Article originally published: https://www.internetretailer.com/2015/09/23/orbital-tracking-goes-global-multilingual-b2b-sites
Article written by Nona Tepper | Associate Editor, B2B E-Commerce
Orbital Tracking of satellite communications products is increasing online sales with customers in Mexico, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan by creating language-specific sites.
Orbital Tracking Corp., a manufacturer and distributor with increasing international sales of satellite communications devices and services, is on track to process some $2 million in business-to-business e-commerce sales in 2015, chairman and CEO David Phipps says. That’s about 30% of the company’s total projected revenue of $6.7 million, he says.
For the second quarter ended June 30, the company says year-over-year revenue growth nearly doubled, largely because of its ongoing efforts to expand international e-commerce sales. Quarterly revenue increased 94%, to $1.19 million from $610,000, Orbital Tracking says, as sales in France grew 325%; Germany, 113%; Spain, 73%; and Italy, 40%. In addition to the United States, Orbital also sells to customers in Mexico, Canada and Japan.
Orbital Tracking is the result of a merger in February 2015, when United Kingdom-based Global Telesat Communications Ltd., also a supplier of satellite communications and tracking devices, acquired the former Orbital Tracking, based in Aventura, Fla., in an exchange of stock. The merged company took the Orbital Tracking name and relocated its headquarters to Aventura, Fla. Phipps, who was the top executive at Global Telesat prior to the merger, was named CEO and chairman of the combined company.
With expanded resources resulting from the merger, the new company is relaunching its e-commerce sites on new e-commerce software designed to accommodate the multilingual needs of its growing international customer base, Phipps says.
Though headquartered in Aventura, Orbital fulfills orders from a distribution center in the U.K., and 75% of its customers are located outside the United States, Phipps says. The company’s European e-commerce site, GlobalTeleSat.co.uk, receives 6,000 monthly unique B2B visitors, or double the amount of its North American site, OrbitalSat.com, he adds.
The company is building on its international strength by making its e-commerce sites available in the national languages of many of its customers. The company has hired outside translators to help develop site content in French, German, Italian and Japanese. When in-house developers create content in in a different language the company sees a huge increase in sales, Phipps says.
But constantly hiring in-house developers to launch the sites can be time-consuming and expensive, Phipps says.
To address those problems, Orbital Tracking is relaunching its websites next month on the Magento Enterprise Edition e-commerce platform, an open-source software from Magento Inc. Orbital Tracking is working with Media Lounge, a division of 7am Ltd., a web design and development firm based in the U.K. and certified by Magento. Open-source software provides web developers with the core software code for customizing the software.
Orbital Tracking chose Magento in part, Phipps says, for its multilingual software plug-in, which makes web pages appear in the language associated with a visitor’s IP address. In addition, Magento will optimize e-commerce sites for mobile, which means the sites’ web content will automatically adapt to the size of a visitor’s smartphone or tablet screen.
Phipps says he expects the new sites will help improve Orbital Tracking’s search rankings on Google, and the Magento software will make it easier to pull customer order data from Orbital Tracking’s listings on such e-marketplaces as eBay.com and Amazon.com.mx, Amazon’s site for buyers in Mexico. It cost about $30,000 in setup fees to relaunch the two websites through Magento, Phipps says. The annual fee to operate Magento Enterprise starts at about $18,000.
“We’re trying to achieve a global presence,” Phipps says. “Because of that, any online channel is important to us because that’s how we’re targeting our business.”
25% of Orbital Tracking’s customers are business buyers. These include the American Red Cross, the General Forestry Commission in the United Kingdomand the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the U.K.Customers involved in the health, safety, maritime, nonprofit and logistics industries also use Orbital Tracking’s satellite phones. “We’re very much B2B-focused,” Phipps says. “This is definitely a customer base we’re targeting and trying to grow.”