More than ever before, people are spending time learning things, entertaining themselves, and shopping online. The global e-commerce market is forecasted to reach a record USD 4 trillion turnover in 2020, spurned by the COVID-19 pandemic. With widespread social distancing and the #stayhome campaign, more and more people have been looking for ways to get everything they need delivered to their doorstep. Even those who used to value the brick-and-mortar experience are turning to the internet for their shopping needs.
So, it is no surprise that scores of businesses are now commencing, or redoubling, their online sales initiatives. E-commerce is also an effective means of reaching a broad audience and increasing the recognition of your brand on the local market, while increasing sales on a global scale.
When Project Underwear had survey respondents name the most popular brands in the world, the result was not too surprising: Nike, Adidas, Apple, Coca-Cola etc.
What do these world-famous household names have in common? Their sales strategies and positioning tactics hinge not only on continual efforts to boost brand recognition – they also practice custom approaches to each market.
Localisation goes beyond mere translation of information; it also adapts to the target culture and region. The target language information should sound – or read – like it was written by someone local for their compatriots.
With ideal localisation, product information in the United States, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, or Chile, is not just perfectly constructed in terms of underlying messaging, but also happens to be consistent with regional:
“Everyone understands English anyway,” some might say. The truth is that English is the norm in e-commerce because it is the dominant language on the internet. But people will always feel more comfortable when they have the option of reading about a product in their mother tongue. As the saying goes, English alone might be enough when you are holding a camera, not a briefcase.
Survey data show that, to be able to increase sales globally, a brand must be able to speak a variety of languages. 7 out of 10 internet users ALWAYS prefer shopping in their native language.
That is only half of your potential audience. Planning a global strategy without budgeting for localisation is just like saying “No, thank you, we don’t need your money” to half of your audience.
Speaking to a customer in their native language is a powerful trump card in the hands of a global company – Project Underwear reported that 91% of online shoppers would view information about the goods or services of a foreign brand if it was presented in their mother tongue, and two-thirds would absolutely certainly take a look!
By localising content to those who prefer not to rely on English while shopping, you stand to double your potential sales.
The 10 languages are Russian, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean, in addition to English.
Of course, these are just the native languages of most internet users currently, and a lot will depend on your brand positioning, target market, audience etc. For companies in Latvia, an important first step towards localisation is being able to address customers in Latvian, Russian, Estonian, and Lithuanian.
Certainly, the exact results will depend on a range of factors, such as the type of goods or services you offer, your company, industry, target market, strategy, and sales targets. But the conclusion is clear: in an age where the marketing industry is undergoing a transformation and advertisements can cater to consumers on an increasingly personal level based on their tastes and preferences,
Research indicates that long-term benefits may reach 25 dollars for each dollar invested in localisation. A Common Sense Advisory (CSA) study observed that the Fortune 500 companies (top profitable U.S. corporations) investing in localisation achieved excellent performance:
A professional and reliable localisation company is distinguished not only by quality of service and ability to meet deadlines, but also its awareness of marketing science and your target market – translation alone is not enough in a global context.
This is obvious today, with scores of amusing, even scandalous events that international brands have had to face in recent decades because they relied on translation, rather than comprehensive localisation.
Your product must speak to consumers in clear, approachable language, so you should trust an experienced localisation partner. LMI Translations has 15 years of localisation experience, and our team includes motivated project managers, talented translators from all across the world who speak 63 languages and can navigate a variety of subjects, not least of which are marketing, advertising and localisation.
Your business just might be a powerful multilingual money-maker.