Customers in today’s digital age are better connected, more informed, and have greater choice than ever before. When they want to buy a product or service, they expect to be able to do so on their own terms. Every digital interaction adds to a customer’s perception of a brand, and if these interactions are not up to scratch, prospective customers can, and will, go elsewhere.
Price, as always, is a leading differentiator when it comes to purchasing decisions. But price alone is not the only consideration. Customer experience is hugely important for domestic and overseas buyers, so multinational brands should always be on the lookout for different ways to improve the customer experience, and in turn, add value to their brand.
How can you improve the customer experience for overseas buyers? Well, the latest statistics from Lionbridge’s study of more than 200 participants from 31 countries, suggests that website localisation and translation is an excellent place to start.
Website localisation in 2015
Of the 200+ marketing professionals canvassed in the survey, 62.3 percent have already localised, or are in the process of localising their websites. The reasons cited for this strategic approach to website localisation were as follows:
• Improving the customer experience (82.6 percent)
• Increasing brand consistency (67. 4 percent)
• Reusing content that’s already been created (43 percent)
• Reducing content creation costs (37.2 percent)
In more than half of the firms canvassed (53.5 percent), the responsibility for the website localisation process fell to the marketing team. The leading challenges the localisation teams had to overcome were:
• The quality of the translation (55.8 percent)
• The cost (41.9 percent)
• Preparing the relevant materials (32.6 percent)
• Cultural considerations (27.9 percent)
Why is website localisation so important?
72 percent of customers only buy goods and services from native language websites, while 56 percent say the ability to obtain product information in their own language is more important than price. Clearly, online customers prefer to research and educate themselves about products and services they wish to buy by engaging with content in their own language. A localised website that provides the information they need is a key weapon in the online retailers’ armoury, and quality content can help to keep them engaged.
Finding the right balance between global and local messaging can be tricky, but most firms agree that localising product and service website pages is the priority. However, to improve the customer experience, firms are also choosing to localise a wide range of different content types. This includes:
• Product and service pages (93 percent)
• Campaign / landing pages (68 percent)
• Marketing assets such as ebooks and white papers (55.8 percent)
• SEO-friendly news and PR pieces (52 percent)
• Social-friendly video and multimedia (43 percent)
• Blogs (36 percent)
Despite the clear importance of website and content localisation, 38 percent of multinational online retailers and service providers are still not performing any kind of localisation at all, while 44 percent are targeting five or fewer languages.
What does this all mean?
The weight prospective online buyers place on the availability of quality content in their native language, and the sheer number of multinational retailers and service providers that are still failing to localise, means those websites that do can really get ahead.
At Linguistica International, we provide a localisation and transcreation service that’s used by global brands like Santander, Manchester United and BAE Systems, as well as smaller businesses looking to capitalise on new opportunities overseas. For more information, please get in touch with our experienced team by calling 02392 987 765, or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.