Latest Stats Show the True Importance of Website Localisation

Latest Stats Show the True Value of Website Localisation

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:



Why ‘Smile and the Whole World Smiles with you’ is not Strictly True

Why ‘Smile and the Whole World Smiles with you’ is not Strictly True

In the UK, we love a smile (well some of us do). We can smile at a complete stranger without it being a particularly odd thing to do. Yes, you run the risk of being completely blanked, or worse still, looked at in that pitying, slightly suspicious kind of way, but who cares? As the ‘smiler’ you’re putting yourself out there, and that alone must be some kind of victory.

But the act of smiling is not as universal as you might think. Despite being one the happiest countries in the world on any scale you choose to look at, the Swiss are quite the dour looking bunch, saving their smiles to genuinely express their emotions rather than just saying hi.

In America, smiling is much more common than in less emotionally expressive countries such as Japan. But this doesn’t mean the Japan is full of miseries, it simply means they are subject to different cultural influences.

And this is the important point: Cultural understanding can be extremely significant when you’re trying to build a relationship based on trust, confidence and mutual understanding for business purposes.

The importance of a smile in business

In business, what we do with our faces is important. If you’re working in a pro-smiling culture like America, which is arguably the smile capital of the world, be prepared to flash those teeth. Smiling in the States is seen as a tool to show respect, ease relationships and greet people you are unfamiliar with.

This is particularly true when it comes to customer relationships. As customers in America and the UK, we expect to be greeted with a smile, whether that’s by a retail assistant, a waiter or waitress or a service provider. In smiling cultures, if we are greeted by a serious or grim-faced employee, we tend to feel aggrieved in some way, and that the service wasn’t up to the standard we might expect.

These differing cultural attitudes towards smiling can cause misunderstandings when we travel abroad to do business. The Japanese culture, for instance, is probably where the most overt shunning of emotion takes place. That doesn’t mean Japanese people are unhappy, or do not wish their clients and customers well, but this humility and the suppression of emotions is actually the way they build and improve these relationships.

How does cultural background affect a smile?

Research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology into the psychology of a smile found that people from a Japanese background tend to be better than Americans at determining when a smile is genuine.

By focusing on the eyes rather than the mouth when expressing and reading emotions, the Japanese are able to read the true emotions of others, and distinguish a real smile from a fake one. This difference is a manifestation of the cultural attitudes of the two countries.

While the American culture values overt expressions of emotion and openness, the Japanese culture tends to value humility and the suppression of emotion to improve relationships with others. These cultural differences could easily be misinterpreted and potentially become a sticking point in communications between businesses from these two countries.

Overcoming our cultural conditioning

As anyone who has tried to overcome their cultural conditioning will know, unlearning our natural characteristics and traits is not easy. There have been a few occasions when non-smiling cultures have tried to turn their frowns upside down.

Perhaps most famously, the Chinese authorities tried to get people working at the Beijing Olympics to smile more. Stewards were asked to clench a chopstick between their teeth in an attempt to develop their smiling muscles. Russian border guards have also undergone a little smile training of their own. They were told to smile more to be less intimidating and more welcoming to foreign visitors.

When it comes to moving into another culture, it can be just as important to understand the non-verbal cues as it is the spoken communication. Smiling is an important part of how we communicate with others and understand their behaviours and attitudes, so it’s essential you know just how much a smile is worth when you do business overseas.

How can we help?

At Linguistica International, we work with a professional network of translators, transcreators and interpreters who not only work in their mother tongue, but also live in these countries. That means every word, even the unspoken, is clearly understood. Please get in touch today to make your business heard, whatever the market.