From Amazon to Walmart, from Audi to VW, from Apple to Xiaomi — The 2016 Web Globalization Report Card ranks the best global (and mobile) websites.
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Web globalization often leaves people with more questions than answers, such as:
This report, now in its 12th edition, answers these questions and many more. You’ll learn which companies have improved their global and mobile websites — and why. Through website profiles, loaded with screen shots, you'll learn which practices to emulate and which to avoid. More than a dozen industries are profiled, with key globalization developments and best practices highlighted with screen shots.
Most of the websites included in this report are mobile friendly.But few are as mobile friendly as they could be.
For starters, a significant number of companies may support mobile-friendly websites for their core markets but still support legacy desktop-only websites for the rest of their country/region websites. And while desktop-oriented websites have over the years greatly improved in making the global gateway easy to find, mobile websites generally do the opposite — hiding the global gateway, if they make one available at all. More troublesome, most websites were built under the assumption that mobile users have access to 4G networks, which many do not. Most of the world still relies on 3G (or slower) mobile networks.
This year, like years before, we benchmarked 150 websites across more than a dozen industry categories. These websites comprise 80% of the companies on the Interbrand Best Global Brands 2015 list and more than 30% of the Fortune 100, ensuring a broad reach of global brands and businesses.
This report serves two purposes. First, it calls attention to those websites that have excelled in the practice of web globalization. The companies that have made the top 25 did not get there by chance. The people who have helped raise their websites onto the top 25 list deserve recognition for helping their companies communicate effectively with the world, regardless of language, culture, or geography. Second, this report identifies emerging trends (both positive and negative) to help you avoid the painful missteps that others have already taken. This report is designed to help you guide your web, marketing, and mobile teams to positive, efficient action.
Never before have companies been expected to support so much content across so many languages and across so many devices. And while this continues to be a very exciting time to be involved in web globalization, it’s also quite challenging.
Founded in 2000, Byte Level Research was the first firm dedicated exclusively to the art and science of web globalization. We have consulted with hundreds of multinationals and have learned what works and what doesn't work and, just as important, where their websites are headed. This expertise is carried over into the methodology of the Report Card, the first report dedicated to best practices in web globalization.
We conduct a hands-on analysis of the world's leading websites, analyzing how web designs are shared across countries and mobile platforms, noting languages used on every website, studying local content, social media, and navigation. This information, along with nearly a decade of historical data, will help you benchmark your company against competitive and “best of breed” sites such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Hotels.com. A combination of quantitative data and practical, hands-on advice make this report an invaluable resource for any company doing business across borders.
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Google is the only company to score above 90 points, retaining the top spot for another year. Facebook continues to add languages, though at a slower pace; it now supports 88 languages.
Wikipedia is far and away the language leader, with content in more than 270 languages. The company also now supports a mobile-friendly layout that is considerably lighter (in kilobytes) than most Fortune 100 mobile websites.
Hotels.com and Booking.com remain closely matched in both languages and global gateway strategies. Both websites are worth studying for how they balance global gateways and ecommerce — allowing users to select not only their locale but also their currency.
Nike made this list for the first time, having added languages and improving global consistency and navigation.
As a group, the top 25 websites support an average of 52 languages
Report author John Yunker reviews every website — and has done so for all 12 editions of the report. No work is outsourced. This historical understanding of each website (combined with one-on-one interviews with many of the executives who manage these global websites) provides valuable and actionable findings and recommendations.
We survey a wide swath of global companies across all major industries to provide a well-rounded overview of the state of web globalization. Within each industry, we include the leading companies with a focus on brand leadership. We include more than 30% of the Fortune 100 companies and 80% of the 2015 Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands.
Web globalization best practices may emerge in any industry. By keeping a broad focus on all major industries, we are able to point executives to those companies and industries that are doing the best job of presenting themselves to the world. Every company included does have peers by which it can be evaluated. In the end, our goal is to provide a truly global perspective on which companies and industries are the most active and successful in web globalization. Only through casting a wide net do we achieve this goal.
Many of the companies benchmarked within this report have purchased the report for multiple years. Purchasers include Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Panasonic, FedEx, Philips, The World Bank, and Yahoo! There are companies not included in this report that also use it regularly, such as global consulting and IT firms and various government agencies.
Absolutely not. We have never and will never accept money in return for inclusion within the report. Some of our consulting clients over the years have been included in one or more reports and we have used our methodology to help drive positive change within these organizations. That said, we take pride in creating a report that is self-funded and completely independent in focus, content, and findings.
The Report Card analyzes each website according to the following four criteria:
Author John Yunker will share key findings from the report and, if your company is included in the report, will share in-depth recommendations. If your company is not included in the report, he will review your website during the call, pointing out best practices and room for improvement. Every phone call is customized to the client's needs and may cover topics such as:
Some clients elect to combine the presentation with onsite training and cross-team meetings. John Yunker has presented to dozens of companies on three continents. Please contact us for more information.
Since 2000, John Yunker has helped hundreds of companies improve their global content, websites and software. He authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization Beyond Borders, as well as the newest, Think Outside the Country. John speaks at numerous industry events, including Localization World, Internet Retailer, and the Unicode Conference and has been quoted on global topics in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He writes the popular web globalization blog Global by Design.
The Web Globalization Report Card is a copyright of Byte Level Research LLC.