Featured Customer Hipcamp_logo

Localizing early to set the stage for scaling success

“I think it's very important to think about localization early. I'm so glad we're investing the time now. I would definitely recommend Lokalise to anyone who is trying to scale their business. It’s super easy to use.”

Kate Cobb

Senior Full Stack Engineer at Hipcamp

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Key integrations used with Lokalise

Hipcamp helps people connect with nature

Hipcamp's mission is clear – to get as many people outdoors as possible, so they can raise awareness about the importance of caring for the environment.

 

The company is the world’s largest provider of outdoor stays, and offers people across Australia, Canada, and the US the opportunity to list, discover, and book unique stays - be that tent camping, glamping, RV, cabin, or treehouse stays. 

 

Cobb says that due to the global pandemic, there has been a spike in time outside and eco-conscious travel. As a result, Hipcamp has seen a record year with no signs of growth slowing down. With the platform growing rapidly, the Hipcamp team has made it a priority to implement systems to help the company scale further. Localization became an important part of their strategy.

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Localization as the key ingredient for growth

Currently, Hipcamp is active in the US, Canada, and Australia - three English-speaking countries. Although the common language may be English, there are significant differences in spelling and terminology across the three regions – especially in the camping industry – that need to be addressed. 

 

Cobb points out that it's been well studied that people from different regions (even if they speak different languages) want to feel like the resource they're using - such as an app or a website - is made for them and tailored to their needs.

 

For Hipcamp, that even means considering seemingly minor things like the spelling of “canceled” or choosing whether to use “RV” or “campervan.” For that reason, localizing the content is crucial to making their customers feel welcomed.

 

Despite not having a dedicated localization team yet, they are splitting the responsibilities internally to ensure the best possible experience for their users. Hipcamp’s sights are set on big things and as their ally for achieving great goals, they have chosen Lokalise. “We're excited to start fanning out across North America. Our app is in its infancy in terms of localization, but we're planning early. This way, when we want to go all in on a different area, it's super easy to flip that switch and launch.”

“We're excited to start fanning out across North America. Our app is in its infancy in terms of localization, but we're planning early. This way, when we want to go all in on a different area, it's super easy to flip that switch and launch.”

Cobb highlights that by putting the right systems in place now, they'll have a significantly easier time adding any other regions and languages to the platform, making it that much easier to scale the service going forward, and expand to new geographies.

A system that product managers, designers, and engineers enjoy

When choosing a platform to manage localization, Cobb was prioritizing developer-friendliness, flexibility, access to translation resources, and the ability to be plugged into the CI/CD process – all with the end-goal of fine-tuning the company’s localization workflow.

 

Now, product and operations managers at Hipcamp can use Lokalise to tweak the copy on the website, and when marked complete, developers are automatically notified of the new task, and can implement the updates. As a result, the team gets to play around with the text, without having to bother developers. “Ops and business stakeholders can mess around with the copy as much as they want, and it takes engineers two seconds to pull it down and ship the code.”

“Ops and business stakeholders can mess around with the copy as much as they want, and it takes engineers two seconds to pull it down and ship the code.”

Hipcamp uses a highly automated system to simplify the process of adjusting website content to different regions. If any changes are made to their base file (in Hipcamp's case, the US file), the CI/CD pipeline detects changes, takes all of the modified keys, and pushes them to Lokalise. “To be able to pull and push command lines was fantastic. Engineers don't have to spend time remembering to push up translations and pull them back down, which is great.”

“To be able to pull and push command lines was fantastic. Engineers don't have to spend time remembering to push up translations and pull them back down, which is great.”

Webhooks automatically create tasks for keys, and a rule marks them as pre-filled, meaning that all that's left is to review the keys. The relevant stakeholders make the necessary changes and mark them as complete. When the task is closed, it creates an automatic pull request on GitHub, and developers merge the code. 

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Let’s not forget the design tools as well. Cobb underlined how important context is for Hipcamp: “I'm really excited that all of our designers work in Figma and Sketch. These integrations are crucial for providing context for translators.”

“I'm really excited that all of our designers work in Figma and Sketch. These integrations are crucial for providing context for translators.”

Hipcamp uses Lokalise as their single source of truth that has rich features and useful integrations. In her own words: “Lokalise almost works like a mini-CMS as well.”

 

Key features used:

  • Screenshots
  • Tasks
  • Automations

Why Lokalise and not some other translation management system (TMS)? 

When considering various translation management vendors, Cobb says that Lokalise came out on top in both developer-friendliness and cost. A lot of the competitors they looked at were prohibitively expensive, and the developer tools were not sufficient. You don't often get into the developer documentation until you have a call with a salesperson, which wasn’t something Cobb appreciated.

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There was another reason to choose Lokalise – having access to translators within the platform itself. “As part of my vendor analysis, I wanted a localization company that had access to translators. So, we're very excited to work with some of the partners Lokalise has.” 

“As part of my vendor analysis, I wanted a localization company that had access to translators. So, we're very excited to work with some of the partners Lokalise has.” 

Cobb admits that the biggest challenge was figuring out how they were going to manage all of their translations in a small team, plus find a way to build their localization process and grow. “I found Lokalise has the best flexibility, the most tools, and then also just ease of use. It was really easy to wrap my head around everything that was going on, and I saw that it gave us a great opportunity to scale.”

“I found Lokalise has the best flexibility, the most tools, and then also just ease of use. It was really easy to wrap my head around everything that was going on, and I saw that it gave us a great opportunity to scale.”

Lokalise has been praised for being the software that adapts to its users, and we believe it shouldn’t be the other way around. Because of its user-friendliness, the ability for users to create a localization process that suits their specific needs, as well as great customer support, Hipcamp has selected Lokalise as their go-to localization tool.

 

Interested in what Lokalise can do for your business? Schedule a demo with one of our product specialists.

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