CATHOLIC CO. LAUNCHES SPANISH-LANGUAGE SITE

RELIGIOUS PRODUCTS MAILER The Catholic Co., which has sold online since 2001, has just unveiled a Spanish-language e-commerce site. CompaniaCatolica.com is the first major, U.S.-based, fully Spanish-language Catholic online store, says Nicholas Cole, marketing director of parent company Trinity Road.

In addition to product descriptions, Cole says, “we’ve translated everything from the navigation, images, buttons, shopping cart and help pages,” he says.

Extensive user testing helped ensure universal understanding, Cole says. “We did not miss the details — even error messages were translated — and we use a Spanish version of PayPal for customers paying with that method,” he notes.

The site is supported by a team of inhouse, Spanish-speaking call agents. “We added Spanish-speaking capabilities to our call center in 2006 and noticed a considerable amount of Spanish-language calls coming in,” Cole says.

The Catholic Co., which mailed about 1 million catalogs last year, also launched a mobile site in March. “Both the Spanish site and mobile site put us in front of new consumers searching either in their native language or on their phones,” Cole says.

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Catholic Co. Launches Spanish-Language Site

Religious products cataloger The Catholic Co., which has sold online since 2001, has just unveiled a Spanish-language e-commerce site for U.S.-based Hispanic Catholics.

The new site, CompaniaCatolica.com, is the first major, U.S.-based, fully Spanish-language Catholic online store, says Nicholas Cole, marketing director of parent company Trinity Road. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Hispanic Internet users buy online, he says, while close to two-thirds of U.S.-based Hispanics identify themselves as Catholic.

With CompaniaCatolica.com, “The uniqueness comes from the full site translation,” Cole says. In addition to product descriptions, “we’ve translated everything from the navigation, images, buttons, shopping cart, and help pages,” he says.

All translations were done by inhouse staff so that The Catholic Co. knows the grammar is correct. Extensive user testing helped to ensure universal understanding, Cole says.

“We did not miss the details–even error messages were translated–and we use a Spanish version of Paypal for customers paying with that method,” he notes. The site is supported by a team of inhouse, Spanish-speaking customer care agents.

“We added Spanish-speaking capabilities to our call center in 2006 and noticed a considerable amount of Spanish-language calls coming in,” Cole explains. “Later, several of our own employees expressed interest in using Spanish-language sites over English-based sites if they were available to them. We progressively received more and more signals that this was a solid move to make.”

The Catholic Co., which mailed about 1 million catalogs last year, has also tapped the mobile market. It was inspired to launch its mobile site in March thanks to increasing use of Web-enabled Smart phones.

“Over 60 million people accessed the Internet from their phone in December 2009,” Cole says. “We’ve also seen a decent number of orders coming in through mobile browsers. Both the Spanish site and mobile site put us in front of new consumers searching either in their native language or on their phones.”

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