Localization is a mandatory investment when you go global, even if you run a small business.
In the year 2017, a friend of mine was planning to invest in a small business in Turkey. He started to collect information about the Turkish market from online and offline resources. He was attracted by an online advertisement of someone selling a multi-storey oriental delights restaurant, and since I am a Turkey resident, he asked me for help.
The owner is a Syrian man, he named the restaurant after his name (Haci Zahir) Haci in Turkish is announced (Haji) it is commonly used to respect the elders (also refers to Muslims who performed pilgrimage to Mecca), this first part is OK, the problem resides in the second part which is the man name, زاهر in Arabic letters which means brilliant in Arabic represented in Latin letters Zahir which is pronounced in Turkish Zehir (Poison)! This means that for Turkish people it is the restaurant of Mr. Poison! Imagine that. The restaurant closed its doors after 8 months of losses.
Business Value of Localization
1. Improving Customer Satisfaction
Localization is much more than just direct translation. It is about carefully refining and adapting content to resonate with a culture and to meet local peculiarities.
Companies can and often do spend millions crafting global campaigns only to find that their new slogan translates into something that wasn’t exactly intended in their target country, often with hilarious – or downright offensive – results.
Localization will help to prevent you from falling into pitfalls like these. It will help you to support a more appealing user experience for your diversifying clientele and eventually increasing your overall customer conversions.
2. Increasing Your Customer Base
Adapting existing products to new markets through translation and localization management is key for global growth. Professional localization helps to decrease the barrier for new potential customers, as localized products fit local market conditions better and lower cultural barriers. Localization allows more consumers to learn about your products and increases your customer base.
3. Localization Allows You to Enter New Markets More Rapidly
The localization process can speed up the time it takes to enter new markets as localized products help to overcome cultural barriers.
This results in customers being more likely to spread the word about the product. Companies that localize content tend to see improvements in engagement and market share from an ever more diverse clientele. From a business perspective this means gaining competitive advantage by rapid and flexible deployment of products.
What if a company does not sell online?
Small businesses might think that there is no need to localize if they do not have an e-commerce component. However, this is not true. A study by GE Capital Retail Bank reports that 81% of shoppers do online research before making purchase decisions. Moreover, joint research from Google, Ipsos Media CT, and Sterling Brands shows that 3 out of 4 people are more likely to visit local stores after finding them in search results.
Localization is an investment.
Website localization is an important business decision, with many variables to consider and significant time and financial investments. Unfortunately, sometimes small businesses do not plan for it from the start, with hasty translations done as cheaply as possible. Consequently, the results are lacking; linguistic errors can turn potential customers away and harm the image of the business.
As websites are an integral part of any business strategy, it is important to calculate the investment in multilingualism because localization is the fastest way to approach international markets. For the localization of your website, rely on experienced translators for direct beneficial effects. This shows customers that the company values and wishes to get in touch with them. If you want customers to trust you and your products, you have to speak their language.