Localised, an e-commerce company that localizes retailers’ websites for international audiences, has raised a $6.5 million Series A funding round from U.K.-based growth capital investor BGF and entrepreneur Peter Jones.
With the investment, Localised seeks to further expand into the world’s top 20 e-commerce markets, hire new talent to continue innovating in areas such as localized merchandising, global pricing syndication and global CRM, and also expand into new verticals.
The company seeks to help retailers “go global by being local” by designing, building, operating, optimizing and marketing highly localized country-specific e-commerce sites. Built for fashion and lifestyle brands looking to expand across borders, the e-commerce sites produced by Localised are built on top of technology that coordinates translation, local payments, local sizing, local pricing, local merchandising, local marketing and local customer service.
Localised has helped apparel retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Everlane tap into markets like South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
The company says it builds the localized sites in 20 days or less, only requiring the retailer to supply a product catalog feed, without any further IT integration needed. The product feed informs Localised of the products for sale and at what price, and includes common product data such as product names, product descriptions, available variants and colorways, links to hi-res images, categories and inventory on hand.
Localised CEO Kris Green told Sourcing Journal that the company’s value proposition, compared to other localization specialists, is that “it builds entirely abstracted sites that live at their own domains, instead of adding an ability to ship to 200 countries to a site that is already built for somewhere else.”
The sites can be styled in any way, with Localised abstracting all web design properties and style attributes so that its sites can be configured to protect and extend the aesthetic and personality of the retail brand.
“That means we can create country-specific layouts, localize artwork, implement country-specific merchandising and pricing strategies, run local promotions, localize sizes and size units to local convention, support search and checkout in foreign characters and much more,” Green said. “We believe country-specific localized sites have broader appeal in the markets they are built for, and that the ability to optimize sites for a very specific country makes them significantly more marketable in local marketing channels.”
While Localised provides and manages the technology platform powering the international sites, it also employs local teams consisting of e-commerce, branding and marketing experts, all with specific experience in lifestyle and retail. The teams manage translation, customer care, merchandising strategy, promotions, and run activation campaigns in local marketing channels so that retailers can reach audiences they might not otherwise be able to access.
The local look and feel of the websites has been a benefit for both the retailers and Localised throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, especially as its sites have become the primary sales channel for some of its retail clients across different markets as a result of store closures, according to Green.
“For all clients, with e-commerce surging everywhere and consumers in many markets shifting spend online, we believe that the ability to look, feel and behave like a local retailer does in many markets is helpful in acquiring new customers and deepening relationships with existing ones now more than ever,” Green said.