Alibaba’s Tmall Global now features goods from 14,500 overseas brands, 80% of them selling in China for the first time.
Translated sites and customer service in local languages help DivX sell across borders.
DivX.com, which sells software that enables customers to view high-quality video across devices including TVs, phones and computers, used e-commerce platform provider asknet Inc. to help it launch e-commerce sites in several countries.
DivX has been using the asknet Inc. e-commerce platform since 2005 to sell its software, which has been downloaded 500 million times, and to operate its web site, which receives about 12 million monthly visitors, says Sebastian Braun, director of online channels and analytics at DivX. Recently, it wanted to translate its site into more languages and enable consumers in Brazil, China, Portugal and Japan to buy online.
But in order to buy, international customers needed to understand the web site. And they needed to be able to pay with local payment methods. Asknet, which works with U.S. software publishers to help them market and sell their digital products worldwide, offers its platform as software-as-a-service, meaning the vendor hosts the software and clients access it over the Internet. It can translate web sites into 31 languages and offers 38 billing currencies, 33 payment options and 12 customer service languages.
“Essentially we gave them a heads-up that we’d like to start rolling out more web sites in more languages and we gave them a launch date of when we wanted to have them up and running,” Braun says. “Three to four weeks before launch they had the shopping cart localized, and had it in a staging environment so we could test it and see how it feels.”
Braun says both DivX and asknet have local staff in each country that tried out the sites to ensure web content and marketing came across appropriately. Asknet took care of translating e-commerce sites for each market, taking into account local slang and cultural preferences for product names. For example, it localizes registration pages, putting street name first and then the number, or vice versa, depending on country.
DivX, which posted 2009 sales of $70.6 million, much of which was through contracts with technology manufacturers who load the DivX programs on to such products as high-end TVs, has its own internal team that translates its software into foreign languages. But Braun says it’s important for customers to be able to understand and read about the software and how it works in their own languages on the e-commerce site in order to market it successfully. Asknet delivers this not only with site translation but also through phone and e-mail-based customer service in each language
Launching the sites was fast. In fact, asknet, which charges a monthly fee based on sales, includes a set number of engineering hours in its contract with DivX, and Braun says the company has yet to go over its allotted time.
When a customer checks out on one of the new sites, prices are in his own currency, Braun says, and asknet added local payment options for each site.
In Japan, for example, when a when a customer makes a purchase on a mobile phone or at a convenience store—a popular way to pay for goods in the country—DivX then e-mails a link to the software. Consumers can open the link on their mobile phones and download it. And in Germany, where wire and bank transfers are popular, asknet offers those payment options. In China, it offers Alipay, a popular payment method there. Asknet says it also handles tax and legal issues for each market.
“The really nice part is asknet handles all of the negotiations for how they are setting up the payment options,” Braun says. “For customers using a bank wire, we just get an invoice from asknet saying this is what you sold, this is what we take, and expect this amount to be in your bank account at this time.”
Asknet also recently began offering a localized shopping cart for Russia. It now offers customer service, translation, and billing currency in Russian rubles and can accept WebMoney, a common online payment system in Russia.
DivX says its e-commerce sites for Brazil and Portugal are the best-performing thus far.
Asknet is based in Germany and has offices in San Francisco and Tokyo.