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Language preferences of consumers around the world

Study Reveals Language Preferences of Consumers in 29 Countries

The third global ‘Can’t Read, Won’t Buy’ survey by CSA Research (formerly Common Sense Advisory) has revealed the language preferences of consumers in 29 countries. It makes essential reading for businesses that have already expanded overseas or are planning to do so in the near future.

Among its headline findings, the survey revealed that 76 percent of online shoppers prefer to buy products from websites that have information in their own language, with 40 percent saying they never buy from websites that don’t.

The survey’s scope

The CSA survey is by far the most extensive research conducted into the language preferences of consumers around the world. There were 8,709 survey respondents in 29 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia, with the results making the case for delivering localised content throughout the customer journey.

Specifically, the research explored online language preferences and their impact on buying behaviours. Factors including nationality, global brand recognition, English-language proficiency and the ability to conduct transactions in local currencies were also included in the study.

The top-level findings

The study found that, not surprisingly, the demand for local-language content in online transactions changes with nationality. Consumers in Asia-Pacific countries are the most reliant on local-language content, with consumers in Taiwan (94 percent), Korea (92 percent) and China (92 percent) favouring online products with information in their own languages.

Other findings include the following:

  • 65 percent of consumers prefer product information in their own language, even if the quality of that content is poor.
  • 67 percent are willing to tolerate mixed languages on a website and still make a purchase.
  • 73 percent want to see product reviews in their own language, even if no other native language content is available.
  • 66 percent of consumers use machine translation tools to create native language content if it’s not available.
  • 75 percent say they’re more likely to buy from the same brand again if the customer support is in their language.
  • Given the choice between similar products, 66 percent will choose the less expensive product even if no information is available in their own language.
  • A strong global brand can influence purchasing decisions, with 69 percent of consumers choosing products from major brands over those with information in their own language. Vietnamese (85 percent) consumers are most impressed by global brands, while the Japanese (50 percent) are the least.

Localise your website if you want to sell more goods

Although there are many more factors, such as price, payment methods and delivery options, that influence cross-border purchasing decisions, it’s clear that language has a major impact on your customers’ experiences online.

The results of this survey prove that if you want to increase the sales of your products in overseas markets, the translation and localisation of your website content is a must. That should include your product information, delivery details, payment options and product reviews.

Give your business the global edge

At Linguistica International, our diverse network of 2,000 professional linguists can translate your product information into more than 200 languages. Call us on 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-international.com today to discuss how our translation and transcreation teams can help.