Breaking into overseas retail markets has never been as achievable as it is right now. Globalisation, driven largely by new and ever improving communications technology, has allowed even small businesses to embark on international marketing campaigns from a domestic base.
The internet and the surge in worldwide smartphone use have changed the way people shop. Now, consumers are always on the lookout for the best deal; and, if that means they have to buy from overseas sellers, they are more than happy to do so. What all this means is that in the world of online retail, localisation really is king.
The essential role of retail localisation
Localisation is the process of adapting a product or service to a particular language, culture, and desired local ‘look and feel’. The aim of localisation is to give the customer the idea that a product has been created specifically for them, eliminating the natural bias for local products.
With an increasing number of mobile and online retailers entering overseas markets, consumers have more choice than ever before. To compete in a competitive global marketplace, retailers must speak to customers in a language they understand. The relevancy of a product to a particular consumer is key, and tailoring products to meet the specific needs of different target markets is one of the greatest challengers today’s retailers face.
The translation of marketing materials, user guides and websites is just one element of the localisation process. To maximise your sales overseas, you should also:
- Adapt images for different target markets
- Change the design and layout of apps and websites to fit the translated text
- Convert currencies and units of measurement to meet local requirements
- Use local formats for dates, addresses and phone numbers
- Adhere to local regulations
Personalising the shopping experience
The global retail market has advantages for customers, who have unlimited choice, and brands, which can benefit from huge potential customer pools. However, meeting the demands of a global customer base requires work. If you’re selling to multiple countries, you need to produce quality content that brings visitors to your store. That content will need to be translated into multiple languages and take account of cultural variations.
Personalising the shopping experience relies on a retailer’s ability to determine a shopper’s location, linguistic preferences and interests, and provide them with the compelling content required to convert a browser into a sale.
The rise of mobile
Mobile advertising is growing at an incredible rate, as advertisers spend more and more money trying to capture the attention of a growing number of ‘mobile-first’ browsers. With smartphone adoption and expanding 3G and 4G networks, the number of mobile users is increasing at a rate of knots.
In 2016, mobile ad spend is predicted to top $100 billion worldwide, accounting for 51 percent of the advertising spend in the digital market. This will be split between mobile ad formats including display advertising, video, social media and search. This is supplemented by research which suggests mobile devices will account for 30 percent of retail shopping by 2018. This tells us that localisation for mobile is a pretty big deal!
The localisation of mobile apps
One of the biggest factors in the growth of mobile advertising is the translation industry, which allows mobile retailers to advertise their products around the world, regardless of the location of their domestic base. Campaigns can now be launched globally, often with a common theme which is localised for each target market.
In some instances, content can be merely translated, whilst in others, a full localisation or transcreation process takes place. The message itself, the images, the design, and even the branding need to be carefully considered to create a good local fit. This process, once combined with personalisation technology such as GPS-based content serving systems, becomes an incredibly powerful way to sell to shoppers all around the world.
How can we help?
At Text ‘n More, we provide a comprehensive range of software localisation and marketing translation services to help you make your mark on the global stage. For more information, please get in touch with our translation team today.