I don’t understand – I don’t buy. This is a principle followed by many of your potential customers. Common Sense Advisory reports that as many as 75% of consumers prefer to shop online in their mother tongue. Similar conclusions have been presented in a report by the European Commission, revealing that as many as 42% of Europeans are not going to buy products or services if they are not provided with information about them in their mother tongue.
Of course, those entering foreign markets can translate their corporate websites only into English, but this is not the best solution. If you do not find the data presented above convincing enough, here are three most important reasons why you should invest in multilingual content on your corporate website.
1. Happy customer – happy brand
By communicating with your audience only in English, you may miss a great chance to attract Internet users speaking other languages. How many exactly? Among all Internet users there are 704.5 million ones speaking Chinese, 256.8 million ones speaking Spanish (who account for as many as 7.5% of all Internet users), 131.9 million ones speaking Portuguese and 168 million ones speaking Arabic (data according to Internet World Stats). These are just the largest language groups on the Web, but we do not have to cling to the data presented above. Explore the target market and its consumers. Find out who visits your website most frequently and choose the language accordingly.
It should not be a surprise for anyone that communication in the consumer’s mother tongue is simply more effective. Do not forget to adjust the currency, date format and units of measurement – such details can have a significant impact on consumers’ purchasing choices. Moreover, a localized website (as well as profiles in social media and advertising messages in other media) looks more credible. Brands which look more “local” are perceived as trustworthy.
2. Upward conversion
It is generally known that the consumer’s trust translates into greater sales. A professionally localized corporate website will also make it easier for the user to buy a product or service or contact a company’s representative. The consumer can also be put off by the company at virtually each step of the purchasing path, which can be caused by a quotation form in a language that he or she does not know, inability to pay in the local currency or communication with customer service obstructed by a language barrier. Translating a website into the language spoken in a given region and localizing it in accordance with standards applicable there is the first step on the way into a new market.
Translation and thorough localization of a website take much time and money, yet this investment is bound to pay off.
3. Google’s approval
Referring to the first point, it can also be said that a happy customer means happy Google. Google’s algorithms promote sites which are acceptable for users. Therefore localization of a website should also include its optimization with respect to a search engine (Google or another, local one – Yandex or Baidu). This applies both to the content of a website and keywords (selected according to the market). Regional websites are positioned higher than general ones so if the search engine “spots” your local engagement it is bound to reward it.
Credibility in the eyes of potential customers, killer SEO and more conversions are three most important reasons why you should translate your website into more languages than only English. In fact, there are more than 2.2 billion reasons to do that – as many as non-English speaking Internet users.