ASOS reaps the multi-million pound benefit of its multi-lingual website

British online fashion retailer ASOS is having a week to celebrate.

Yesterday it was singled out by Tech City chief executive Joanna Shields at the annual Institute of Directors conference for being “an innovative British company with open platforms”. Then, this morning, Reuters reported that the retailer had eclipsed fiscal fourth quarter profit expectations, with a 47 per cent increase in overall retail sales.

ASOS’ spectacular surge in sales is no small part thanks to its translated and localised international websites, which cater to customers in the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and Russia.

While fourth-quarter UK sales rose by 49 per cent to £74.1 million, international sales rose by 47 per cent to £133.8 million, with international European sales jumping a staggering 73 per cent.

In fact, overseas sales now make up 63 per cent of ASOS’ total revenue, proving that the online fashion retailer has become a truly international brand with a global online presence.

ASOS also announced its plans to tap into the world’s largest and most rapidly developing domestic market when it launches its Chinese-language website in October.

Small investment, heavy returns

ASOS’ success story demonstrates the power a translated and localised website can leverage over a brand’s global reputation and international sales numbers.

Online retailers can take heed from a company that was written off as recently as 2011. The relatively modest investment put into translating and localising a website, applying multilingual search engine optimisation (SEO) plan, conducting the right due diligence and market research, developing a thorough international growth strategy and, in some cases, even employing an in-country team, can produce a spectacular return on investment.

Online retail looks set to continue to further evolve and expand over the coming years. Retail analyst Verdict claims that the online shopping will account for £1 in every £7 spent by 2018 in the UK alone, while e-commerce sales are estimated to rise annually by 20 per cent in China and 53 per cent in India, up to 2016.

Out-and-out growth for brands will therefore be galvanised over the coming years by a strong web presence across different regions. One UK-based retailer realised this trend early on, took decisive action and is already seeing the dividends. More UK firms should follow suit, for the good of their brand and the good of UK plc.

Today Translations has helped a number of British brands expand into new markets across Europe and beyond thanks to our website translation and localisation services, multilingual SEO strategies, research into foreign markets and competitors analysis.

To find out how we can help your business tap into new markets and attract a diverse range of new customers and audiences around the world, get in touch with us at +44 (0) 207 397 2770 or email us at [email protected]