Cover of the 2021 Web Globalization Report Card

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The 2021 Web Globalization Report Card

Now in its 17th year, companies around the world rely on the Web Globalization Report Card to provide objective benchmarking, emerging trends and best practices.

The ultimate web globalization resource

Web globalization is challenging.

You must manage countries, cultures, content, and often coordinate between central and remote offices to ensure that everything runs smoothly. For more than 17 years, The Web Globalization Report Card has helped companies navigate these challenges successfully through a mix of hands-on tips, best practices and industry insights. Each year, executives turn to the Report Card for answers to questions such as:

  • What languages should we support?
  • How is our global website doing compared with our competitors?
  • What languages do the leading brands support?
  • How do we make the case for supporting languages such as Arabic, Hindi and Vietnamese?
  • What emerging trends in localization should we be aware of?
  • How do we build a user-friendly global gateway?
  • Why are flags such a bad idea?
  • How do we architect a website to best manage diverse brands and diverse locales?

The latest best practices and emerging trends

This report, now in its 17th edition, answers these questions and many more. You’ll learn which companies have improved their global and mobile websites — and why. Through hundreds of website profiles, and a wealth of screen shots, you'll learn which practices to emulate and, of equal importance, which to avoid. More than a dozen industry sectors are profiled, with key web localization developments and best practices highlighted with visuals.

150 global websites benchmarked

This year, like years before, we benchmarked 150 websites across more than a dozen industry categories. These websites comprise 80% of the companies on the Interbrand Best Global Brands list and more than 30% of the Fortune 100, ensuring a broad reach of the leading global brands and businesses.

How to use the Web Globalization Report Card

Never before have companies been expected to support so much content across so many languages and across so many devices. And while this continues to be a very exciting time to be involved in web globalization, it’s also quite challenging.

This report serves two purposes. First, it calls attention to those websites that have excelled in the practice of web globalization. The companies that have made the top 25 did not get there by chance. The people who have helped raise their websites onto the top 25 list deserve recognition for helping their companies communicate effectively with the world, regardless of language, culture, or geography.

Second, this report identifies emerging trends (both positive and negative) to help you avoid the painful missteps that others have already taken. This report is designed to help you guide your web, marketing, content, mobile and local teams to positive, efficient action.

Two decades of web globalization experience

Founded in 2000, Byte Level Research was the first company dedicated to the art and science of website globalization. We have consulted with hundreds of multinationals and have learned what works and what doesn't work and how they stay one step ahead of the competition. This expertise is carried over into the methodology of the Report Card, the first report dedicated to best practices in web globalization. The report is relied on by some of the most innovative global and consumer product companies and we are proud to have many clients who have purchased this report for more than a decade.

Every year, 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. We study local content, visuals, social media, website weight (in kilobytes), and navigation. This information, along with 15 years of historical and linguistic data, will help you benchmark your company against competitive and “best of breed” sites such as Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, IKEA, NIVEA and Airbnb. 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.

2021 Report Card

Pages: 475
Exhibits & Visuals: 300+
Format: PDF
License: Enterprise

Included with the Report Card:

  1. New: 2021 Web Globalization Best Practices & Emerging Trends
  2. eBook: The Art of the Global Gateway

Companies that have relied on the Report Card over the years include:

  • 3M
  • Airbnb
  • Dell
  • Expedia
  • FedEx
  • Ford
  • Hyatt
  • KPMG
  • Lionbridge
  • McKesson
  • NEC
  • Nike
  • Philips
  • Renesas
  • SDL
  • Sony
  • Toyota
  • Uber
  • Verisign
  • Numerous national tourist boards and governments

Companies that have purchased the Report Card over the years

Thomson Reuters

Sample Pages

Table of Contents

Part I: The Best Global Websites

Part II: Language Leaders and Trends

Part III: The Websites and How They Were Scored

Part IV: Website Scores
  • All website scores
  • Global navigation leaders
  • Most global companies use country codes
  • Why you should use the globe icon
  • Three reasons to avoid using flags
  • Language detection remains a powerful navigation tool
  • Geolocation is a proven web localization solution
  • Leaders in global consistency

