Consumers and business owners get many benefits from localization, which is part of translation services. Business owners are realizing the huge potential for sales and marketing that localization offers their companies.
Localization is more than just translation. It is about adapting the product, service, marketing materials and website into a specific culture, language and local consumers. The consumer mix today is very diverse and those engaged in online marketing can reach more markets outside of their home country.
Thus, it is possible to have consumers who speak various languages, have different beliefs, traditions and preferences. However, the potential for even bigger reach and sales are lost if your website is only available in one language.
Your site may only be in English, for you believe that English is the language of international business. This may be true B2B discussions and negotiations, but the day-to-day transactions and interactions with local and international consumers are more effective if your website speaks to them in their own language, which is what localization provides. E-commerce is about providing consumers with a personal experience, something that business owners aim for. Having your marketing message delivered in a language they understand is great business sense.
Completely new delivery
Localization allows you to present your website to a different audience while retaining the overall aesthetics of your original site. You are accommodating consumers from your target countries and speaking to them in their languages in order to broaden your reach and boost your business growth.
Through localization, your website and its content will be skewed to target market's preferences and cultural traditions. You can expect some changes, in terms of color, images, fonts and presentation. The latter is because there are languages that will translate longer than the source language. It's a reason why many creative people, translators and business owners advocate planning for entry into foreign markets in the process of the creation of the company and product website. This is to make room for the creative changes that can happen during translation and localization.
In localization, the language service provider (LSP) may suggest that you also localize the brand name, labels, packaging, product information and advertising materials to accommodate not only the language but also the culture of your market. Your LSP may point out that some materials may offend the sensibilities of your target audience, so the creative writer will have to make some changes. Localization requires that you fully understand the culture of the consumers / region you want to target, and working on that knowledge to bring them products and services that appeal to them and speak to them personally.
Through localization, you adapt your website, your products, product information and marketing materials to local culture, via local language. You also adopt local currency and currency formats, date and time formats, local form of shipping, payment and delivery, including other services that the target market prefers.
You must translate everything, from website content to product descriptions. You should also translate all keywords, meta tags for SEO purposes and special local domain names. You should not forget that cultural aspects are important, so change metaphors, idioms and local references. Regional benchmarks and statistics must be used. It is preferable to weave in local nuances into your web content and advertising and marketing copy.
Importance of localization
Online business sales are booming globally. It has grown in importance and acceptance. By 2020 it is projected to reach $12 trillion, from the $5.5 trillion that was achieved in 2012. Various researches have already been conducted on the importance of translation and localization to global businesses. Similar results show that most online consumers spend more time on websites that are available in their mother tongue. Most global consumers are Internet-savvy and are able to find information from the web immediately. They also prefer to get information from sites in their own language.
When you localize, you communicate fluently with your target consumers, which is one of the quickest ways to get them to notice you. Because competition is everywhere, you have to be very aggressive and competitive as well. If you are serving several markets, it is important that your website is localized to each culture and language.
Some of the finer points of why localization is important to global businesses:
- You connect to global audience in the specific language they speak. While English is the second most spoken language in the world, a vast majority of global consumers does not speak English or are not fluent enough to understand sophisticated English used in your website content and other written materials. A study by the Sheffield Hallam University found out that only 6% of the world population speaks English as their native language, while 75% do not speak English at all or very well. While the study was done in 2009, it proves that there is indeed a need to localize, in order to reach specific audiences.
- If your website is in a language your target consumers understand, the potential to reach, convert and turn these potential customers to loyal ones increases. You gain wider awareness and develop the potential to expand your business. You also develop a solid reputation of being a company that cares for its customers.
- You heighten your customer satisfaction and experience by localization. You are seen to place high value in understanding your consumers' preferences, honor their culture and language and show them that you want to engage with them at a more personal level.
- You gain a competitive edge against your local and international competitors. You make your presence felt and you will be able to deliver your message across quicker and easier.
It is difficult to break into the international market. However, using best practices, embracing new technologies and trends, and having the sense to understand the needs of foreign consumers and finding the best methods to deliver what your consumer wants make you a perceptive marketer. Expand your reach and turn potential buyers to loyal customers through localization. The investment you'll put into it is quite low compared to the revenues you will gain through trust and brand loyalty.
Shruti is a blogger & a digital marketing consultant at Rankmebest.com with lots of passion to write about technology, startups & other niches. She has contributed to a number of famous websites. She live and breathe in digital marketing. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations. Stay tuned with her at: @shruti_gupta01 or via skype : shrutigupta2811