Filo is a business built on customer confidence. They manufacture tiny Bluetooth tracking devices that attach to almost any object. Using the Filo app, customers can search for any missing object and find it within Bluetooth range or see its last known GPS location.
Based in Italy, Filo faced steep competition when it entered the international market. With well-established competitors, it needed to differentiate itself in a few ways. First, with its modern Italian design, their tracking device looks sleeker than many similar devices on the market.
But beyond the look of the product, Filo also offers personalization and localized support for its B2B line of customizable devices. Their custom-branded devices have been chosen by over 500 clients all over the world, including Google, PayPal, Airbnb, and many more. Building on the promise of customized, localized gifts for employees and clients, their website needed to deliver a seamless multilingual experience for important corporate clients worldwide.
Finally, they also needed to make sure their international store, for direct-to-consumer sales, was as seamless and easy to use as possible, especially across Europe.
With a target of 30% year-to-year growth, Filo was serious about expansion. Though their products are sold throughout Europe via Amazon, one market they had yet to enter was Switzerland, since Amazon doesn’t sell there. With its high spending power and disposable income, the Swiss market was the cherry on top of the EU market – tempting but unattainable without localization.
As a company that counts on consumer trust and security, Filo also knew it had only seconds to make a good impression with shoppers. Therefore, they needed to keep site downtime to a minimum and maximize the clean, honest, functional look of the site—in a few key languages, beginning with Italian and English on the company’s new Shopify site, and then later adding German and French. And of course, they needed a site that would convert—meeting customers’ needs quickly and providing a sleek, efficient cart and checkout process.
In a way, Filo’s needs were simple—manage localization of their entire site with as little downtime as possible, increasing visibility and conversion in foreign-language markets. And of course, they needed to ensure quick time to market--they realized that every single day that went past without localization was a massive missed opportunity in a fast-moving and competitive market.
- Integrating with their WordPress site as smoothly as possible
- Minimizing employee involvement and time dedicated to localization
- Localizing site elements for a beautiful, seamless site
- Maximizing SEO in every possible target language to gain market share quickly
- Updating the entire site on an ongoing basis in as streamlined a way as possible
Filo thought they knew the answer to localize their site and took what they saw as the most obvious course first.
Their store was hosted on WordPress at the time, so Filo assumed that WPML was the best option. But their experience localizing with WPML quickly became more complex than they’d originally planned.
First, they realized that they’d need to create every single page of their shop manually, and update content manually every time they made changes. While WPML offers a basic facility to flag missing translations, it lacks a unified dashboard to identify and track all of the elements that go into a localized site. Every time their site content changed, they’d have to load up the site and check every single page, in every single language, to make sure it still displayed correctly. WPML also didn’t offer any access to external resources, like glossaries. And if a page in one language changed, they were back to manually updating every other page to keep all the languages in line.
Handling localization began to look like was becoming a full-time job—effort that wasn’t being made back as revenue due to extended downtime and problems with the site, making it seem like a multilingual site might have been the wrong decision after all.
It didn’t take long to realize that Option #1 wasn’t meeting Filo’s needs.
What makes WordPress versatile and flexible for so many different purposes are its vast array of features and plug-ins, most of which aren’t necessary for an ecommerce site, and some of which make getting the job done as an e-retailer a lot harder than it has to be.
Shopify, on the other hand, was built from the ground up to host ecommerce sites. It does one thing, and it does it well. Beyond that, Bablic has always been inspired by the ideals of simplicity and ease of use, making the combination resonate with Filo’s execs after their grueling experience so far.
Switching to Shopify made the choice of Bablic almost obvious, because Bablic was designed from the ground up to work with Shopify. There was no need to modify the site itself, just activate the Bablic plugin and the settings Filo defined in Bablic’s Visual Editor went live.
Setup Phase: Bablic saved Filo the tedious work of manually setting up and maintaining separate pages for every single language desired. Time to market was reduced to about a quarter of what it was with previous solutions -- saving 75% of the labor involved in rolling out a new language.
Ongoing Maintenance: Bablic tracks all aspects of Filo’s site, so staff only need to make a change once and then roll it out across all languages. And when there’s a sale, special event, or new product, they just need to define the copy and elements once and with a few clicks, the localized versions are in place. Bablic’s localization content management system means less staff time is taken up maintaining translated versions of the site.
Beyond the easy-to-use, intuitive Visual Editor and its ability to roll out changes instantly across the site, Bablic offered a few more built-in features that Filo couldn’t get with other translation apps, like Langify, Weglot, or Panda:
- Multiple translation options: manual, self-translation, and Bablic’s network of professional native-language translators
- Page styling features like fonts & margins so the site displays perfectly in all languages
- Element localization including buttons, images, and more
- Dynamic language detection ensures customers land on the right page for their region
- Built-in glossary for simplified translations
- SEO-friendly features like URL and meta-content translation
Filo started out using Bablic to offer their site in English and Italian, but after a successful launch, according to Filo’s senior developer Stefano Spensieri,
“We realized adding languages would be easy for us using Bablic… Bablic is very intuitive.”
Once Filo was ready with campaigns and strategies for each new market, rolling out new languages became simple.
As Spensieri recalls, Bablic's dashboard and Visual Editor offered Filo a fast way to access the strings and other items that needed translation. He was also impressed with Bablic’s smart and customizable ways of detecting and storing user language preferences. Filo later upgraded to a premium plan in order to take advantage of Bablic’s advanced international SEO features and the ability to customize the language-changing widget to fit the look and feel of their site perfectly.
Ultimately, Bablic kept Filo’s site stable during rollout with zero downtime, but most importantly, sales metrics started to rise impressively: customer bounce rate went down to 10-15%, time on site doubled, and the overall sales conversion rate went up 40%, an increase that led directly to a revenue gain of about 7-9%.
Today, Filo is preparing to launch a new targeted safety product to prevent children from being left behind in child car seats. Carseat alarms will be required in Italy in July 2019, and could become mandatory across Europe--meaning massive growth if Filo is poised to capitalize on the spike in demand. Fortunately, they’re confident that Bablic will grow with their company.
More importantly, Bablic has opened a door to new markets all over the world. With 100 translation languages offered, Filo has proven with their Shopify store and Bablic on board that the sky really is the limit.
Bablic was built from scratch with ecommerce in mind. If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution that helps you branch out into your target market fast and delivers ROI from day one, get in touch to see what Bablic can do for your ecommerce site.