case study

Expanded into the Japanese market through website localization

Neiman Marcus is an American chain of luxury department stores with $4.9 billion in revenue.

Project Type
Fashion luxury e-commerce
Product (UX/UI) Design
UX Audit
User Research
Design Process Optimization
Key Outcome
Acquired and converted more international customers
10 months
In collaboration with
A localization SaaS company


Neiman Marcus had made an effort to adapt their Japanese website to the local market. However, they weren’t seeing high conversion rates. They decided to seek input from website localization experts to grow their business overseas.

Strategy and approach

Optimized mobile checkout and advised on best practices

The initial designs for Neiman Marcus Japan were developed by the localization SaaS company. I did a thorough audit and found a number of problem areas. For example, the tapping area to delete an item was too close to the quantity changer, causing people to delete items from their shopping carts.

I revised their designs to optimize the user experience. I also advised them on mobile e-commerce and UX best practices.

Screenshot examples of mobile checkout UX audit
An audit of the mobile checkout process uncovered several UX issues.
Size chart with Japanese shoe size conversionsSize chart with Japanese clothing size conversions
Redesigned size chart to better meet user needs

The original size chart was a generic, universal size chart with Japanese size conversions. This led to confusion and frustration, as Japanese users prefer more precise measurements specific to the item.

I redesigned the size chart to include the specific dimensions in both centimeters and inches. The chart now shows only the measurements of the specific item category, instead of a generic chart.

Clarified language switcher

The original language switcher included a flag image. However, this caused an issue when we applied the template to other countries that are bilingual.

After exploring several variations, the final design is a simple text-based language selector. On mobile, it includes a universal globe icon with translated “Browse in (language)” text.

Homepage with Japanese text and female fashion modelMobile screen with Japanese text and Browse in English option
Fashion designer directory on website
Added designer directory

Customers use the fashion designer directory on the US site to browse all products by a specific designer.

I added this feature to the Japanese site to cater to Japan's brand-conscious culture. I also designed multiple variants for both desktop and mobile to ensure the directory is easy and enjoyable to use on different devices.

Select localization elements

Pair of gold high heel boots with Japanese text promoting sale

Localized content includes custom holiday marketing campaigns.

Black Michael Kors purse in number 1 selling position

Site modules cater to local preferences to view top selling items.

Duty/tax details satisfy local desire to know exact price before making a buying decision.

Two purses with list of links to other pages in footer

Quick links in the footer design is in line with other local e-commerce sites.

A localized Japanese site allowed Neiman Marcus to acquire and convert profitable international customers.


Global expansion

A localized Japanese site allowed Neiman Marcus to acquire and convert profitable international customers.

Customized for a brand-conscious culture

The site caters to Japanese users’ love of brands with featured content and functionality such as the designer directory.

Authentic experience for local users

The site was optimized with local preferences in mind, paying careful attention to translations, market behavior, and user experience. After launch, we saw more customers switching from the English US site to the localized site.

A beautifully localized site, fully tailored to local preferences

Homepage of localized website for Neiman Marcus Japan showing women’s fashionsHomepage of localized website displayed on mobile showing women’s fashions

Additional services provided for this client

User Research

Optimized user research questionnaires, analyzed user research data, and helped the team localize their participant recruitment approach.

Design Process Optimization

Developed processes to scale localization, including design systems and component libraries.


Educated client on best practices in mobile e-commerce, A/B testing, usability, and user research.

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