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Localization in Salesforce Commerce Cloud – Part 1: Localization

Derrick Turner • April 25, 2017

Modern consumers across the globe demand a personalized, localized shopping experience. To deliver on this, businesses need to combine strong international expansion strategies with a technology platform that can facilitate the customization that shoppers crave.

One of these platforms – Salesforce Commerce Cloud – enables experience localization in almost every facet of website design from Business Manager to code templates. Part 1 of this series will explain the areas of Business Manager that support content localization. Next week, in Part 2, we will define and guide a localization strategy that ensures a Salesforce Commerce Cloud implementation can facilitate future global expansion.

Internationalization, Localization, and Locales

Internationalization is the design and development of product, application or document content that enables easy localization for target audiences that vary in culture, region, or language.

Localization refers to the adaptation of product, application or document content to meet the language, cultural and other requirements of a specific target market (a locale).

A locale is a collection of international preferences, generally related to a language and geographic region, that a certain category of users requires. These are usually identified with a shorthand identifier or token, such as a language tag, that is passed from the environment to various processes to generate culturally affected content. The Salesforce Commerce Cloud supports multiple locales and is pre-initialized with all possible locales.

In short, internationalization allows a product or service to be localized. Localization facilitates its use in a targeted international market or locale.

What does localization mean in the Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

Salesforce Commerce Cloud fully supports internationalization: any sites built on it can be localized, and as such, can be configured to target the hundreds of locale combinations found around the world.

This includes

  1. Content text for customer service pages, about us, blog pages, or landing page assets.
  2. Catalog text such as product names, descriptions, as well as all custom attributes like dimensions, weight, color, etc.
  3. General formatting for currency, date, numbers, inputs, and quantities.
  4. Template design for contact us forms, shipping or billing forms, or even specific localized
  5. Global site text used throughout the site like form error texts, saved in “properties files” within the codebase.
  6. New custom attributes can be set to “localizable”.

One of the most powerful localization configurations is to generate specific dynamic customer groups based on their locale.

Generating dynamic customer groups within SFCC

Customer groups allow deeper segmentation of more SFCC features such as:

  1. Content slot configurations that are used throughout most sites for dynamically displaying HTML, products, recommendations, assets, and categories. Especially used for homepage designs and landing pages.
  2. Marketing campaigns and promotions
  3. Shipping methods
  4. Payment methods


It may seem obvious, but translating your business for international expansion can be a difficult task. Foreign shoppers want to interact with your store in the language they understand. Aside from vocabulary, there are phrases and regional vernacular that make precise translations tricky.

Often, it helps to utilize a third-party vendor for handling these translations. Some of our recommended options are below:

Smartling: Smartling is a service that does more than just translate: it localizes. With technology built around today’s cloud-based agile content, Smartling is able to remove copy-paste drudgery and enable language professionals to get the job done right the first time.

MotionPoint: MotionPoint leverages a platform that manages content and disseminates it intelligently to a localized audience. Having worked with hundred of large brands, this platform sets the tone for deploying translated content in a smart fashion. A more nimble solution than Smartling or MotionPoint, offers translation services for a variety of functions in order to streamline localization strategies. With access to thousands of linguists, has the scope to handle any translation needs.

Localization is key to expanding your business internationally and entering new markets. Presently, Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s internationalization capabilities deliver an intuitive and flexible way to pursue localization strategies.

However, your site must be built to allow for global growth without creating friction and inefficiency within the business. Next week, in part 2 of this post, we will explore how to design a global locale structure to unlock this global business potential.


Derrick Turner

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Derrick Turner

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