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Localization in Salesforce Commerce Cloud – Part 2: Locale Strategy

Derrick Turner • May 5, 2017

Last week in Part 1 of this post, we learned why localization is extremely important for brands that operate in different regions, and how Salesforce Commerce Cloud enables the deployment of these strategies. We defined key terms such as internationalization, localization, and locale, and explored how these items function within Commerce Cloud.

Now, in Part 2, we will look at the technical functionality and strategies within Commerce Cloud that drive efficient and targeted localization. As the basis for localization, a locale architecture determines the structure for all future sites, and if setup correctly, generates the long-lasting, positive impacts on the site and overall business.

Locale Architecture – Commerce Cloud’s Order of Operations

Think of “locale architecture” as similar to a cascading waterfall. When determining how to present content for a given region, Commerce Cloud begins at the top of the architecture, looking for a defined locale. If no translation is found for the specific locale, Commerce Cloud moves to the middle tier: language. If no translation is found for the specific language, Commerce Cloud will complete its search in the bottom tier: default. The site will then use whichever language has been made default.

A depiction of the Order of Operations within Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s Localization Engine

Understanding Locale Architecture Levels


  1. Defined at the organizational level
  2. Assigned per site
  3. 1% of translation will be at this level
  4. Regional text adjustments like page titles, product descriptions, or any attribution specific to that region
  5. Ex. en_GB, en_US, de_DE


  1. Defined at the organizational level
  2. Can be assigned per site
  3. Fallback translations for locale level above
  4. 99% of translation work should be done here
  5. Ex. en, de, it


  1. Defined at the organizational level
  2. Assigned at the organizational level
  3. Acts as the final language fallback if locale or language is missing
  4. Is never assigned a language or locale
  5. Should be a global business language


“Default” as a Language

A difficult concept to understand is how to use “default” as a language. “Default” is defined as the global language your business transacts in across the globe. “Default” is never set to a specific language in Business Manager, it simply exists as “default”.

In the example above, the locale hierarchy is set as: “en_US -> en -> default”. It’s very important to note, that in this scenario, “en” will never be populated as a language. It is always assumed “Default” is “en”.

In Business Manager, any “en” language updates would then be made in the “Default” language option.

“Default” is always a language option

There are many ways to define and manage localization in Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This is just one example, but one that has been used to great success. It ensures maximum flexibility for global site expansion while managing the amount of time, work, and resources needed.

Derrick Turner

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Derrick Turner

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