Out of these websites Tiffany emerged on top, largely because of its investment in global ecommerce.
Most luxury brands have been late to embrace ecommerce and, even now, have a long ways to go in terms of web localization and usability.
These websites average only 10 languages, which is a major reason why they lag most other global websites. And global navigation is also a problem for most websites, as is support for mobile devices.
But Tiffany is the leader in this category in global navigation. Tiffany uses geolocation to ensure that you are directed to your localized website, assuming it’s available. It displays the following overlay to first-time visitors:
Here is the same overlay, localized for German website visitors to the same .com domain:
This may seem like a minor detail, but it makes a significant impact to customer experience and ultimate conversion.
Tiffany also supports a mobile-friendly website design, though the gateway is poorly located in the footer. Burberry also buries its global gateway link in the footer, as shown here on the German home page:
For users who don’t speak German, this gateway link is not going to be easy to find. A globe icon would greatly improve usability — something that fashion brands have yet to implement.
In terms of global reach, Tiffany is tied for number one in languages with Hermès. But fashion brands still are not even halfway to reaching the baseline for “global” websites. As shown here, the average number of languages supported by the leading global brands is now 30:
As luxury brands embrace ecommerce, they must also embrace fundamental global usability practices, such as user friendly global gateways, support for country codes, fast-loading mobile websites, and depth of localized content.
Flipkart has long been the dominant ecommerce retailer in India, but Amazon is no longer content to remain in second place.
Amazon launched its Great Indian Festival promotion this week with free prizes including a number of cars, even a free home.
Just a day in, Amazon claims record sales and one billion hits, which doesn’t really mean anything, but sounds impressive.
Retailers have awakened to the importance of local holidays around the world. Just as retailers outside of China have discovered China’s immensely popular Singles Day, they can’t ignore fall festival season in India.
And this holiday isn’t just about retailers, but any global company. Like Chevrolet, which is offering a free gold coin for purchases during festival season:
It’s hard to believe that this is the twelfth edition of the Report Card. Over the past decade I’ve seen the average number of languages supported by global brands increase from just 10 languages to 30 languages today.
And, of course, the top 25 websites go well beyond 30 language. Google supports 90 languages via Google Translate and 75 languages on YouTube. And Facebook stands at 88 languages.
But it’s not just languages that make a website succeed globally. Companies need to support fast-loading mobile websites, locally relevant content, and user-friendly navigation.
Notable highlights among the top 25:
Wikipedia is far and away the language leader, with content in more than 270 languages. The company also now supports a mobile-friendly layout that is considerably lighter (in kilobytes) than most Fortune 100 mobile websites.
NIVEA provides an excellent example of a company that localizes its models for local websites — one of the few companies to do so.
Nike made this top 25 list for the first time, having added languages and improved global consistency and navigation.
As a group, the top 25 websites support an average of 52 languages.
For 2016, we studied 150 websites across 15 industry categories — and more than 80% of the Interbrand Best Global Brands. Websites were graded according to languages supported, global navigation, global and mobile website architecture, and localization.