Orbea

Company Overview

Orbea is a bicycle manufacturer from Spain. They started in 1840 as a gun producer and moved into bike manufacturing in the 1930s. Orbea is part of the Mondragon Corporation. With the exception of some lower cost frames, all other Orbea bikes are manufactured in Spain. 

Orbea sponsors professional teams such as Euskaltel-Euskadi among others. 

Web Site Internationalization

 

8

Languages

  • Spanish
  • English, Spanish
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Spanish
  • Spanish
  • English
  • English
  • Mandarine
  • Japanese
  • English
  • English
  • English
  • English
  • English
  • French
  • English
  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • French
  • English
  • Italian
  • English
  • English
  • English
  • English
  • German
  • English
  • English
  • Portugese
  • English
  • English
  • German
  • Italian
  • French
  • English
  • English
  • English
  • English

5

Social Media Accounts

Global Gateway Details: Global Theme

Gateway link: ... General Text

Link Screenshot: ...

Type of selector: ... Country Name (native)

Selector Screenshot: ...

Position: ... in footer, right

Type: ... Stand Alone Page

Gateway Screenshot:

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Language Selection Details

  • Language Switching:

    no Language switching option inside the localized country pages

  • Number of Languages

    8

  • Languages

    English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Portugese, Japanese

Localization

Level of localization: Dedicated Localized Pages

Theme used for localization: One International Theme for all countries

Standardization vs Localization: Standardized Content

URL used for localization: Subfolder

Description:

Orbea uses subfolder system for all web sites. They put country code in first segment and language in second segment: example orbea.com/us-en/ for US in English.

Sample of localized pages

Orbea United States
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Orbea Japan
click to zoom

Technology

  • Language Negotiation

  • Geolocation

  • Use of cookies

  • Web Site Framework

    apachecodeignitercustomlampphp

  • Mobile readiness

    Mobile Site

Conclusion

Orbea.com is without a doubt one of the top global bike web sites. The level of localization is very detailed and the brand identity carries through on all their local sites. The design is sleek, modern, the web site is easy and fun to use and they have a mobile optimized version. The company from Spain set the bar pretty high for a well implemented global site. They follow just about all standard practices for web localization.

Localization Reach

The orbea.com web site is available in 34 countries and 8 languages (English, Spanish, german, French, Italian, mandarine, Japanese, Portugese). It might seem like not that many languages, but in reality they cover 75% of all internet users with the selection of these 8 languages. I believe it's better to stick to fewer language but instead localize and translate deeper as opposed to trying to offer as many languages as possible and in turn not being able to translate the content sufficiently. Fuji bikes is a prime example for this. Fuji offers well over 20 languages, but they only translate a few basic navigational pieces and keep the rest in english. I like orbea's approach much better.

URL structure

Orbea uses the .com top level domain to power their global web site. The only exception is the Japanese domain  http://www.dinosaur-gr.com/orbea/ which most likely is due to Japanese policy and regulations for distribution. A subfolder structure consisting of country code and language is used for the localized version of the web site. Example for the Swiss domain in German is http://www.orbea.com/ch-de/ and for the Swiss domain in Italian http://www.orbea.com/ch-it/

Additionally they use subdomains for other aspects of their web site such as content.orbea.com. The subfolders use the same localization in the form of subfolder country and language codes.

Localization / Standardization

Orbea uses an internationalized theme for their localization. The product lines are standardized as is common with most bike manufacturers. However, Orbea does localize their content for each country which is most reflected on the news section and the available bike models in each product line. For example in Spain, they offer 32 road bikes, in China only 16 road bike. Prices and currency are adjusted for each country. The marketing messages feel centralized and carry through on all localized sites. Orbea does a great job with maintaining their global brand identity by keeping brand assets and marketing messages centralized and standardized. There are no variations in logo, color usage or design. The web site for Argentina has the same look and feel as the home country site in Spain. With that it's clear that Orbea is fully committed to being a global brand. The translation is done well, although it feels like it's a word for word translation rather than a transcribed version. 

Social Media

Orbea uses 5 social media sites, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Google+. They dont have country specific accounts, which again points towards their central strategy for global marketing. Twitter seems to be mostly in  Spanish, Facebook has more English content and Youtube is a mix of both English and Spanish. Along the lines of their well designed web site, all social media accounts are customized to their brand style.

Global Gateway

The global gateway is a stand alone page which organizes the countries by continent and orders them alphabetically. The country names are translated into their native language which makes it easy for local users to find the appropriate country/language. Additionally they indicate which countries include online shopping. This is a well organized and functional gateway and I like the addition of the international sites available also in 7 languages.

 

Surprisingly, orbea.com did not remember my country selection, and each time I go back to orbea.com it's asking me to select my country again. Setting a cookie with the users selection would solve this. There are two ways to go back to the gateway, one is with the direct link orbea.com and second option is with the link in the footer. This link does not include an icon to indicate the 'global gateway' and the text is translated into the language of the current country site. This makes it difficult to find if a user is on the wrong language/site. This might be one of my only web localization specific remark for improvement for this web site.

There is no way to switch language from inside a country web site. The only way to switch language is from the global gateway. For example if I go to the Swiss site in German, and you want to see the Swiss site in French instead, you would have to go back to global gateway and select a different language from country selector. Might be easier to include a drop-down language selection inside the countries which offer this, for faster switching. 

Templates and Designs

As mentioned earlier, Orbea uses one internationalized theme which is used for localization on all countries. They did a great job with the design of this web site. It feels clean, modern, bold and uses big, well designed pictures, straight lines and dark colors. The homepage features a full width slider and the about page uses a trendy parallax scrolling effect which works well for the page.

Additional Features

Additionally to being well designed and organized, the Orbea web site includes some very nice features such as the bike finder which walks the user through a series of questions to figure out the best fitting 'all use' bike. The bike finder runs on it's own domain and uses similar localization strategies and language selection as the main site. Another great part of the web site is the ‘content’ section which is great for exploring images, videos and stories about the brand and the products. 

I particularly enjoyed the ‘about’ page, especially the team page section. It’s great to see all the people behind the brand.

Product Display

The products are nicely organized into the following main categories: 'road bike', 'mountain bike', 'triathlon bikes', 'street bikes' and 'all use bikes'. 

Inside each category there is a live filter at the top that lets the user quickly sort through the products by filtering for gender, collection, use, type and price. I am impressed by the speed of the filter, it works well and it's easy to use. 

Inside each product, Orbea offers a lot of information such as general product specs, movies, pictures, features, and even related stories from the travel section.

Noteworthy for this section is the use of microsites to introduce a product line. These microsites are also localized in the same fashion as the rest of the site. Example microsite for their orca road bike line:  http://www.orbea.com/us-en/sites/orca/

Additionally there is a product comparison feature which lets you select up to 3 bikes:

Mobile

Orbea has recently added mobile phone compatibility by adding mobile templates. I was a little bit surprised about the choice of separate mobile templates over a responsive design. For such a large project, it feels like it would be easier to maintain as a responsive site as opposed to having two separate sites and separate templates to manage. 

Orbea.com is one of my favorite global bike web sites. It is extremely well done and does an outstanding job on localization.

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