UK businesses starting up internationally risk losing customers if they do not cater to the local marketplace. eLoyalty warns that new dot-coms need to buy local domain names, as ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’ sites may be seen as UK cultural imperialism, risking alienation.
The warning follows a record number of enquiries from start-ups expanding on a global scale. Companies should localise their web site and branding, by culture as well as language – the basic design and colours of the site, the architecture map, and customer response mechanisms.
“While a company might have a terrific business plan and a fantastic web site, this isn’t necessarily enough to reach customers globally,” said Hussam Al-Otaibi, marketing director UK at eLoyalty. “Internet start-ups can pull in and, more importantly, retain customers just by following straightforward guidelines.”
“By offering customers a convenient means to interact with them, dot-coms need to understand their customer behaviour even more,” said Christophe Rebuffa, vice-president at eLoyalty.
eLoyalty consultants work on building brand awareness and stability across multiple channels and mediums, focusing on customer loyalty and relationship-building. With more than 800 professionals in offices throughout North America, Europe and Australia, eLoyalty spans the full spectrum of a company’s operations including the Internet, call centres, marketing channels, sales force optimization, customer service, and field service and logistics.