Lost in Localization? How to Adapt Your B2B Online Customer Experience for Global Engagement
The article examines the impact of online customer experiences on psychological and behavioral customer engagement in the international business-to-business (B2B) context, taking into account the moderating role of cultural factors. While engaging business customers through online customer experience design is essential, global marketers face the dilemma of localizing or standardizing the online customer experience across their global websites. The study argues that the localization of the online customer experience involves creating a more culturally relevant and meaningful experience for each customer, while standardization entails cost benefits, and localization is cost-intensive. Firstly, the study examines how online customer experiences are translated into customer engagement among customers from different cultures, thus helping global marketers tackle the standardization versus localization dilemma. Secondly, this study provides novel insights into the engagement-related outcomes of online customer experience design in the B2B context. Lastly, the study highlights the importance of cultural factors in the experience-engagement relationship. The study finds that cultural factors moderate the relationship between online customer experiences and customer engagement. Thus, web design elements triggering cognitive and social online customer experiences should be designed to reflect business customers’ cultural values and needs. The findings can help global marketers solve the localization dilemma and provide useful implications for online experience design localization strategies that are contingent on culture. The study’s implications can help global marketers tailor their website design to reflect the cultural values of different countries and improve customer engagement.