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What is Internationalization?

Despite being widely used as a strategy for business growth, internationalization is often confused with globalization. Find out the differences between the two in our new post.  

June 9, 2021

Catz Thompson

Internationalization offers an array of benefits for brands looking to grow their reach, from increased customers and revenue to improved risk management and greater cost savings.

However, the process of internationalizing to new markets is complex and often expensive. The concept is also frequently conflated with globalization, complicating things further.

For brands seeking to take the next step in their business journey by successfully entering new foreign markets, internationalization can seem a daunting prospect.

Here, we explain exactly what internationalization is, the key differences between internationalization and globalization, and how your business can prepare to successfully enter international markets. 

What is internationalization?

Internationalization is the process of tailoring a product, service or operational offering for entry and growth into international markets. Globalization may be the ultimate end goal, but internationalization helps your business get there.

In ecommerce, internationalization means getting a business to a place where it can successfully trade in different markets. This is typically achieved with a targeted international website and supported by localized promotion and digital marketing strategies.

Internationalization requires a sound understanding of cultural nuances and traditions, and of the varying market preferences of your target. 

What is globalization?

Globalization is the process by which a business brings its brand to the rest of the world and is the end goal that a company aims for with its internationalization strategy.

The globalization process involves establishing a physical presence in different locales. This often includes the employment of global talent to assist with this, as well as the development and deployment of technology, innovations, product development and production across multiple countries.

Ultimately, globalization helps a business to gain a competitive edge, not just in its domestic market, but all over the world.

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Internationalization vs. globalization

The concepts of internationalization and globalization are often used interchangeably. But in practice, they are two sides of the same coin.

Internationalization concerns the details around the localization of a product or website, whilst globalization focuses on factors such as business operations, infrastructure and logistics.

In short: internationalization is in the detail, whilst globalization is the broader end goal.

Why businesses utilize internationalization

Internationalization gives businesses access to a world of new opportunities. There are various reasons why a business may want to internationalize, including:

  • Expand reach into a global market to increase revenue. 
  • Establish an SEO presence across different markets.
  • Increase competitiveness on a global scale by accelerating international growth.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the needs and nuances of different locales and audiences across the globe.
  • Identify new opportunities around the world, particularly across niche markets.
  • Diversify target markets to mitigate the risks associated with turbulent local markets.
  • Gain access to overseas investment opportunities.

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Internationalization with THG Ingenuity

THG Ingenuity offers a complete end-to-end solution for your ecommerce internationalization needs.

With proven successes across multiple locales, we have delivered international ecommerce rollouts across the retail, food and beverage, beauty and FMCG sectors, helping domestic brands reach new markets around the world.

Our services include everything you need to internationalize successfully, from translation and transcreation to localization and financial regulation, all supported by a team of marketing channel experts with first-hand knowledge of foreign markets and proven experience of launching successful international campaigns.

If you’re looking to grow your brand with reach across global markets, THG Ingenuity will help you get there.

Get in touch today and take the first step in achieving your international ecommerce goals.

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