When Coca-Cola, one of the most famous American soft drink companies, started marketing their brand in China, the name “Coca-Cola” translated to “Bite The Wax Tadpole.” This goofy blunder could have been avoided with a better localization strategy.
Meeting your customers’ language expectations is the norm of modern Ecommerce. Whether you sell your own branded products or act as an online reseller, localization can transform the way you do business. According to data published by Shopify, 75% of online customers prefer buying goods in their own languages, with 59% rarely buying anything from strictly-English websites. Without localization, companies stand to lose sales.
Translation and localization are critical when building a global eCommerce brand. But localization goes far beyond offering the same products in another language. Understanding cultural nuances helps exponentially in expanding your brand. There are several other benefits and advantages of localization– and many reasons why you should invest time and resources towards that effort.
Improve International Trust with Consumers
Localization tactics (when executed correctly) resonate with your target audiences. Why? Because shoppers are more likely to trust and interact with content that they can understand and relate to. Consumer trust shouldn’t be taken lightly, as consumer trust is at an extremely low point.
A great example of forward-thinking localization can be found in Puma, a distinguished global brand. The German shoe company does a great job of localizing their website for global audiences. For example, each country’s version of its main website offers content that relates to people from those countries.
Reach Untapped Markets with UGC and Compete with Existing Brands
If you’ve ever traveled outside of your home country, you’ve likely noticed differences beyond language barriers. When localizing an Ecommerce site, it’s important to use content that relates well to the customers. Whether that means using local influencers or image styles that relate to that location, there are many strategies you can use to master localization.
Some brands are even using influencer marketing and community-driven tactics as a method for expansion. Revolve, a high-end clothing retailer stated in their recent S1 that influencer marketing has been integral to their success in diverse markets as it allows them to extend their voice and reach in a trustworthy and authentic manner. The data backs this strategy up as UGC is proven to lift conversion rates.
Combat Localized SEO
Localization impacts SEO and should be considered as a key factor for growth for global brands. Naturally, global audiences commonly search for content in their own language instead of others. Plus, search engines favor content that is in the language matching the query, over a foreign one. As a simple step, brands should make sure content is fully translated on their localized sites, including meta descriptions and alt tags. Taking these extra steps here saves time in the long run.
Localized Testimonials & Reviews Database
Social proof plays a large role in the way your site is perceived globally. The more reviews, comments and user testimonials you have on offer, the more trust your brand will instill with new customers. Localization efforts can effectively spread your reach to different regions and countries in which people may not be used to using online eCommerce sites.
However, testimonials and reviews written in English will certainly have a better effect on the English-speaking audience than those written in German or French and vice versa. By localizing your site, product pages and content in general, you will open the door to an abundance of social proof possibilities for your website.
ISLE Surf and SUP incorporates UGC and reviews on their website. By featuring actual product reviews, they have been able to increase their sales by 19 percent. The combination of both UGC and reviews produces a unique perspective of real product users. This increases the quality of the company’s site as well as their trust with audiences.
The Result: High ROI
Content localization isn’t a necessary evil or an unnecessary expense – it’s actually a worthwhile investment into the future of your brand online. The more resources and attention you put into your community, the better your traffic and revenue streams will be over time.
At a basic level, choice of currency and payment options should be localized. But the crux of localization stretches far past changing a few words and symbols on your site. To truly thrive on a global stage, you need to scale your image to speak directly to each unique member of your global community.
Erica Sunarjo graduated from South Texas College majoring in Marketing and Creative Writing. She used her knowledge to make a difference in the realm of business copywriting and invested heavily in traveling and language learning. At present, Erica is fluent in French and Spanish, studying Chinese and working her way to being a multilingual copywriter. She keeps track of the latest trends in IT and technologies, blogs about efficient strategies in education and business coaching holds educational webinars. Right now Erica is a translator at The Word Point.