Holiday sale season localization
Localization Insights

How to Localize Your Holiday Marketing for Global Audiences

Localization Insights

With October around the corner, the holiday season is coming up and it’s time to lock in your campaigns for the end of the year. Get the most out of the 2022 shopping season by optimizing your holiday campaigns for all your target audiences around the world, not just the local ones. Localization can help you give global audiences a smooth and comfortable shopping experience by transforming assets you already have for tailor-made marketing.

What is localization? And why is it so valuable in 2022?

Put simply, localization is the process of culturally adapting products, services, content, communications, and other business aspects for different target markets around the world. In recent years, shopping habits have shifted and increasing numbers of buyers are purchasing online. In 2021 alone, the worldwide revenue from eCommerce reached nearly 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars. The rapid growth of the Internet coincides with the growing eCommerce industry and the rise of globalization. In fact, eCommerce statistics published in May 2022 tell us that 57% of online shoppers bought from outside their own borders. Sellers are no longer limited to local markets as global audiences become more accessible than ever, but that also means a crowded market with increased competition.

To stay ahead of the curve this holiday shopping season, make sure you’re considering localization. Sixty four percent of customers say that the shopping experience is more important than price, while 76% are more comfortable browsing and shopping in their own language. Localizing the entire shopping experience (including your top to bottom funnel marketing) will give your brand a higher value in the eyes of international customers. Everything in your holiday season campaign, from content and tone to navigation and images, should resonate with local shoppers wherever they are in the world.

eCommerce brands are increasingly offering more languages on their websites to reach global audiences and compete with other brands.

Important holidays to consider for the 2022 shopping season

Leading up to the holiday season, take time consider all the holidays that may be relevant to your target markets. Get familiar with important holidays, their traditions, and they imply for your business, whether it’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. or Singles’ Day in China. Here’s some of the major worldwide holidays to consider for your global holiday promotions:

  • Halloween – October 31: The origins of Halloween go back to Celtic times, but the holiday became commercialized in the United States as a day to dress up and eat sweet treats. Other countries where Halloween has become a huge retail opportunity include Canada, the UK, Mexico, Belgium, Australia, and the Netherlands.
  • Singles’ Day – November 11 (China): Singles’ Day celebrates people who are not in relationships with 24 hour promotions that encourage gift purchases. Thanks to Alibaba (China’s answer to Amazon), it’s the largest-grossing shopping day in the world. In 24 hours in 2019, $38.4 billion U.S. dollars (268 billion yuan) worth of gifts were purchased. It wasn’t just Chinese brands that profited. Apple, North Face, L’Oreal, Uniqlo, MUJI, and Gap each saw sales of over 100 million U.S. dollars. How do they do it? By localizing their marketing strategy with ads and websites in Chinese languages.
  • Thanksgiving – November 24 (USA), November 10 (Canada): Held on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, Thanksgiving traditionally celebrates a successful harvest and signifies the start of the fall-winter holiday season. Thanksgiving is also celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October each year and commemorates the successful arrival of settlers in 1578. Both celebrations are based around traditional meals and family gatherings.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday – November 25 and November 28: Held on the Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving in the United States, these holidays began as symbols for the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the United States. Today, Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions are offered by brands worldwide, often advertised as the largest sale of the year. Start advertising well in advance by offering customers a tempting glimpse of the savings they can expect, or even beginning your sales earlier than usual.
  • Hannukah – December 18-26: The eight-day period of Hannukah is set according to the Hebrew calendar and normally falls between late November and late December. While gift giving is not a traditional part of this Jewish holiday, it has become popularized in countries like the United States because of other gift-giving holidays like Christmas.
  • Christmas – December 25: Billions of people around the globe celebrate some aspect of Christmas on or near December 25. Festive decorations, gift-giving, parties, and celebration meals all add up to one of the year’s biggest retail opportunities.
  • New Year’s Day – January 1, 2023: The New Year begins on January 1 and is a day of reflection and planning. Resolutions are made along with impulse purchases of gym memberships, exercise gear, and fitness equipment. It’s also an opportunity to update wardrobes and makeup bags.
  • Novy God (Russia) – January 14, 2023: Russians celebrate the New Year twice, once on January 1, and again on January 14. The day’s history is lost in the mists of time, but it is typically celebrated with gift giving and family.

How to increase holiday campaign revenue with localization

Plan ahead

Thorough planning is important to implementing your localized marketing campaigns on time. When building your strategy, look at how other successful competitors (both local and global) approached key holidays in your target markets. This will give you a good idea of what consumers expect, so you can provide a similar or better shopping experience.

Understanding consumer shopping behaviors in different markets is time consuming, so if time isn’t on your side, consulting with a professional localization partner can be beneficial. This way, you can be sure that your entire holiday shopping experience is professionally translated, localized, and SEO optimized for each of your target markets.

Start holiday campaigns early

Holiday campaign promotions are beginning earlier and earlier each year. In fact, 61% of consumers starting shopping by early November in 2021. Start marketing with seasonal ads and offers at least six to eight weeks before the holiday, and don’t hesitate to begin even earlier. Price sensitive shoppers want to begin shopping early to better manage budgets and avoid the last minute stress of holiday shopping.

Create festive ads – nostalgia is good!

Holidays are a time for nostalgia, traditions, and time with loved ones. Create festive content that resonates with your audience depending on their culture’s traditions. While customers in countries such as Italy, Spain, and Brazil will recognize the “Santa Claus” or “Father Christmas” figure, they also have their own important figures that signify gift-giving. In many Catholic countries, baby Jesus is the one that brings children presents, not Santa. In some regions of Italy, “La Befana” is known as a similar figure to Santa Claus, and in Spain, presents are delivered to children by “Los Reyes Magos.”

An excellent role model for localized ads is Coca-Cola. It sells its product in all but two countries of the world (Cuba and North Korea) and, for nearly every country, there are localized advertising campaigns that reflect different holiday traditions.

Whatever theme your festive advertising strategy takes, make sure it reflects the lifestyle of your customers. You want your audiences to resonate and relate to the people, emotions and settings depicted in your imagery. For example, avoid featuring snow in adverts aimed at the UAE or Argentina, and remember to change desert landscapes for snow-covered scenery when targeting Scandinavia.

Adapt your video marketing

Video ads are a great way to capture consumer attention leading up to the holiday season. A reported 72% of customers prefer learning about a product or service through video than text or images. Make the most out of video content you already have planned by localizing it for global audiences. With subtitling and voice-overs, you can create content that is adaptable to different cultures and languages. The best promotional videos are attention grabbing, clear, and accessible. This means having an engaging narrative, being culturally specific, and using subtitles and native-speaking voice-over talent.

Take the stress out of global holiday promotions

The holiday season is a beautiful and exciting time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful time of the year for marketing managers or small business owners. BLEND’s end-to-end localization platform simplifies the localization process for holiday marketing campaigns, giving marketing managers one less thing to worry. We offer native-speaking translators, international voice-over talent, the best in AI and API technologies, professional recording studios, and cost-saving workflows. Ready for a stress-free holiday sale season? Talk to us to learn more.

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author post

Corinne Sharabi

Corinne is the Social Media and Content Lead at BLEND. She is dedicated to keeping global business professionals up to date on all things localization, translation, language and culture.


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