Think of product localization as a translator. Product localization involves adapting and rewriting product data to fit the needs and expectations of your target audience. This might mean adapting the way you communicate or changing how your website looks to better fit their cultural experiences.
Product localization is an important part of business development, customers from different countries should have a positive experience with your products or services. If you don’t think about how people from other countries interact with technology differently than those who live in the US, or speak a different language, then you’ll be missing out on a huge market of customers.
What is product localization?
Product localization is the process of making your product data available in multiple languages. It involves translating all text, graphics, and voice-overs into a language that’s suited for a target market.
Product localization has a direct impact on the success of your business. According to research by Global Market Insights, 72% of consumers prefer to shop online when they are offered products in their own language. When translated correctly, product localization can reach new markets with ease.
How does product localization work?
Product localization can include everything from changing the language of product content to using regional currency for transactions, changing date formats, and more. Localization is important for any company looking to expand into new markets, since most customers aren’t interested in buying products from a company that doesn’t want to put in the effort to communicate in their own linguistic and cultural tones.
Product localization can be done through several different channels:
Language – Localizing your product means translating it into the major languages used in the region.
Currency – This involves changing the pricing of the product into a suitable price in the local currency.
Date Formats – While Americans use MM/DD/YYYY format (month/day/year), some European countries use DD/MM/YYYY format instead
Why does product localization matter?
Globalization has made the world a smaller place, but hasn’t necessarily made it easier for businesses to sell products and services to customers across multiple regions.
With globalization comes the opportunity to increase market share by targeting foreign markets, but also the challenge of navigating different cultures and languages.
Product localization is making sure your product or service is customized to meet the needs of each local market. This means adapting everything from the packaging, marketing materials and UI design down to reviewing instructions manuals before they are translated into another language (or even created in some cases).
How do I get started with product localization?
Localize your website.
Localize marketing materials.
Localize your product, which can include: software, hardware, physical goods and services, even people! If you're thinking about hiring a salesperson for Germany but don't know how to explain what you’re selling, you will want a german team on the ground to help you with the process.
Consider localizing customer service as well—it doesn't matter if customers can find information about you online or not if they don't feel comfortable speaking with you in their own language.
It doesn’t matter how much effort you’ve spent in creating an amazing product if your customers can’t understand it in their native language. Localization isn’t just about translating your product into the language of your target market; it involves many different processes and steps. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work, as every market has its own unique needs, values and culture. You need to adapt your entire product by going through a multi-step process, including:
Identifying who your target audience is
Create personas that represent each type of user in each country or region where you plan on selling
Defining how each persona interacts with the brand (what they look for)
Localization is key to the success of any company looking to expand into new markets
Companies must be aware of their target audience, as well as their local language, culture and customs. Localization can be expensive, but it’s worth the investment.
Localized products have proven to drive revenue in other countries by helping brands build brand recognition worldwide. This is especially true if you’re looking to enter an established market where you don't have a strong presence, or if you need help building awareness among potential customers who don’t speak English.
Product localization is a key to any company looking to expand into new markets. In addition to translating your product description, consider other aspects like currency and units of measurement. It’s important to keep in mind that the one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to localizing your online store. Focus on what makes sense for each country where you plan on selling products. This will help ensure your customers have an enjoyable experience while shopping.