Localisation should be one of the top priorities in the marketing strategy of any company who wishes to have international presence. Research has clearly shown that consumers overwhelmingly prefer localised products. Common Sense Advisory, as part of their “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” study, polled 3,002 consumers in 10 countries in their languages and found a substantial preference for the consumer’s mother tongue. This supports other studies which claim that over 50% of Internet users are more likely to buy from a website in their own language, and 75% do not make important purchase decisions unless the information is presented in their own language.
Similarly, several market research studies, like those published by App Annie, clearly show that a large percentage of the Top 20 games and apps for downloads and revenue across the different markets are in the local language.
With over 70% of Internet users not speaking English as their first language, the potential of localisation is huge. Also, if you take into account the costs of localising a product or website compared to the costs of opening a physical store in a different market, it is not difficult to see why localisation is such an effective strategy.
In order to maximise this potential, you should research and understand your customers in the target market, just like you would in your home country. Understand what makes them tick, and prepare your marketing plan accordingly. Also, tailor your messages and images according to the sensitivities and preferences of the target culture. Every culture is different, and what may be common practice in one country could be considered odd or even offensive in another.
For that reason, it is fundamental to have a localisation partner who can not only adapt the text according to the local culture, but also advise you on any possible cultural issues and how best to penetrate that market. It will be an invaluable help in order to achieve success abroad and increase your revenue.