offer quantity discounts if you’d like to order a batch for your teams.
For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied the following 24 travel websites:
This is the third year that we’ve combined web-based travel services companies with the travel companies they represent. And while OTAs (online travel agencies) have long dominated this category, we’re seeing airlines and hotels become much more competitive in the fight for customer relationships, and not just in developed markets.
Booking.com emerging number one overall. It leads all other websites with support for 41 languages and leverages global templates across all local websites. The mobile website is also lighter (in kilobytes) than most competitive websites giving Booking.com a potential performance advantage. Following close behind in score is Hotels.com.
The travel industry is by definition a global industry. When your customer may be located anywhere in the world and traveling to any other place in the world, you need to support not only a significant number of languages but also currencies, time zones, and mobile devices. A number of the companies in this sector have been aggressive in using geolocation and content negotiation to greet visitors with the right language, region and currency. But they also provide a great deal of flexibility. For instance, Booking.com and Hotels.com allow you to change your currency using what I call the currency gateway:
But Booking.com is far from perfect. It buries its global gateway on its mobile website, which is not ideal for visitors who need to quickly change settings. Instead, I recommend including the global gateway link in the header, as shown here with Emirates:
I recommend a more generic globe icon than the one used by Emirates, but this is far better than most other mobile travel websites.
American Airlines does not use a globe icon, but does at least make its global gateway available in the header, as shown here:
I do not recommend using flags for navigational purposes and many travel websites continue to use them today. Flags do not scale well and flags convey meaning that often goes far beyond mere navigation — a reason why a number of websites intentionally leave the Taiwan flag off of the global gateway, even though it includes all others.
A number of companies have been quite busy expanding their linguistic reach; websites that added languages over the past year include:
KLM, by the way, leads all airlines with support for 28 languages. And Hilton leads all hotels with support for 23 languages (though if you include Airbnb as a hotel brand, it emerges on top).
Websites that scored on the negative end of this list include Four Seasons, Enterprise and Avis.
To learn more, check out the Web Globalization Report Card. Travel and travel services is the largest sector covered by the Report Card, a section more than 50 pages long.