Effective Localization Tactics for Retail Assortment and Success
- Localization is essential for global brand success
- Tailoring products and pricing to local preferences boosts brand perception, customer loyalty, and revenue
- Key steps for effective localization: analyzing competition, comparing assortment strategies, selecting ideal products, optimizing launch timing, leveraging pricing opportunities, and adapting communication
Increasingly, localization is seen as crucial to the success of a global brand. Tailoring your products to suit the specific needs and preferences of customers in each country or region is essential to gaining a competitive advantage and becomes especially important when global expansion is a key business objective. Assortment and price architecture localization will improve brand perception, customer loyalty and ultimately drive sell-through and revenue goals.
What steps should merchandisers take to get localization right for their brand?
Analyze Your Retail Competition
You might view your competitor set as pretty much set in stone, albeit infiltrated by a disruptor brand every now and then, but consider how your competitors probably differ between each market that you operate in. Of course, there are global players you’ll always want to keep an eye on, but you should give yourself the advantage of understanding who those new, emerging and local competitors might be. These brands might be more active in some markets than others so visibility of who you’re actually competing against is crucial and it's important to understand what they’re doing that’s allowing them to take a bite out of your market share.
Comparing Local Competitors' Assortment Strategies to Yours
Brands are increasingly localizing the structure of their assortment to maximize the sales potential of the strongest products in each market. Visualizing how competitors' category mixes are structured over various markets not only allows you to confidently decide which product you should back in each market, but also gives insight into how you should weight your assortment to take advantage of localized customer preference. With your competitors already localizing their assortments it's likely that whitespace opportunities for you to take advantage of may appear more often so you need to understand assortment structures to see where those opportunities might be.
Selecting and Optimizing the Ideal Products for Each Market
Bestsellers can differ widely by region. Identifying what products your competitors are selling quickly across different countries and having a real understanding of the most profitable products in your assortment by region, channel or store is critical. Additionally, understanding how your customer's behavior changes by region will further support merchandisers to trade effectively in-season and optimize inventory allocation.
Perfect Timing for Product Launches in Global Markets
It’s all well and good picking the right product for the right region, but timing the launch of your product is critical to ensuring a high sell-through. Consider when key players are launching categories in counter-seasonal markets to potentialize your seasonal product life span. Many customers in emerging markets have completely different expectations of your assortment and so relying on your traditional product calendar will mean you risk offering unwanted products at the wrong time.
Discovering and Leveraging Pricing Opportunities
Understanding how your competitors’ pricing architecture differs across multiple countries allows merchandisers to benchmark and identify pricing opportunities at a more granular level. Focus your entry price point product in the relevant regions, push your exit price points where you can and identify where exchange rates and pricing is out of line to correctly position yourself in each market and maximize those margins.
Communicate with Your Customer
To ensure your brand succeeds globally, understanding the unique needs and preferences of customers in each key market, including cultural differences and local trends, is key.
Marketing messaging, timing and cadence should be adapted by country to resonate with your customer. Further to this, take advantage of promotional periods and marketing events specific to each market to capitalize on localized sales opportunities.
In the current economic environment with brands competing for market share localization is a critical component of success. The challenge is, how does a merchandising function with increasing constraints on time and resources put this into practice? The fact is that accessible, actionable data and insights have become a necessity within the merchandising role and the demand for a more nuanced strategy across each country that you operate in further illustrates the need for these insights.
At EDITED we understand the need for merchandisers to act quickly and make decisions that matter, and that you need to do more with less. We support brands and retailers to effectively localize their assortments, pricing architectures, and marketing messaging and drive growth.
EDITED is the world’s leading AI-driven merchandising experience platform and empowers retailers with relevant-time decision-making that drives profit and inspires customers