Part V: Website Profiles by Industry

Return to Top

Websites included in the 2021 Report Card

  • 3M
  • ABB
  • Accenture
  • Adidas
  • Adobe
  • Airbnb
  • Alibaba
  • Allianz
  • Amazon
  • American Airlines
  • American Express
  • Apple
  • Audi
  • Autodesk
  • Avis
  • Axa
  • Bayer
  • BBC
  • BMW
  • British Airways
  • Burberry
  • Canon
  • Capgemini
  • Cartier
  • Caterpillar
  • Chevrolet
  • Cisco Systems
  • Citibank
  • Coca-Cola
  • Costco
  • Dell
  • Deloitte
  • Delta
  • DHL
  • Disney+
  • Dyson
  • eBay
  • Eli Lilly
  • Emirates
  • Enterprise
  • Ernst & Young
  • Facebook
  • FedEx
  • Ford
  • Four Seasons
  • Fujifilm
  • GE
  • Gillette
  • GoDaddy
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Gucci
  • Heineken
  • Hermès
  • Hertz
  • Hilton
  • Hitachi
  • Honda
  • Honeywell
  • HP
  • HP Enterprise
  • HSBC
  • Huawei
  • Hyatt
  • Hyundai
  • IBM
  • IKEA
  • Intel
  • InterContinental Hotels
  • J&J
  • Jack Daniel's
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • John Deere
  • KLM
  • KPMG
  • Land Rover
  • LEGO
  • Lenovo
  • Lexus
  • LG
  • Loréal
  • Louis Vuitton
  • LUSH
  • Marriott
  • MasterCard
  • McDonald's
  • Mercedes
  • Merck
  • Microsoft
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mont Blanc
  • MUJI
  • Nestlé
  • Netflix
  • Nike
  • Nikon
  • Nintendo
  • Nissan
  • Oracle
  • Pampers
  • Panasonic
  • PayPal
  • Pepsi
  • Pfizer
  • Philips
  • Pitney Bowes
  • Porsche
  • Procter & Gamble
  • PWC
  • Roku
  • Rolex
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Salesforce
  • Samsung
  • Sanofi
  • SAP
  • Shopify
  • Siemens
  • Sony
  • Spotify
  • Starbucks
  • Steelcase
  • Subaru
  • Tesla
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Tiffany
  • Toshiba
  • Toyota
  • TripAdvisor
  • Trivago
  • Twitter
  • Uber
  • United Airlines
  • UPS
  • Visa
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo Cars
  • Walmart
  • Western Union
  • Wikipedia
  • Wordpress
  • Xerox
  • Xiaomi (Mi)
  • Zara
  • Zoom
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    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. We take great pride in creating a report that is self-funded and completely independent in focus, content, and findings.

    Who analyzes these websites?

    Report author John Yunker reviews every website — and has done so for every edition of the report. No work is outsourced. This in-depth, historical understanding of each website (combined with one-on-one interviews with many of the executives who manage these websites) provides invaluable 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 80% of the Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands.

    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, and The World Bank. There are companies not included in this report that also use it regularly, such as global consulting and web development firms, as well as government agencies.

    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.

    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.
    • 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.
    • 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 promoted on the local websites.

    Optional Conference Call

    A call to answer questions and provide custom website analysis

    Author John Yunker will share key findings from the report and, if your company is included in the report, will share in-depth recommendations. If your company is not included in the report, he will review your website during the call, pointing out best practices and room for improvement. Every phone call is customized to the client's needs and may cover topics such as:

    • Insights into web globalization workflow and content management best practices
    • Questions to ask before selecting a localization vendor, CMS platform, or design firm
    • Emerging globalization trends within specific industry sectors, including languages, commerce, and cultural customization.

    Onsite presentations available

    Some clients elect to combine the presentation with onsite training and cross-team meetings. Over the years, John Yunker has presented at dozens of companies across three continents. Please contact us for more information.

    About the Author

    John Yunker

    Since 2000, John Yunker has helped hundreds of companies improve their global content, websites and software. He authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization Beyond Borders, as well as the most recent: Think Outside the Country (also available in Japanese).

    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 writes the popular web globalization blog Global by Design.

    The Web Globalization Report Card is a trademark of Byte Level Research LLC.

    A Web Globalization Pioneer

    Founded in 2000, Byte Level Research was the first agency devoted to website and content globalization best practices. Over the years we have helped hundreds of companies improve their global content, websites and software through our reports, consulting, speaking and training sessions.


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