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Engage your customers with localization

Posted on : April 26th 2022

Author : Viswanathan Chandrasekharan

Imagine trying to make an online purchase only to find you couldn’t read the description because it was in a language you don’t speak or recognize. What if you weren’t sure about getting the item shipped to you or you couldn't see the price in your country’s currency?

Suppose you still decide to make the purchase, but run into trouble with the product and can’t find anyone in a support center who can communicate with you. Are you likely to purchase from that company again? Most likely not. According to research conducted by the Heretto Platform, the buying behavior of more than 8,700 customers across 29 countries, more than 76% said they prefer to purchase products localized into their language, even – and sometimes especially – in countries with high levels of English knowledge.

Companies that fail to localize product information into local languages have seen a drop-off in willingness to purchase at 49% or more, the research further revealed.

Global or local?

Although we live in a world that’s more globally connected than ever, local is still the way to go.

Today’s demanding customers expect access to various products and information, not only on-demand, but preferably in their native language. If you’re providing goods, services, or solutions, your company needs to be equipped with the necessary tools to traverse these global landscapes and be prepared to provide global users with unique and tailored local experiences.

How can all this be done? One way is localization.

What is localization?

Localization is so much more than just a fancier word for translation; it’s so much more; it goes beyond just translating text and is more about adapting content, products, and services to suit specific local markets. While translation involves changing a text from one language to another while preserving the meaning, localization can also include adaptations to images or colors, formatting, User Interface, or design, and even payment methods, among others.

Different types of localization

Some of the main types of localization include:

1. Multimedia Localization

Multimedia is more than text; it includes video, audio, flash movies, animation, eLearning content, rich media, and any interactive materials that offer the user an immersive and interactive experience. It is emerging as the most effective and popular form of content as it is more engaging that just simple text.

Multimedia localization can help optimize the impact of your content for a global audience. Multimedia services include dubbing, voice-overs, lip-synchronization, subtitling etc.

2. Software Localization

Localizing software involves replacing all material components of user interfaces, such as source codes, images, etc. This is popular for apps and video games.

3. Website Localization

Website localization involves adapting the functionality, look and feel, and language of a website to cater to a specific target market and create a version that feels native to the specific geographic or linguistic region. Some common elements of a website that can undergo adaptation include the copy, images, time and date formats, pop up messages, call to action buttons, subtitles, error messages, contact or subscription forms, etc.

4. E-learning localization

eLearning localization involves adapting the contents of a course to a specific location and its culture while conveying the exact meaning of the source course. This includes adapting the Graphical User Interface, symbols, images, the tone of audio narration, units of measurement, dates, currency, fonts, etc. Localizing a course ensures cultural nuances are taken care of and will also be retained by learners for longer as they will be able to relate better.

Why is localization important?

To stay relevant in the global sphere, it's essential to communicate effectively with your audiences. The benefit? Your company’s content becomes more engaging for every customer, everywhere. If you are preparing to take your company global, localization will play a critical role in its success.

Below are three other ways effective localization can increase engagement with global customers:

1. More personalization

Localization makes your message relevant to local customers around the world and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level, including with those who don’t speak your company’s native language. Today's picky readers or buyers seek personalized experiences from the companies they patronize. Through localization, you can drive engagement by personalizing your message for every customer across the world.

2. Gives you a competitive edge

It's always tough going up against companies native to the local market, as they may be able to gain the trust of an audience more easily than an outside player. Localizing your product will help level the playing field. In global markets too, if your competitors aren’t localizing their product, you will have the upper hand and be able to get a firm foothold in the new market.

3. Easy entry into new markets

When you launch your company in the global marketplace, there are several hurdles, including cultural and communication challenges. While localization can’t eliminate all of these, it can help you overcome cultural obstacles and avoid potential cultural mistakes that could damage your company’s image. With a good localization strategy, your company can gain traction in a new market much quicker and, if done correctly, you’ll also avoid embarrassing translation blunders.

Maximize your localization efforts with the right organization

Just knowing the importance of localization isn’t enough, you now need to think about implementation and finding the right organization to maximize your efforts.

At Straive, our team of experts ensures that your product and content sound authentic within the locales you’re targeting to give you a competitive edge and expand your market. We offer 25+ language translation services across various platforms, covering all major European, Latin American, and Asian languages.

If you'd like to how we can help you rapidly localize content, thus, improving the customer experience and helping you discover new markets, get in touch with us today.

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