The 2011 Web Globalization Report Card

An analysis of 250 global web sites — from Amazon to Zara — the leaders, the laggards, the best practices

The best global websites (and why)

Web globalization often leaves people with more questions than answers, such as:

  • What traits are common to the best global sites?
  • What are the most popular languages across all sites?
  • How are companies promoting their Facebook and Twitter pages around the world?
  • What sites offer the best global gateways?
  • What are the best web sites that support fewer than 10 languages?

This report, published annually since 2002, answers these questions and many more. You’ll learn exactly which companies are improving at web globalization — and why. Through detailed website profiles, loaded with screen shots, you'll learn which practices to emulate and which to ignore. An entire section is devoted to the top 20 best practices and top 10 emerging trends in web globalization.

Insights based on a decade of web globalization research

Founded in 2000, Byte Level Research was the first firm dedicated exclusively to the art and science of web globalization. We have consulted with hundreds of multinationals and have learned what works and what doesn't work and, just as important, where their websites are headed. This expertise is carried over into the methodology of the Report Card, the first report dedicated to best practices in web globalization.

We conduct a hands-on analysis of the world's leading websites, analyzing how web designs are shared across countries and mobile platforms, noting languages used on every website, studying local content, social media, and navigation. This information, along with nearly a decade of historical data, will help you benchmark your company against competitive and “best of breed” sites such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Hotels.com. A combination of quantitative data and practical, hands-on advice make this report an invaluable resource for any company doing business across borders.




Who this report is for:

  • Marketing executives use this report to improve the effectiveness and usability of their global websites. The numerous screen shots included in the report clearly illustrate trends and best practices. The report points out flaws in many of the world's most popular websites — and, more important, makes clear suggestions for improvement.
  • Web and IT executives use this report to learn best practices and drive changes within their companies based on concrete data. For example, knowing exactly which companies are now using geolocation can help raise awareness and get management buy-in. No other report will tell you exactly which companies are using geolocation right now and which companies are using language detection.
  • Web design firms and advertising agencies rely on this report to upgrade their web globalization skills. This report's accessibility and its wide range of real-world examples makes complex concepts more easily understood.

The 2015 Report Card is now available

Purchase Details

The 2011 Web Globalization Report Card
Price: $950
Pages: 125
Exhibits & Visuals: 60
Format: PDF
License: Enterprise

Also included:

  • Executive Summary PowerPoint deck so you can easily share key findings with colleagues
  • Book: The Art of the Global Gateway
  • Available for immediate download



    Questions?

    If you would like to purchase by invoice, please email us. To provide a credit card number by phone, call us at +1 (760) 300-3620.


    Contact us regarding onsite web globalization presentations.

    Table of Contents

    Part I: The 250 Web Sites and How They Were Scored


    Part II: The Scorecards


    Part III: Key Findings and Trends

    Return to Top

    Companies that have purchased the Report Card over the years

    Panasonic
    FedEx
    Cisco
    Apple
    Intel
    3M
    eBay
    Caterpillar
    Philips
    Adobe
    Thomson Reuters
    Top 25 global websites of 2011

    The Top 25 Global Websites


    Facebook emerges as number one, unseating Google
    Google, which has held the number one spot for years, was unseated by Facebook this year. Facebook’s recent innovations (multilingual social plugins, improved global gateway, multilingual user profiles) gave it the edge.

    Companies like Cisco, 3M, Philips, and NIVEA have become regular faces in the top 25. But there are some new faces as well. There are five companies new this year to the top 25: Volkswagen, Adobe, Shell, Skype, and DHL.

    Although these 25 web sites represent a wide range of industries, they all share a high degree of global consistency and impressive support for languages. They average 58 languages -- which is more than twice the average for all 250 sites reviewed.

    For the full list of 250 companies included in this report, see below...

    Websites Included

    Airlines

    Air France
    American Airlines
    British Airways
    Continental
    Delta*
    Emirates
    KLM
    Ryanair
    United Airlines


    Automotive

    Audi
    BMW
    Honda
    Hyundai
    Lexus
    Mercedes
    Mini
    Nissan
    Porsche
    Saab*
    Smart
    Toyota
    Volkswagen


    Beverages

    Budweiser
    Coca-Cola
    evian
    Heineken
    Jack Daniels


    Consumer Appliances

    Black & Decker
    Braun
    KitchenAid
    Maytag
    Whirlpool


    Consumer Technology

    Acer
    Adobe
    Apple
    BlackBerry (RIM)
    Bose
    Canon
    Creaive
    Dell
    HP
    HTC
    Kodak
    Lenovo
    LG
    McAfee
    Microsoft
    Motorola
    Nikon
    Nokia
    Panasonic
    Samsung
    Sony
    Symantec
    Toshiba
    Wacom


    Consumer Goods

    Amway
    Avon
    Ben & Jerry's
    Campbell's
    Colgate
    Danone
    Dyson
    Fujfilm
    Gillette
    Iams
    Kleenex*
    LEGO
    Levi's
    Loréal
    NESCAFÉ
    Nestlé
    NIVEA
    Procter & Gamble
    Purina
    Unilever
    Zara


    Delivery

    DHL
    FedEx
    TNT
    UPS


    Luxury

    Armani*
    Burberry
    Cartier
    Chanel
    Gucci
    Hermès
    Lancôme
    Louis Vuitton
    Ralph Lauren
    Tiffany


    Financial Services

    Allianz*
    American Express
    AXA*
    Barclays*
    Chubb
    Citibank
    Credit Suisse
    E*TRADE
    Fidelity
    Goldman Sachs
    HSBC
    ING
    J.P. Morgan
    Santander*
    Visa
    Western Union
    Zurich*


