Navigate Europe's ecommerce challenges with localized product information management and adapt to local languages, cultures, and regulations for seamless market entry and growth, writes Sergii Shvets, CEO of Gepard PIM.

Sergii Shvets, CEO and co-founder at Gepard PIM

Sergii Shvets

Expanding your ecommerce operations into Europe can be a great opportunity. The region comprises 50 member countries, giving you access to over 540 million potential customers and a market on track to exceed $880 billion by 2028.

However, navigating the intricacies of the diverse European markets —each with unique languages, cultures, and consumer preferences — can be challenging. You need an effective localization strategy for the new markets you are entering, and product information management (PIM) can help.

A PIM is a centralized platform that organizes, enriches, and translates product data so that it resonates with the local market you’re targeting. The PIM market is estimated to grow to $17 billion by 2026, highlighting its crucial role in online business.

This article will explore the advantages of using a PIM for localization and provide best practices for a successful ecommerce expansion in Europe.


Understanding Localization Challenges for Ecommerce in Europe

Whether you run a small fashion store, sell handcrafted items, or operate a big retail operation, you’ll face these localization challenges while navigating the intricacies of the European market:

  1. Europe’s Multilingual Landscape: With its rich tapestry of languages, each European market may have its own preferred language or dialect. Effectively managing content across multiple languages requires precise translation and cultural adaptation to resonate with diverse audiences.
  2. Navigating Cultural Nuances: Cultural differences within European regions significantly impact consumer behavior and expectations. Adapting product messaging, imagery, and user experience to align with cultural nuances is essential for connecting with local audiences.
  3. Meeting Regulatory Standards: Europe enforces stringent data protection and consumer rights regulations, including GDPR. Complying with these rules across different countries complicates ecommerce operations. Balancing legal frameworks while delivering a seamless user experience demands careful consideration.
  4. Payment and Currency Dynamics: There are over 30 different currencies in Europe and a myriad of payment preferences. Effective price localization — implementing a payment system that caters to local preferences and ensures accurate currency conversions — can accelerate your business growth by 30%.
  5. Tailoring Products to Local Markets: Products may require adaptation to meet different markets’ specific needs and preferences. This involves translating product information and considering factors like sizing, labeling, and packaging to align with local standards and expectations.

Benefits of PIM in Localization

As you can see, localization can be a big challenge when expanding into a diverse business landscape like Europe. However, using a reliable PIM tool can help. Let’s see how.

Centralized Data Management

PIM systems are a central hub for organizing and storing all product-related data, ensuring product details, specifications, and attribute consistency across an ecommerce platform. This unified approach prevents discrepancies, streamlines operations, reduces errors, and provides a reliable source of truth for data management — particularly crucial for expansion into a market as diverse as Europe.

Multilingual Content Creation

Given Europe’s linguistic diversity, PIM systems provide multilingual support, making it easy to create and manage product information in multiple languages and supporting the translation and adaptation of product descriptions and marketing materials to meet local audiences’ cultural and language preferences.


It also boasts version control features, simplifying the task of handling multiple versions of catalogs, specifications, and pricing — a requirement for localizing product information — thereby enhancing communication of product value, especially in international sales.

Maintaining Consistency Across Markets

PIM systems help to preserve consistency across diverse markets by centralizing product information, branding elements, and marketing content. This centralized approach ensures a uniform brand presentation across different European regions, regardless of the specific market or language.

Adapting To Cultural Nuances

PIM systems offer features that enable businesses to tailor product information to specific cultural requirements, ensuring relevance and resonance with target audiences in each market. This may involve customizing imagery and promotional material to align with cultural preferences in European markets.

Enhanced Customer Experience

PIM systems are vital in enhancing the customer experience. By centralizing product information, businesses can efficiently manage multilingual content, maintain a consistent brand message, and adapt to cultural nuances. This results in a personalized and user-friendly experience for customers, ensuring they can access accurate information in their preferred language.


PIM systems also help with cross-border selling. They handle currency conversions and customize recommendations and content based on customer data. All of these advantages together foster a positive customer experience, leading to increased conversions and long-term brand loyalty.

Case Studies or Real-Life Examples

So, how exactly does this work? Here are some real-world examples of how a good PIM can help businesses with localization when expanding into European markets.

Sizing and Measurement

A U.S.-based fashion ecommerce platform is expanding to Europe. To align with European standards, measurements will have to change to the metric system used in Europe. For instance, a dress labeled as size 2 in the U.S.A. would be size 34 in most European regions, and a chest measurement of 36-38 inches in the USA corresponds to 91-96 cm in Europe.

Getting all these differences down can be challenging, but a good PIM system will allow the fashion store to showcase product sizes according to local standards, preventing potential returns.


Language and Translation

A beauty and cosmetics ecommerce brand expanding into European markets has to translate and adapt product descriptions to fit each country’s language and colloquial terms. Research indicates that 76% of people prefer shopping in their native language, and 60% rarely or never buy from an English-only website.

To address this efficiently, the brand can use PIM to manage product descriptions. This enables them to translate and tailor content seamlessly for French, German, and Spanish. The goal is to resonate with local audiences, ultimately enhancing customer engagement.

Best Practices and Implementation Tips for PIMs in Localization

So, how can ecommerce businesses effectively implement PIM for localization? Here are some actionable insights, best practices, and tips to consider:

  1. Plan Ahead: Initiate your PIM implementation well before launching in Europe. Early planning reduces the risk of rushed decisions, ensuring smoother integration into diverse markets.
  2. Be Culturally Sensitive: Respect the cultural nuances of each European market. Customize your PIM strategy for language, local preferences, and cultural sensitivities. This ensures positive resonance with diverse audiences.
  3. Consider the Whole Customer Journey: Extend the PIM application beyond product details. Localize marketing content, customer support, and post-purchase communications. A holistic approach provides a seamless and culturally relevant experience, from exploration to post-purchase engagement.
  4. Implement PIM Everywhere: Ensure consistent messaging and data accuracy across all channels —  website, mobile app, social media, etc. This guarantees coherent and synchronized localized content, reinforcing brand integrity and customer trust.
  5. Evaluate and Improve: Continuously assess the effectiveness of your PIM localization strategy. Analyze data on customer engagement, conversion rates, and market-specific performance. Use insights to refine your approach, adapting to evolving market trends and consumer behaviors.
  6. Train Your Team: Equip your team with skills to maximize PIM capabilities. Conduct thorough training on localization, data management, and cultural considerations. A well-trained team enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of your PIM implementation.

To thrive in the diverse European e-commerce market, adopting Product Information Management (PIM) is crucial. The varied languages, cultures, and regulations require a centralized approach for accurate and consistent product information. PIM ensures data precision and simplifies localization, providing a seamless shopping experience.


About the Author:

Sergii Shvets is the CEO and co-founder of Gepard PIM, an ecommerce data transformation company that connects retailers with manufacturers and content providers. He is also the director of technology at Icecat, a product catalog technology provider.

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