Expanding into the global marketplace is high on the agenda of business planners all over the world. CEOs are looking forward to significant increases in their companies’ bottom lines. However, the burden of making this happen falls mainly on the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and product managers. The fact is that access to international customers may result in greater profits, but it also entails a lot of hard work. Just because users in France, Japan, or Mexico are only a click away, doesn’t mean they’ll be able to understand your English language site. It also doesn’t mean that your website will meet their expectations in areas other than language. If you localize your website you’ll reach a wider audience more effectively.
Just English is Not Ok
You might hold to the belief that most of the world speaks English by now and therefore it’s ok to just stick with your English language website. However, this attitude proves that you have little understanding of the mindsets of people in other countries. While it is undoubtedly true that many native speakers of other languages have some understanding of English and a great many speak it quite well, this does not necessarily mean that they’ll choose to buy from an English language website. Statistics tell us the following:
- 72.1% of global consumers spend all or most of their time on sites in their own language.
- 72.4% of global consumers say they are more likely to buy a product based on information provided in their own language.
Why You Can’t Rely on Machine Translation
If your goal is to send valuable content that will resonate with your target customers in another country, machine translation alone just won’t be good enough. People aren’t thrilled about being addressed by robots, or being spoken to as if they are robots – not at home, and not in other countries either. So, in order to capitalize on the potential goldmine of international trade, you’ll need to invest in website localization. What this means is that you’ll need not just different language versions of your website, but localized versions that walk and talk the local culture in an appealing way.
Let the World Know About You
The latest statistics show that over four billion people all over the world access the Internet every day. This massive number of users does not guarantee that all of them will be candidates for your products or services, but it does highlight the enormous potential. So if you are only limiting yourself to selling in just one market, you’re missing out on substantial potential profits. Even if your initial market is small or local, that doesn’t mean it always will be. So, it’s best to consider the potential of international sales from the start. The Internet provides you with a window on the world, and your website can be a window that lets the world know about your business.
Why it’s Important to Localize your Website
Whether you market educational services or baby clothes, if your product is successful at home, it’s just as likely to be popular in other places. However, you’ll obviously need to be able to communicate with your German audience in German, your Spanish-speaking customers in Spanish, and so on. However, just a plain translation is not going far enough. You also need to craft an appealing message in the local language of your target customers by using their everyday vocabulary and cultural nuances that they can identify with.
Never Ignore Your Potential Global Customers
Considering all of the above, if you are designing or updating your site, do so by keeping one eye open on your international future. One basic way of factoring in any future localization from the very beginning is by leaving plenty of space in your website design. This is because different languages take up different amounts of space – many of them need more room than English. Space will make your website “breathe” better anyway, and good designers are aware of this. The fewer images and videos you include, the faster your website will run. When the time comes to localize your site, you’ll have fewer images to replace and tailor to your new markets. When it comes to website design for localization, less is more.
Why You Need Localize
The decision to localize your website, involving as it does so many different languages, cultures, and buying preferences, might seem like an overwhelming task. But, just like other areas of your business, success comes with careful research, planning, and strategy. Using the right translation management software (TMS) service will help take the headache out of your website localization project. Localize enables either yours or our expert translators to work with our platform to ensure your website is ready for the global marketplace. When you’re ready for the world, we’re ready for you. So, don’t wait too long to make the right decision – start a free trial today.