Culturally customized websites pertain to the customization of websites based on the intended cultural audience. This customization takes into account the perception of the intended audience based on colors, language and environment. When developing an online campaign it is pertinent to understand the culture of your target audience. The goal with websites and any marketing is to generate converting traffic. Studies have shown that customized websites perform better than non-customized websites in converting traffic. According to Nitish Singh who performed a study to see the attitudes of locals towards localized, standard and adapted sites shows that local sites did better towards the intent to purchase and the overall attitude toward the site. At the moment culturally customized websites are rare and thus culturally customized websites were not used in this study (Singh, 2005, pg 28).
When developing a culturally customized website you must first fully understand the culture of you intended audience. This takes into account how they perceive colors, language and the environment they are exposed to. Colors play a large part in developing a culturally customized website. Different colors mean different things based on geographical locations, age, sex and class (Kyrnin).
An example of this is in Egypt the color black is a representation of rebirth while in Tibet it represents evil (globalization-group). If you were to design a website for Jewelry and the main color of the website was black it would be perceived better in Egypt in relation to rebirth, whereas in Tibet they may see it as the jewelry having a connection to evil and may be hesitant to buy if they even stay on your site long enough to take a look at what you offer.
Another example of color perception based on culture is the color red. The color red has many meanings across the globe. In India the color red is represented as the color of purity. Brides in India mostly wear red Lehenga gowns for this special occasion so to design a red website while promoting Lehenga gowns would be an acceptable practice in culturally customizing a website (Manohar). The color red however has the opposite meaning in South Africa. In South Africa the color red represents morning so this color and would be better represented on a website catering to clothing for funerals.
You will also need to create a more in-depth approach to your websites if you wish to target various cities within a country as there are even more variables when marketing to this degree. Finding out what language variations of language that are spoken within the various cities and attitudes these cities have about color will allow you to create highly localized culturally customized websites. An example of this is even though in India the main color for brides is red in Maharashtra India the main color worn by brides is green because they believe it is the color of prosperity (Manohar). In order to appeal more to these brides it would be wise to design your site around the color green and not red.
As you can see from the examples above color plays an important part in developing a culturally customized website. Choosing your colors is as important and is directly linked to the message you wish to portray and the perception your audience has in relation to your company; the two are intertwined. When developing your websites research how your intended audience will perceive all of the elements on your site based on your research. When developing localized culturally customized websites there are a lot of things you as the marketer must consider. Research is key in developing culturally customized websites for every country you wish to market your products in. Culturally customized websites for global marketing campaigns have a long way to go to fully embrace the culture of their intended audience, but with specified websites conversion will be greater and thus so will the reward be for your global campaign.