Localization services has emerged as a pivotal instrument for attaining triumph in fresh international markets.
As per the report from CSA Research, 55% of global consumers would only purchase from websites that provide product information in their own language. Furthermore, 72% of buyers are more likely to buy from sites written in their native language.
Localization encompasses an intricate procedure of modifying your merchandise, app, or website to harmonize with the cultural and linguistic preferences of your target demographic. Essentially, localization empowers you to reach novel patrons by showcasing your offerings in a manner that resonates with the inclinations of your intended market.
Attaining favorable outcomes through localization necessitates a well-defined strategy.
A mere translation of your content will prove inadequate to gratify prospective international customers. Thorough localization encompasses myriad facets, enveloping the utilization of local phone numbers and the incorporation of fitting symbols and icons.
In this blog post, we will impart invaluable pointers on formulating an efficient localization strategy. Additionally, we will see the pivotal facets of your enterprise that require localization. If you are aiming to go globe, it is strongly suggested to go with robust and experienced translation and localization services provider.
Understanding what localization strategy is?
A localization strategy is a comprehensive plan aimed at adapting products, services, or content to suit the cultural, linguistic, and market-specific preferences of a target audience in a particular region or country. Developing a localization strategy involves several key steps. It is important to conduct thorough market research to understand the target audience, their language, cultural nuances, and preferences. Next, identify the specific elements that require localization, such as language translation, currency, units of measurement, and cultural symbols. Collaborating with in-country experts or localization professionals can help ensure accuracy. Finally, establish a process for ongoing localization updates and quality assurance to maintain relevance and appeal to the target market.
Crafting an Effective Localization Strategy:
- Identify your intended audience-
First and foremost, it is imperative to identify your intended audience. Localization is always customer-centric, so clearly defining your target audience is crucial from the outset.
A successful localization strategy necessitates a comprehensive understanding of who your customers are, their desires, and how they can derive benefits from your offerings.
One effective approach to identify your target audience is to analyze the origin of your international clientele. This allows you to narrow down your focus to a select few countries, enabling you to proceed to the next phase.
- Conduct market analysis-
Once you have identified specific countries, it becomes essential to conduct thorough market analysis. For example, seek out relevant statistics and current trends that can positively impact your sales.
Furthermore, market research will aid in discovering new avenues for customer engagement. In various countries, social media platforms serve as an ideal medium for this purpose. However, traditional television and print advertisements still hold prominence in certain regions.
Conducting meticulous research is pivotal to shaping your strategy. Allocate sufficient time to gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of your target market.
- Assess the competition-
While conducting research on the targeted market you have selected, it is essential to examine any products or services that bear similarities to yours.
Identifying competitors early on (including those related to localization) allows you to take appropriate measures and seek ways to gain a competitive edge. For instance, enhancing your existing products to attract a larger customer base when entering a new locale.
- Comprehend the local culture-
After choosing a specific locale, delve into its culture to develop a deeper understanding of local customs and traditions. This understanding helps avoid any potential misunderstandings.
For instance, using symbols that may be deemed offensive in a particular culture can tarnish your brand’s reputation. Being aware of such considerations allows you to steer clear of such pitfalls.
- Plan for future expansion-
Creating a localization strategy is an ongoing process without a definitive endpoint. It requires continuous planning for future growth.
Constantly envision the future and optimize your strategy accordingly. Monitor progress regularly and be prepared to make adjustments whenever necessary.
In addition to translation, what other elements should you consider for your localization strategy?
- Localized Phone Numbers-
In the development of a localization strategy, the significance of local phone numbers is often overlooked. When expanding into different countries, it is crucial to provide in-country phone numbers to facilitate easy communication between customers and your business.
For instance, the United States uses the country code +1, while India uses +91 as the country code.
To achieve further localization within specific regions, it is essential to provide local phone numbers with unique area codes and formats that residents can easily identify.
For example, a South Florida local number might start with (561), while a Mumbai local number might begin with (22).
Purchasing phone numbers in bulk can help reduce costs when localizing across multiple locations. Even if your physical business operations do not exist in these locations, you can forward incoming calls from local phone numbers to your main number. This establishes a local presence in your target market and allows you to leverage its benefits for customer service, sales activities, and company marketing.
