A recent survey of 8,709 customers in 29 countries found that 76 percent prefer to buy products in their own language. In fact, 40 percent never buy products from websites that are not in their native language. Local language customer support also increases customer loyalty, meaning consumers are more likely to buy from the same company again.
The five questions
Localizing your website, then, is a must if you want to sell to customers cross-border. Localization also is important in branding your product. Website localization goes beyond website translation; it makes the content relevant in a particular culture, as well. For example, colors have different meanings depending upon the culture. An image maybe suitable in one country and not in another. Localization would be sensitive to that. Website localization also would include changing currencies and dates to the local format.
Before you begin that localization project, ask yourself these five questions.
Of course, you want to capitalize on a global market. But you are more likely to succeed if you have a more specific reason for localization in mind to develop goals and measure success. For example, are you seeking to increase your direct conversions/revenue over the short term, or is this part of an overall long-term branding initiative? What is your company's overall global strategy, and how does this localization fit into it?
Setting specific, measurable time-bound goals is critical. Without this specificity, you're less likely to reach your goal. Clear goals provide direction and increase your motivation and focus. They help ensure the localization will help you reach your destination.
For example, if you are localizing your website to increase conversions, you might establish a goal to increase conversions by 20 percent in the 12 months after localization. If another goal is building brand equity, you determine how you will measure that and over what time period, as well.
You then determine who you will work with, both internally and externally, to localize your website. Even if you choose to use a generic machine translation engine, you'll need to have some human expertise to ensure your website is culturally relevant and free of embarrassing errors. You'll need to determine if you have the linguistic expertise in-house to undertake that task. If you don't, your options are to hire that expertise or outsource. If you have the in-house expertise, you then determine whether you want that person to spend time with this project or whether outsourcing is most cost-effective.
If you have native speakers within your company, consider how much time localization will require and where spending their time most benefits your company. You also consider how quickly you need the localization, as well.
Many businesses have found outsourcing of non-core functions to be more cost-effective in the long run. While some global businesses consider localization a core function, many do not.
While machine translations and automation technology can speed the localization process, implementation can take some time. Before setting your timeline, discuss your project with an experienced translation services provider. They can advise on process, resources, and infrastructure and enable you to set a realistic deadline for your localization project.
A Web localization project has an infrastructure, process, and resources. The infrastructure supports your process and resources. You can configure the infrastructure in three ways:
- Outsource all the process to an expert so that all you need to worry about is your source text
- Acquire a translation management system that integrates with other systems and hire your own post-editors to revise the MT output
- Develop a hybrid system, which is a combination of the first two options
As a language services provider, Andovar can help you design a solution that best meets your needs.
Andovar offers centralized turnkey localization services for text and audio content across various industries. At the beginning of each project, we make sure we understand your needs, and we'll maximize your cost savings through the use of technology and automation. We've translated more than 1 billion words and worked within more than 200 language pairs. With our six global offices, we can provide you with round-the-clock service.
Contact us by providing your email, phone number, and company name. One of our localization experts will contact you to discuss your Website translation project.
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