Cricut Leverages Lilt to Globalize the Desktop Manufacturing Revolution

Using Lilt has allowed Cricut to expand into global markets though improved localization processes, organized workflows, and increased quality

A wave of new tools has come on the market, sparking innovation and enabling makers to be more creative and more entrepreneurial than ever before. But not all tools are created equally, and finding the right tool to help foster that creativity can be difficult. One of the most exciting areas of the maker movement is the burgeoning desktop manufacturing revolution. What started as large, expensive, and difficult-to-use industrial machinery is shrinking in size and becoming more user-friendly and affordable.

That’s where Cricut steps in, an innovator helping to bring craft, design, and DIY into homes around the world. Cricut aims to help people lead creative lives by providing tools to make their do-it-yourself projects beautiful, fun, and easy. With its smart cutting machine, Cricut’s products allow creatives to design, cut, and personalize just about anything. And with more than 500 employees and a product that’s expanding globally almost every day, Cricut is growing at an impressive rate.

With global success, however, comes a need for brand consistency across the digital and physical worlds in which the company operates. Cricut needed to find a cost-effective localization solution to help them with their expansion.

“We’ve done well in the US and Canada, and we know there are large international markets for what we’re doing. Our products help people fulfill an innate desire to be creative. This appeal is universal – it applies to people all over the world,” said JP Teerlink, Product Manager at Cricut.

Tackling Fragmented Global Retail

While Cricut has seen incredible growth and success in recent years, it was clear that understanding new markets and addressing global customers would be key to maintaining that growth. Craft stores throughout North America have been carrying Cricut products - in some cases, shelves and shelves worth - and it’s driven a lot of awareness and business. However, once the company started to expand overseas, the team found that the same retail chains don’t exist. Where craft stores in the United States may have thousands of stores across the country, large craft retailers in Europe may only have 30 to 50 storefronts.

“One of the challenges we need to overcome to see success in those stores is that we have to have localized packaging, and the product experience needs to be localized as well,” Teerlink said. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide the same level of experience internationally that we’re providing to our US-based customers. Localization is a huge part of that goal.”

Unstructured Process and Issues with Previous Vendors Led to Lost Time and Money

When Cricut initially realized the need for translation, much of the process was unstructured and caused a lot of inefficiencies. A lack of automation and a mix of systems and processes made for a very manual and often time-consuming experience.

“Our previous process was very much a manual one. We were spending a lot of time sending translation requests through email. We would export from our TMS, send translation requests to an agency, receive translations back, and import into our system where the development team can implement,” said Aswin Kannan, International Product Manager at Cricut.

But the issues extended beyond process. Without a centralized place to manage information, it made it difficult to maintain consistency throughout the results that they were receiving.

“A big issue with that process is the lack of translation context. While we received translations that were not incorrect, they didn’t take into account the context that we needed,” Kannan concluded.

Simplified Workflows through Streamlined Automation and Unmatched Quality

To move fast in a quickly expanding environment, the Cricut team needed a partner that could provide the high-quality translations they were looking for in a way that would enable them to grow. That’s why the team turned to Lilt.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in translation quality thanks to Lilt. It’s saved us a lot of time, as we don’t have to go back and forth reviewing the translations every time they come in. Combine the quality with ease and affordability, it almost felt like Lilt was too good to be true,” Kannan said.

The Cricut team leverages Lilt’s connectors to simplify and streamline their localization operations. With Lilt’s Zendesk connector, it’s simple for Cricut to translate new support content - ensuring their global customer base has all the up-to-date information they need to quickly answer any questions that might come up when using one of Cricut’s products.

“Since we’ve been selling a lot more in Europe, we’ve increased translation volume and we’re translating more touchpoints than ever before. Not having to worry about quality just makes everything easier.”

-JP Teerlink, Product Manager at Cricut

Building a Partnership to Assist with Cricut’s Global Growth

For Aswin, JP, and the rest of the Cricut team, growth is a top priority. Time is of the essence, and every second lost to unnecessary work can affect the end goal.

“With our previous vendor, we had a lot of quality issues - and in some cases, it seemed like translations just hadn’t been reviewed at all,” said Teerlink. “It just didn’t feel like we were getting the right value for what we were paying for.”

“In the time we’ve been working with Lilt, we’ve seen huge improvements in quality. The Lilt team is so responsive to feedback and requests, which is something that we really like. Without Lilt translating, we wouldn’t be able to grow at the rate we need.”

Cricut is looking to continue to move the desktop manufacturing revolution forward. In a time where creatives are popping up all over the world, Cricut is looking to provide all of them with the tools they need.

“We want to keep pushing the envelope on what’s possible in the maker space, and we’re excited to see what’s next.”