- Currency, Date, and Time Formats-
Currency, date, and time formats are crucial technical elements of localization. These seemingly minor details convey to customers that you value their experience and strive to make it more enjoyable.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that everything is appropriately localized for your target market.
For example, in the United States, the most common date format is MM/DD/YYYY, whereas in Europe, it is DD/MM/YYYY.
Consider other variations such as time formats. The 12-hour clock is widely used in the US, while a 24-hour notation is common in Europe.
Currencies differ across countries, requiring careful consideration for each specific market. Furthermore, certain countries may have multiple official currencies, adding an additional layer of complexity to localization efforts.
- Localized Payment Methods-
Customers in different regions often have distinct payment preferences. For instance, cash payments are favored in Switzerland, whereas card payments are prevalent in countries like Sweden.
Only 23% of purchases are made using international credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, or Amex. On the other hand, over 70% of payments are conducted through bank transfers, digital wallets, or cash-based methods.
Therefore, prior to entering a new market, thorough research on the payment preferences of potential customers is essential. Offering a diverse range of payment options tailored to the specific market can significantly expand your customer reach.
- Visual Materials-
Images and other visual materials are heavily influenced by cultural factors and should be localized for each unique market.
Since visuals often rely on culturally specific symbols or beliefs, their significance may not translate universally.
For instance, an image of a Christmas tree would be perplexing and meaningless to customers who do not celebrate Christmas. Conversely, a black background image can provide a more universally understood and professional look for your brand, regardless of customer location.
Colors play a crucial role in product or service design. However, selecting inappropriate colors can have disastrous consequences.
Colors, like images, carry cultural meanings that may not necessarily resonate in other cultures.
A simple example is the color white, which symbolizes purity and hope in Western cultures but represents death and mourning in Eastern cultures.
- Symbols and Icons-
Symbols and icons share similarities with colors and images. They possess culturally specific meanings, necessitating adaptation for each target market.
For instance, the “okay” hand gesture widely used in the Western world carries a vulgar connotation in Arab-speaking cultures.
Another example is the slightly smiling emoji, which surprisingly signifies disbelief in China.
Careful consideration and adaptation of symbols and icons are crucial to avoid misinterpretation or offense in different cultural contexts.
- Content Length and Orientation-
Content expansion is a frequent phenomenon during translation and localization. For example, translations from French to German often result in lengthier texts, necessitating more space within the user interface (UI).
Neglecting this consideration during the initial design of your product or application can give rise to significant challenges.
Content orientation can also present obstacles. Right-to-left languages like Persian and Urdu may not be compatible with certain fonts or tools employed in your application or website. It is advisable to assess compatibility in advance.
- Localized Customer Assistance-
When venturing into a new market, offering customer support in the local language is indispensable.
This may entail establishing a new contact center in the targeted region or recruiting multilingual agents or remote teams.
Moreover, providing local phone numbers enables customers to contact your business without concerns about international call charges.
Aligning working hours with customers’ time zones and locations is vital to deliver top-notch customer support, irrespective of their geographical location.
- Account for Local Legal Regulations-
Before finalizing your localization strategy, it is crucial to consider legal requirements.
Different countries have distinct laws and regulations pertaining to privacy policies, cookies, and terms and conditions.
For instance, in the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates explicit consent from website visitors prior to collecting or sharing their data.
Expanding into an EU member country necessitates compliance with GDPR requirements.
Why Vinsys for Localization Services?
Personalization is pivotal for maintaining a competitive edge, and localization offers the most effective means of adapting your products and services to the cultural beliefs and preferences of your target audience.
Localization is an iterative process that demands continuous monitoring and adjustments to ensure optimum performance.
By prioritizing customer satisfaction and adapting to foreign markets, your business can garner international recognition and achieve success on a global scale. Focusing efforts on creating contented and pleased customers will ultimately lead to triumph in diverse markets.
Vinsys offers professional localization services for businesses worldwide. With a team of experienced linguists and cutting-edge technology, they ensure accurate and culturally appropriate translations to reach global audiences effectively.
Get in touch with our experts now: email@example.com