Feb 11 2015
"Cultural Adaptation has to be aware of many Details" - Friederike Tschacksch about Internationalisation
Friederike Tschacksch (29) oversees the internationalisation of AX Semantics and advises our personnel regarding the handling of international projects. Previously, she had helped Zalando built up their translation team.
AX Semantics: Friederike, what do you do for AX Semantics?
Friederike Tschacksch: We have a great product at AX Semantics, which has a demand in Germany as well as globally. We have to respond to this demand and thoroughly plan and implement the internationalisation of AX. At AX Semantics, Internationalisation takes place at two levels: on one level, knowledge that can be used for the international market is acquired through process- and project-analysis of already existing projects in German. On the other level, we think through the tasks and processes that emerge from a standardised product in the international market.
AX: What do you consider to be the greatest challenge in internationalisation?
Friederike Tschacksch: Clear prioritisation is crucial for project success. Where do we want to go? What do we want to work on? A huge obstacle is that many things have to happen simultaneously and teams work at different speeds. If a sales team has already started selling the product in a country and another team is contiuously developing it, all teams need to be coordinated. It is imperative that one keeps a constant overview of all processes in mind. Furthermore it is very important to be aware that existing clients and projects do not fall under the radar: All clients should be continuously taken care of and the core business continuously progressing, as the knowledge that one gains from successful current national projects can of course be implemented for international projects.
AX: What do you consider to be the most important aspect of successful internationalisation?
Friederike Tschacksch: I am certain that the most basic essential is transparent communication. When each person knows what the goal is, is well informed and knows what he has to do, then you have the best conditions for successful business growth.
AX S: What are your experiences with Internationalisation in E-Commerce? What should Online-Shops look out for when they want to sell across borders? Is it enough to simply translate the Website?
Friederike Tschacksch: Language is of course an important factor – but there are much more cultural differences that influence the buying behaviour of customers. This is exactly what one should know: How does E-Commerce function in a particular country? When do consumers go shopping? Which devices are used? The search-behaviour also differs from country to country. Only then can one see whether the existing Website format of a country is transferable. It will certainly not suffice to exclusively present the text to a translator without also reviewing the technical side. In Turkish, for example, linguistic translation is not complicated; however a simple website conversion would not function. A good example of different requirements is climatic variations: Does one look for warm jackets in Spain? And if so, do consumers expect the same category descriptions as in Germany? With cultural adaptation one has to be aware of many details – but that just makes it all the more exciting!
AX: Thanks for the interesting interview, Friederike!
(The Interview was conducted by Adela Schneider)