It’s easier than ever to build an international business. Thanks to the internet, you can sell in any part of the world, right from your office. All you need is a good website that speaks local languages and solves any problem your clients may have.
Website localization is essential when doing business outside national borders. When your site overcomes language and cultural barriers, your clients have a great user experience, leading to increased conversions and a better customer retention rate.
If you struggle to keep international clients in the old fashioned way (everybody speaks English, right?), 2018 is the right moment to rethink your strategy and consider localization services to expand your business.
You Can Reach a Global Audience
Your English speaking website already brings in international customers, from various countries. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re somehow popular in some foreign countries, think what a localized website could do for your business.
Only a quarter of all internet users speak English. And the number of non-English speaking internet users continues to grow, with the rise of internet in emerging markets from Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Having a website that speaks directly to local internet users is going to put your business in front of a huge audience. Why is it important to know local languages? Because 72 percent of internet users prefer websites in their own languages.
Better than that, more than half of all internet shoppers consider having information available in local languages more important than price when making a purchase.
You Consolidate Your Market Share
When you register no more growth in the national market, a good method to keep growing your business is by going global.
Countries like China, India, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil or Peru offer huge business opportunities for international companies. They are growing economies, with a young population and growing purchasing power. But, in these countries, the number of non-English speaking internet users is high.
And, even if they speak English, they prefer to buy from local websites. Because they offer product descriptions written in their own languages and prices expressed in the local currencies.
Localized websites have similar features, offering accessible information to locals. If people understand what they buy and don’t have to waste time with calculating prices, they’re more willing to purchase from you.
Website localization allows you to enter any local market, helping you register consistent business growth and market share expansion.
You Increase Brand Awareness
With the power of internet, people from all over the world learn about popular brands even without localization. But, in this case, you can’t control what they find out about you or what they understand from the information read on international websites.
When entering a new market, you need to build a localized marketing strategy. Localization isn’t just about translating your website. You need to adapt your message to the local audience. And you should do it without weakening your global image.
You must translate and localize every piece of content – website, package labeling, instructions of use, user manuals, intern documents for the local headquarters, marketing campaigns etc.
You Keep Up with Your Competitors
Localization is here to stay. Important brands made localization their top priority in the last few years. From Coca Cola and KFC, to iRobot and KitKat, all important brands have overcome borders to reach local audiences.
Check your competitors and their websites. How many of them have already invested in localization? Website localization can help you gain an advantage against your traditional opponents.
Even better, localization puts you in line with local competitors. These are companies who know the local public well. They speak the same language, share the same cultural values and understand the local purchasing habits. A localized strategy helps you compete on equal terms with all players in the market – local and international.
Website Localization Improves User Experience
Localization goes beyond translation of your content. You need to provide a localized user experience, to connect with local audiences. Depending on the cultural context, you need to adapt your message to overcome cultural barriers.
KitKat, for example, changed its famous slogan to enter the Japanese market. “Have a break, have a KitKat” became “kitto katsu”(meaning you will surely win), to fit the local culture. The company also launched 300 new exotic versions of their product to make sure Japanese clients got an extraordinary experience together with their snack.
2018 is going to bring changes in the way companies do business. More people will have access to the internet (especially through mobile devices), so being online in local languages can make the difference for your business.
Website localization is essential when looking to go global. You need to help your business to embrace local cultures, while still keeping your global image intact. This way, you’ll boost your sales and register consistent growth.