One would never have thought that a tiny little ripple on top of the water could spread to such extremes, and grow to reach the water’s outer edge. And no one would have suspected that a tiny little monarch butterfly, just minding its own business, busily flapping its wings could have a devastating effect on the other side of the planet – but it can. Sometimes, even the smallest of actions can trigger a much bigger consequence. When the local event or action involves the economy, that’s glocalism at play – the realization that the actions or events that are occurring on the local stage can have a serious global impact.
It is worth mentioning however, that glocalism can happen in reverse – that is, when global events or actions have a significant impact at home. Let’s examine this further – global warming is not just a global issue. Local governments struggle with what it means to their citizens, politicians argue over what environmental policies to enact at home, and schools strive to educate their students on how to reuse, reduce, repurpose, and recycle. As far apart as we may think we are, we are all connected – all 7 billion of us.
And when it comes to both local and global ecommerce, glocalism is quickly becoming a hot topic. The Internet was an amazing invention that started bringing global communities together. We were suddenly in a position to see and hear what was happening – often in real time – anywhere in the world. No longer reliant on the local, national, and world news media outlets, we can now just browse for YouTube videos or follow the popular Google, Twitter, and Facebook stories being shared around the globe. And what about shopping? We now have the freedom to shop for goods and services virtually anywhere in the world – talk about connected!
Along with open-access markets comes a greater responsibility on the part of the merchant – how to not only offer your products and services worldwide, but how to make those products and services relevant in someone else’s locale. Each corner of the globe has a unique history and culture, and from those unique experiences spring unique values and perceptions. This impacts on what customers search for online – and ultimately what entices them to purchase what your company has to offer.
In the words of the great Speedy Gonzalez, companies spreading their wings into global ecommerce need to get,
Ok, so that’s not technically what Speedy said – or meant – but you get the point.
So how can you make your goods and services attractive to both the local and global markets? It’s really not enough just to translate your message from one language to another, especially if the message that you’re translating doesn’t resonate well with other cultures. No, you have to go glocal. If you are completely confused and don’t even know where to begin, start at the beginning. That’s always the best place.
Here are 3 beginning steps to going glocal:
Know your target audience. Don’t be afraid to survey your customers in other countries and ask for feedback on what they like – or dislike – about your products and services.
Hire language services providers that not only employ native-language translators, but who have a command of the local communities that your business is trying to penetrate.
Consider hiring subject matter experts (SMEs) in those local communities who can provide your marketing team with an intimate understanding of how the local markets operate and what the local consumers find appealing.
If you are looking to expand your ecommerce to the global market, glocalism should become a household name. Merchants that develop a keen awareness of who their customers are, learn how to interact with them on a personal level, and gain insights into what they are looking for in your company will be in a much better position to successfully tread the international waters of ecommerce.
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