BrandSource Canada members and their online customers can now easily toggle between French and English thanks to a newly bilingual LINQ. Seen here, the landing page for Quebec-based Desrochers.
By Laura Dake and Andy Kriege
AVB Marketing and our north-of-the-border partners from Mega Group have teamed up to create a bilingual web solution to serve French-speaking retailers in Canada.
Michael Borecky, Senior Director of Digital Services for Mega Group and its BrandSource Canada members, worked in conjunction with the AVB Marketing team stateside to migrate LINQ’s online merchandising software to over 100 websites that employ the Alta e-commerce platform up North.
AVB Marketing’s proprietary LINQ and Alta systems had to be completely transformed to support the French-speaking customers of our BrandSource Canada partners.
For LINQ, the data was reworked in two different ways to support the translation from English to French. Products were localized, meaning that the LINQ platform stores English and French versions of Canadian products. This is critical to the functionality of the new system because product variants, which may differ by content, can each be edited separately. Having such dynamic SKUs allows customers to make customized selections and see the updated price and inventory status instantly.
The data for all other details, such as page titles, columns and buttons, is translated.
For French Canadian dealers there is now a toggle in the upper right corner of the LINQ interface that allows them to easily switch back and forth between the two languages. Not only can users quickly select their tongue of choice, but they can move between languages on the product page to see how the item displays.
On the consumer side, the Alta platform has a similar bilingual experience, albeit geared toward consumers surfing the dealers’ catalog pages. Members can choose a primary language for their site that users see when they land on it. However, a dropdown menu at the top of the page allows customers to easily change to their preferred language for shopping.
Mega Group is pleased overall with how the project turned out. “Our members are excited and very pleased with the functionality of the website platform its ability to connect with French-speaking consumers,” Borecky said. “It is a competitive advantage for retailers and Mega Group in the French-speaking parts of the country.”
Mega Group acknowledged a few hiccups in the implementation of the software, but acknowledged that was to be expected in a project of this magnitude.
“This is a significant plus for all of our retailers for sure,” Borecky added. “We have talented and dedicated teams in place on both sides of the border that have coalesced to bring together two cultures. A great win for sure.”
Laura Dake is LINQ Senior Product Manager for AVB Marketing, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc. Besides implementing a bilingual LINQ for Mega Group, she collaborated with AVB’s Communications GM Andy Kriege on this story.