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Website Globalization: The Availability Quotient

Website globalization, benchmark, Availability Quotient, audience, metrics, measurement, global websites


Website owners want to increase the return on investment from their IT infrastructure, software engineering, creative development, and integrated marketing expenditures. They seek to give access to the site’s content and functionality to people in as many target markets as their resources permit. These efforts, sometimes successful and sometimes not, comprise the activities of website globalization.

Common Sense Advisory analyzed over 500 global websites, examining seven key interactions that comprise the online customer experience. In this report, we combine the content and logic requirements of those online interactions with our market entry analysis as criteria to:

  1. Determine whether a given interaction is available – or not available – to visitors speaking a particular language or arriving from a particular country.
  2. Create a metric that objectively ranks what percentage of the total online population can access each level of experience on any given site. We call this metric the Availability Quotient, or "site AQ."
  3. For each site we measured, we derive its addressable online GDP, showing how much of the world's "share of wallet" is represented by that site's total available audience.

The report concludes with an Appendix ranking websites in 15 countries according to Browse AQ and e-GDP.

Site AQ expresses "available audience" using a consistent metric even as internet populations grow from year to year. This measurement allows Common Sense Advisory to directly compare the potential audiences of any array of websites. It also lets us compare a single company's global web presence from one year to the next or from one iterative release to the next.

This report gives specific examples of all concepts covered and includes a section on how to put the AQ metric to work for your company.

In General: Availability Quotient (AQ) gives website proprietors an objective yardstick with which to measure the effectiveness of the online properties in reaching the maximum number of online visitors. The fewer web users excluded from the information, services, and online facilities a company deploys on its website, the greater the potential impact and higher the return on those investments. AQ can be used to benchmark any website against its competitors, or to set objectives and measure improvement from one release to the next in a total quality management initiative.
For Buyers: 
  • Benchmarking. AQ furnishes a yardstick to measure what percentage of the world’s online population can take advantage of specific “user experiences” offered within a company’s global web presence. Site AQ can then be used to benchmark that company against a field of competitors.
  • Planning. AQ benchmarks provide an objective measure of potential audience improvement from one site update to the next. For instance, site AQ allows decision-makers to “pre-flight” new feature requests to assess AQ impact. AQ metrics provide a basis for strategic planning, product roadmaps, and budgeting, in both goal-setting and in tracking results.

  • Measuring. AQ can also be used as an adjunct to audience metrics such as page views and average time spent on site, rendering insights into previously unanswered questions about audience growth in certain geographies or language groups. Executives and marketing practitioners alike will use such a metric to their advantage in planning and budgeting activities.
For Suppliers: By understanding the dynamics of the Availability Quotient, language service providers and technology suppliers can better advise their clients on which markets deserve the most investment.

Physical Details
Authors: Benjamin B. Sargent and Donald A. DePalma
Date: 17 January 2008
ISBN: 978-1-933555-46-1
Pages: 34

Google, Microsoft, Blogger, Samsung, Robert Bosch, Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Canon, Toshiba, Siemens, Citigroup, Matsushita, IBM, LG Electronics, Megaupload, General Electric, Audi, Nissan, Hewlett-Packard, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, BMW, Yahoo, Mazda, Metro Cash & Carry, Hyundai, Jones Lang Lasalle, Vodafone, Sony

Table of Contents
  • Topic
    • How to Maximize Your Online Audience: Language and Interactivity
  • Methodology
    • Measuring Successful Globalization
    • Calculating the Availability Quotient
    • Each CEL Increases Customer Intimacy
      • Browse CEL: The First Step in Building a Relationship
      • Beyond Browsing: Moving Prospects down the Sales Funnel
  • Analysis
    • Globalized Websites Are Still the Exception
    • Based on Browse AQ, Which Companies Scored Best?
      • Returns both Diminish and Accelerate along the Long Tail of Languages
      • Among Mega-languages, English Is the Keystone to Online Success
  • Implications
    • Monetizing Global Web Properties
    • Putting the AQ Metric to Work for Your Company
  • Appendix
    • Browse AQ and e-GDP of Top Sites in 15 Leading Economies

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