    Cruise Lines

    Holland America*
    Royal Caribbean*


    Oil

    BP*
    Shell*


    Hotels/Resorts

    Accor Hotels
    Best Western
    Four Seasons
    Hilton
    Hyatt
    InterContinental Hotels
    Marriott
    Radisson
    Starwood Hotels

    Diversified

    3M
    Alcoa
    Archer Daniels Midland
    Boeing
    Briggs & Stratton
    Cargill
    Caterpillar
    Dow Corning
    GE
    Honeywell
    John Deere
    Johnson Controls
    Monsanto
    Otis
    Philips
    Siemens
    Steelcase
    Volvo Group


    Media/Entertainment

    BBC
    CNN
    Disney
    ESPN
    MTV
    Reuters*
    TED
    Voice of America


    Enterprise Technology

    Attachmate*
    Autodesk
    Avaya
    Cisco Systems
    EMC
    Huawei
    IBM
    LexisNexis
    NEC
    NetApp*
    Oracle
    Pitney Bowes*
    Qualcomm*
    SAP
    SAS
    Seagate
    Vmware*
    Xerox


    Fast Food

    KFC*
    McDonald's
    Pizza Hut*
    Subway


    Medical/Pharma

    Abbott*
    Bayer
    Eli Lilly
    Genzyme
    Johnson & Johnson*
    Medtronic
    Merck
    Novartis
    Pfizer
    Sanofi-Aventis


    Non-profit/Govt.

    European Union
    United Nations
    Voice of America
    World Bank


    Professional Services

    Capgemini
    Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
    Ernst & Young
    Hogan Lovells*
    Jones Day
    KPMG
    Manpower
    McKinsey & Co
    PricewaterhouseCoopers


    Rental Car

    Dollar Rent A Car
    Hertz
    Thrifty


    Retail

    Best Buy
    Build-a-Bear
    Godiva
    H&M
    Home Depot
    IKEA
    Starbucks
    Wal-Mart


    Semiconductors

    AMD
    Broadcom
    Fairchild Semiconductor
    Freescale
    Intel
    National
    NVIDIA
    Renesas
    Texas Instruments


    Sporting Goods

    Adidas
    Columbia
    New Balance
    Nike
    Patagonia
    Reebok


    Video Games

    Nintendo Wii
    Playstation
    Xbox


    Web Services

    Amazon
    Bing
    eBay
    eFax
    Expedia
    Facebook
    Getty Images*
    Google
    Hotels.com
    iStockPhoto*
    Last.fm
    LinkedIn
    MapQuest*
    Monster*
    MSN
    MySpace
    Netvibes
    PayPal
    Ritchie Bros Auctioneers*
    Salesforce.com
    Skype
    Snapfish
    Travelocity*
    Twitter
    WebEx
    Wikipedia
    Windows Live
    XING
    Yahoo!
    Yakaz*

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Who analyzes these websites?

    Report author John Yunker reviews every website — and has done so for all 10 editions of the report. No work is outsourced. This historical understanding of each website (combined with one-on-one interviews with many of the executives who manage these global websites) provides valuable and actionable findings and recommendations.

    How do you select companies for your list?

    We survey a wide swath of global companies across all major industries to provide a well-rounded overview of the state of web globalization. Within each industry, we include the leading companies with a focus on brand leadership. We include more than 30% of the Fortune 100 companies and 70% of the 2011 Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands.

    What’s the value of comparing companies across different industries?

    Web globalization best practices may emerge in any industry. By keeping a broad focus on all major industries, we are able to point executives to those companies and industries that are doing the best job of presenting themselves to the world. Every company included does have peers by which it can be evaluated. In the end, our goal is to provide a truly global perspective on which companies and industries are the most active and successful in web globalization. Only through casting a wide net do we achieve this goal.

    What companies purchase this report?

    Many of the companies benchmarked within this report have purchased the report for multiple years. Purchasers include Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Panasonic, FedEx, Philips, The World Bank, and Yahoo! There are companies not included in this report that also use it regularly, such as global consulting and IT firms and various government agencies.

    Do companies pay to be included in this report?

    Absolutely not. We have never and will never accept money in return for inclusion within the report. Some of our consulting clients over the years have been included in one or more reports and we have used our methodology to help drive positive change within these organizations. That said, we take pride in creating a report that is self-funded and completely independent in focus, content, and findings.

    Scoring Methodology

    The Report Card analyzes each website according to the following four criteria:

    • Global Reach (Languages): The website supports enough languages to reach a wide global audience. To receive a maximum score, the website must support 43 languages.
    • Global Navigation: Web users can quickly and easily find their localized content, regardless of what language they speak.
    • Global/Mobile Architecture: The website leverages global templates to support global branding while still allowing room for local customization. The website is also accessible via mobile devices, and language parity is maintained with the PC website. Responsive websites and mobile apps are also noted.
    • Localization & Social: The website is relevant to the user's locale and culture and provides functionality on par with the global website. Local-language social media are also supported and well promoted on the local websites.

    About the Author

    John Yunker

    John Yunker has helped a wide range of Fortune 500 companies improve their global websites and application. He has experience consulting with some of the world's largest companies and has also worked as senior program manager at Microsoft. He authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization, Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies. John speaks at numerous industry events, including Localization World, Internet Retailer, and the Unicode Conference and has been quoted on global topics in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is also editor of the popular web globalization blog Global by Design.

    The Web Globalization Report Card is a copyright of Byte Level Research LLC. Trademark pending.

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