Samsung: The best consumer technology website of 2013

Samsung logo

We studied 18 consumer technology websites for the 2013 Web Globalization Report Card.

The Web Globalization Report Card is an annual benchmark of how effectively companies internationalize and localize their websites and applications for the world.

Out of those 18 companies, Samsung emerged on top.

Samsung emerged on top not because it leads in languages or global consistency, though it is strong in both respects.

Samsung supports an impressive 41 languages, not including US English. Apple, by comparison, stands at 31 languages.

Samsung emerged on top in large part because it has been aggressive  in engaging with users via social media across a number of languages and countries.

Note the bottom third of  Japan home page:

samsung Japan

Samsung embraces a range of social platforms to communicate and engage with users — in their local languages.

Samsung also leverages these platforms to provide customer support, as shown here:

samsung support

Many comparisons have been made lately between Apple and Samsung.

When simply comparing their global websites, clear distinctions are hard to miss.

Samsung has embraced social networking while Apple has not. Samsung appears to be comfortable with a certain level of visual chaos that comes  with supporting social networks and interacting publicly with customers. There are signs on the US website that Samsung is moving towards a new Samsung Nation model in which users register to earn points and virtual goodies — as well as connect with friends via Facebook. The degree to which this model will scale globally remains to be seen though I suspect Asia will pose a challenge.

Apple, on the other hand, presents a clean and consistent design template to the world. There is nothing scattered or busy about an Apple websites (except, I would argue, for its excessive use of flags). And consistency has served Apple quite nicely, though Apple has moved more slowly from a globalization perspective than Samsung.

Regarding the global gateway, Samsung buries the link to the gateway in the footer (not good).

Tthe gateway  itself is well organized, though the flags should be eliminated. As a general rule, flags should be avoided (a subject for a future post).

samsung global gateway

Finally, Samsung has been aggressive in updating its mobile website experience.

In the past two months, it launched a new mobile-optimized website, shown on the right:

samsung mobile

Notice how social icons are front and center. Also notice in the header how Samsung detects the use of an iPhone and instantly poses a comparison test.

Sneaky but smart.

While Samsung still has room for improvement, it does so many things well that it earned out the number one spot, outperforming companies like Apple, Panasonic, and Lenovo.

Here are the 18 consumer technology websites included in the 2013 Web Globalization Report Card:

  • Acer
  • Adobe
  • Apple
  • Canon
  • Dell
  • HP
  • HTC
  • Lenovo
  • LG
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft
  • Nikon
  • Nokia
  • Panasonic
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Symantec

Read more in the 2013 Web Globalization Report Card.

Or you can purchase just the Consumer Technology Website report.

Also included:

Japanese IDNs are losing momentum

I am bullish on internationalized domain names (IDNs). I view them as a natural evolution of a multilingual Internet.

But I also am well aware that there are those who says IDNs are more hype than substance. That they will never be more than a novelty.

With this in mind, I have to report that the number of IDN registrations in Japan has decreased over the past year.

Japan’s registry has launched a web site to counter this trend, shown below:

What do you think? Will this ominous-looking web site stem the tide?

I’m not so sure.

But I don’t believe the problem is IDNs per se, rather the lack of full-length IDN availability (coming soon to Japan and elsewhere).

More important is the lack for IDN support across all software  applications.

Also, keep in mind that while IDNs struggle to take off in Japan, in Russia they are big news. As of today, more than 700,000 Russian IDNs have been registered.

Japan joins the million domain club

Japan recently surpassed one million country code (.jp) registrations.

In doing so, it joins the following countries who also have more than a million country code registrations:

Argentina (.ar)
Australia (.au)
Brazil (.br)
China (.cn)
France (.fr)
Germany (.de)
Italy (.it)
Netherlands (.nl)
Russia (.ru)
Switzerland (.ch)
United Kingdom (.uk)
United States (.us)

Germany is the leader, with more than 11 million registrations, but China is gaining ground, with 8.4 million. The US has roughly 1.3 million registrations.

For the ultimate country code reference, see the Country Codes of the World poster.