We live in an era of globalization. And every website owner should be ready for this global growth. Your product looks fabulous and your website is ready to run with eye catching visuals and amazing content in English. Your website grabs everyone’s attention without considering long distances. English is the world’s international language spoken by 1.5 billion people which is 20% of total world’s population.
According to the recent research, 75% of clients will purchase goods if the product details are in their native language. Furthermore 87% of clients who do not speak and read English will not buy anything from a website in English.
This is similar to the situation when you are travelling to other countries. While on a trip, you mix up with people who speak your language. Similar with e-commerce business, – you develop long-lasting relationships with customers, if they understand your language and know your culture and norms.
To meet the standards, win the markets and stay competitive, it is important for every e-commerce owner to localize their business. In this post, you will find the basics and benefits of localization.
What is localization?
Localization (or website translation) is adapting your product according to the norms and culture of the society and adjusting its functional properties keeping in mind SEO, linguistic, cultural, political and legal differences. Localization is often misinterpreted with translation, the method of converting text to another language. Translation is one aspect of localization while localization is more comprehensive part. Localization includes other things, such as:
• conducting keyword research with special SEO tools, and creating a list of keywords commonly found together in the target market, rather than translating keywords;
• tailoring visuals and graphics according to the target market;
• altering the content according to the preferences and consumption rituals of the target market;
• changing the layout of the websites so that translated text is displayed properly;
• conversion of local currencies and measure units;
• adapting proper local formats like dates, punctuation, symbols, phone numbers and addresses;
• abiding local regulations and legal requirements.
Localization process involves modifying content, as well as the product or services, so that they will be usable in the target market. It is not limited to online activities. For example, If you want to reach Russian-speaking audience, you need to translate marketing content used in printed ads, radio TV product specifications, manuals and product warranty cards from English into Russian. If you are still not sure whether to invest in localization or not, here are the important things to keep in mind when localizing your business.
Be a part of the global world
Some people think that entering a new market is as easy as setting up a Facebook ad tailored for the target audience and location. On the contrary, you will face many barriers, some of them include:
• political circumstances of the country;
• socio-cultural anthropology;
• technological advancement of the country;
• search trends in the target country;
• country-specific SEO keywords.
Localization is a complex multi-step process. By following each stage, you will be able to overcome all the mentioned obstacles, increase your market share, improve your rankings, gain competitive advantage and strengthen your global presence. In short, this results in spreading the word about your brand and you will construct a positive brand image. And, of course, this will enhance customer engagement with your products as compared to your competitors who are not following localization process.
Benefits of Localization: Increasing Sales
Let’s imagine are on a trip and you caught a bad fever. You need to find a doctor now. And you need to communicate with a doctor clearly, explaining all your symptoms and pains. Which professional doctor will you prefer? Of course, the one who will understand you and will be able to identify the disease.
As a rule, a visit to a local doctor who speaks only his/her native language, costs much less. The cost of visiting a multilingual doctor is higher. For the sake of clear communication, and of course, your health and life, you will choose a doctor who speaks your language.
Localization works in the same way. If you want to reach Russian-speaking customers, it’s better to look for a Russian translator website offering professional services. Research reveals that 57% of consumers are of the view that the ability to get information in their native language is more important than price. When you communicate with the customers in their native language, you are making long-lasting relationship with them. At last, you end up with mutual understanding which will make customers feel more secure and comfortable when placing orders. There is another point of view which shows that 74% of multinational enterprises agree that localization is important and more important if you want to increase your export sales and set a path for your competitors.
In today’s fast paced world where consumer trends change fast , e-commerce business requires continuous improvements and upgrades. Brands that do not make their customers feel comfortable with purchasing a product, they have never seen in the flesh or tested out, endanger their presence on a local market. Localized content gives your product a truly locally made feel, building trust in your brand and increasing customers’ loyalty.
Besides gaining rewards on entering a potential markets, there are also some risks associated with localization.
Some factors, that you can’t control, like foreign exchange rate, political changes, social and economic issues, can raise the risks related to consumer behaviour and cultural sensitivity. The benefits of localization contribute to mitigating these risks and help run business efficiently.
It’s a known fact, what may be acceptable business practice in one country, may be very different or even offensive in another target market. Therefore, recognising how culture can affect international business is something that should be understood in order to avoid misunderstandings and to make sure that businesses are presenting themselves to their new market in the best way they can.
Your brand will be able to reach global audience only if you resonate with the customers in the target markets. Your product or service can be of the best quality, but it is still necessary to invest in localization. It will help you increase sales, improve brand loyalty and trust, and mitigate risk factors.