Today, Office Depot launched its Spanish language Web site. It’s just a matter of time before Staples follows suit. I found this interesting tidbit in the press release:
According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are an estimated 2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States already generating about 300 billion dollars in sales every single year. What’s more, this trend is expected to double every five years and within ten years there could be as many as 8 million Hispanic-owned business in the US — clearly the Hispanic market is a significant force in contributing to the United States economy.
Here are the two sites:
The Spanish site shares the same layout as the English language site, but with a scaled-back product selection. I can tell a great deal of effort went into the backend of the site — the search engine, store locator, office tracking, and other bells and whistles. Translation is often the least-challenging aspect of Web localization.
One mistake that I’m assuming will be fixed shortly is that neither site links to the other. I often find that companies keep their localized Web sites isolated from the source-language sites, as if the Web user speaks only one language. But when marketing to Hispanics in the U.S., it’s a safe bet that a large percentage speak both languages fluently, so why not connect them? After all, how many people are going to intuitively know that the Spanish Web site is at espanol.officedepot.com?
But overall, great work Office Depot. Who’s next? Staples, Lowes, Home Depot, CostCo, Sams, Wal-Mart…