A website localization strategy is like applying for a passport to travel the world and connect with users in their own language and culture, creating a delightful global experience.
A website localization strategy is essential if you intend to reach a global audience or target specific markets in different regions.
Localization refers to the process of adapting your website’s content, design, and functionality to the preferences, culture, language, and regulations of a particular target audience.
A CSA Research survey of 8,709 global consumers in 29 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, found that 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language.
Additionally, 40% will never buy from websites in other languages. Here are some other relevant stats:
- 65% prefer content in their language, even if it’s poor quality
- 73% want product reviews in their language, if nothing else
- 76% prefer products with information in their own language
- 40% will not buy from websites in other languages
If that’s not enough, here’s more.
10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need a Website Localization Strategy
1. Expand Your Global Reach
Localizing your website allows you to reach a broader audience in different countries.
By speaking the language and understanding the culture of your target users, you can connect with them on a deeper level.
That then builds trust and credibility.
2. Enhance the User Experience
Website localization provides a better user experience for visitors who prefer content in their native language.
And it’s not just due to the translation of content.
It also includes factors like using local date and time formats, currencies, and adhering to cultural norms.
All of this enhances user engagement and satisfaction.
3. Gain a Competitive Advantage
In international markets, website localization can really give you a significant competitive edge.
Many of your competitors might not have invested in localization, allowing you to stand out and capture a larger market share.
Consider Netflix’s localization efforts, for example.
Netflix is a popular streaming platform that has achieved significant success through website localization.
They provide localized content, subtitles, and user interfaces to cater to the preferences and cultural nuances of various countries.
By offering its service in multiple languages and tailoring the user experience to different regions, Netflix has therefore been able to penetrate international markets earlier and more effectively than other streaming services.
4. Increase Conversions and Sales
This is what it’s all about, right?
When users can access your website in their native language, they are more likely to stay longer, explore your products or services, and make purchases.
Additionally, a localized website removes language barriers, making it easier for potential customers to understand your offerings.
5. Respect for Cultural Differences
Website localization demonstrates respect for cultural diversity and shows that you value your customers’ preferences.
It helps you avoid cultural misunderstandings and potential offensive content, which could harm your brand’s reputation.
More on that below.
6. Tailor Your Marketing and Messaging
Localization enables you to adapt your marketing messages to resonate with the values and preferences of each target market, leading to more effective marketing campaigns.
In 2009, for example, Pepsi launched a global marketing campaign featuring the slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi generation.”
When the campaign was introduced in China, though, it was translated into Chinese as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”
The Chinese translation of the slogan caused significant offense and backlash among Chinese consumers. The phrase was seen as disrespectful and insensitive towards Chinese culture and traditions, as it seemed to imply that drinking Pepsi could revive one’s deceased ancestors.
The campaign was widely criticized, and Pepsi had to issue an apology and quickly make amends to mitigate the negative impact.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Localizing your website can positively impact your SEO efforts.
Search engines tend to favor websites with localized content when users search in their native languages.
That leads to better rankings and visibility in local search results.
8. Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Here’s a practical one.
Different regions have different laws and regulations concerning website content, privacy, and accessibility.
A localized strategy allows you to ensure compliance with these regulations, avoiding potential legal issues.
9. Easier Customer Support and Communication
Providing customer support in the local language improves communication with users, helping you address their inquiries and issues more efficiently.
Chatbot localization, for example, is key here.
Considering that most of the globe doesn’t speak English, there’s huge potential for offering consumers a better experience through localized chatbots.
So, as AI-based chatbots get smarter and smarter, the possibilities and user adoption of virtual assistants continues to grow.
10. Brand Consistency
A well-executed localization strategy maintains brand consistency across different languages and cultures.
This ensures that your brand identity and values remain intact while resonating with diverse audiences.
Website Localization Strategy Example: Going Global with Wonderland Bicycles
To illustrate these concepts, let’s consider the fictional case of “Wonderland Bicycles.”
Imagine Wonderland Bicycles is a unique brand known for its whimsical and fantasy-inspired bicycle designs. The company is based in Alicetown and primarily caters to the local market.
Then, Wonderland Bicycles decides to expand its operations globally and launch localized websites to target customers in different countries. One of the countries they choose is Japan, known for its rich culture and love for technology and unique design.
So, to ensure a successful localization process and maintain brand consistency, Wonderland Bicycles needs to consider a few key factors.
Website Localization Strategy in Action
Language: Translating the website’s content into Japanese is essential. It involves not only translating text but also creating space on the page for differences in sentence length and structure. It also requires adapting cultural references, idioms, and phrases to resonate with the local audience. It’s important to maintain the brand’s whimsical tone and storytelling approach during the translation process. A language expert is essential here.
Design and Visual Elements: Wonderland Bicycles’ website features vibrant colors, playful fonts, and illustrations that capture the brand’s magical essence. When localizing for Japan, the brand might consider incorporating elements from Japanese culture, like mythical creatures or cherry blossoms. This adaptation allows the Japanese audience to connect with the brand on a deeper level.
User Experience: Considering the preferences and behaviors of the target market is crucial for an effective user experience. For example, Japanese users tend to favor clean and minimalistic designs with easy navigation. Therefore, the website’s layout and functionality should be adapted accordingly to align with these preferences.
Local Regulations and Payment Options: Adhering to local regulations, like Japan’s strict data protection laws, is vital for establishing trust with the target audience. Additionally, integrating popular local payment methods, like e-wallets or local credit cards, ensures a seamless purchasing experience and encourages conversions.
So, by meticulously localizing the Wonderland Bicycles website for the Japanese market while maintaining brand consistency, the company can effectively communicate its unique brand identity to the local audience.
This approach helps build trust, enhances user engagement, and increases the chances of success in a market where biking is already pretty popular.
We Can Help Implement Your Website Localization Strategy
At Summa Linguae Technologies, we offer localization solutions to match your project needs.
Our clients appreciate our extremely versatile and unconventional thinking. We focus on innovative solutions and don’t shy away from a challenge.
Additionally, our fully in-house managed services act as an extension of your team
This is what helps us build lasting partnerships and localization solutions that grow with your business.
Contact us today to get started.
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