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Powering Global Digital Transformation With Language

Learn how Volvo Cars worked with Lionbridge and Avanade to create a more cohesive online presence across markets 

A total shift to online sales requires a bold digital transformation strategy. Volvo Cars has pledged to shift to 100% digital online sales and electric vehicles by 2030. To achieve this goal, they partnered with Avanade and Lionbridge to revamp their online presence and shift their website from a marketing tool to an online marketplace. Avanade and Lionbridge’s translation and organization strategies powered the transformation for 60 digital stores. Watch the webinar to learn how the organizations worked together to create a more seamless and cohesive online presence while still catering to local audiences.

Read the key takeaways below.

The Challenge

As Volvo Cars embarked on an undertaking to pivot from in-person interactions to online sales, the company needed to create an exceptional user experience that would resonate worldwide.

“We no longer wanted to be a site with just marketing content,” said Cecilia Ernby, Production Lead for Global Online Digital at Volvo Cars. “We wanted to become the flagship store.”

Volvo Cars wanted to remedy its fragmented user experience and brand story across homepages in different countries. Volvo Cars has around 100 websites in 45 languages worldwide, with 200 million visitors annually. A central team created the web pages, and in-market teams then translated the site into the necessary languages. Each market’s control over its own web pages resulted in different sales strategies and website setups in each market.

Vehicles on an elevated road

The Solution

A cohesive platform required a new way of translating content and updating websites in each language. Avanade, an innovative digital services provider, worked with Volvo Cars to rethink its strategy for creating and translating worldwide content.

The old approach to translation was fragmented and relied on each market to complete its own translations with disparate agencies in a timely manner. There was little central oversight of the translation process, and headquarters had no direct contact with the translation agencies used by each market.

“We were keeping our fingers crossed that markets and their translation agencies were done when they needed to be [done],” said Marcus Ivarsson, Manager and Sitecore Strategy MVP at Avanade.

Volvo Cars and Avanade reworked the process to make translation a centralized responsibility. In making this shift, they also centralized all work with Lionbridge, who now completes translations for all languages for Volvo Cars.

To optimize their centralized translation process, Volvo Cars implemented a Translation Management System (TMS), enabling them to reduce the time devoted to managing translation tasks by around 1,000 hours. They could also use existing Translation Memories (TMs) from the local translation agencies, which were previously unique to each market, resulting in cost savings. Volvo Cars and Avanade also implemented a connector for Sitecore to simplify the translation process.

Additionally, Volvo Cars renewed its focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The company reworked its translation workflow and implemented a step that examined the translated content to ensure optimization for search in a local context.

Volvo Cars and Lionbridge collaborate to decide how best to localize content for each market based on this SEO research. They also set the content’s tone and can standardize these decisions across markets, creating a cohesive brand voice in different languages.

Volvo Cars and Avanade upgraded the Sitecore environment to make page coordination a central responsibility. They set up a central publishing team to handle all updates to website pages in all markets, receiving feedback from markets on how best to place new products in a local context.

“Once the markets were able to see the new site, we were able to overcome any initial hesitations,” Ivarsson said.

They now allow local editing and publishing for certain types of content, using color coding to identify which content local market teams can edit. They also created content guidelines to steer these local edits. By allowing only a limited amount of publishing at the local level, Volvo Cars can ensure that the website stays cohesive across markets while avoiding a bottleneck at the corporate level.

Volvo Cars needed to centralize its website and create a cohesive presence across markets and languages to tell one brand story with one voice.

“As we move to online sales, we need to own the message again,” said Ernby. “We wanted to move away from this scattered look and feel, and we wanted to build one brand and one platform.”

Cars in a car park

The Results

The Volvo Cars website now looks uniform across markets — customers viewing product pages in the United Kingdom, Germany, or Belgium now have the same user experience. Volvo Cars has since used the website as a platform to launch many campaigns and products across markets, including an innovative sustainability campaign.

“So many campaigns launched at the same time, which would not have been possible with our previous setup,” Ernby said.

By working with experienced digital transformation providers like Avanade and Lionbridge, Volvo Cars was able to remake its website into an online store for 21st-century digital customers.

Get in touch

Contact Lionbridge today to learn about our content transformation services. And watch the entire webinar here.

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