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If you want to succeed in the business world, you need to get out of your comfort zone. That is, you need to expand your reach across the globe. But it’s not as easy as translating every word in your software to appeal to native consumers. To penetrate international markets, you need to include software localization in your plan.
Software localization goes way beyond translation. It consists of customizing the user interface based on your target market’s culture and language. It’s not so much about what you’re saying as it is about how you’re expressing it.
As a small business with limited resources, software localization provides a cost-effective way to reach a global market. To understand why you should start investing in one, let’s look at what the process is all about.
Software Localization Process
While localization projects are allocated to marketing departments, it’s useful to understand how the process works. Knowing how it relates to the design stage helps you get a leg up on the competition. More specifically, this saves you time and money on costly and time-consuming localization issues.
Additionally, your team should also be active throughout the process to make localization easier. Several aspects of the process make it far more difficult than just translating information into different target languages.
Your software development teams should collaborate to establish how internationalization and localization fit into the process.
Translation and localization management helps you oversee the step-by-step process involved in localization. Not only that but localization management platforms serve as a medium where your team can communicate clearly. It stores your files in one place, making them more accessible to teams working remotely.
This ultimately results in a localization process done right. Proper internationalization and best localization practices are key to providing your target market with a better user experience.
How Software Localization Helps Your Business Grow
The Internet has produced the world’s greatest competitive marketplace ever. If you want to compete successfully, you need to catch and keep the attention of your target market. There’s no better way of doing so than to talk to them in a manner that connects with them.
Adapting your software to fit their culture and preferences allows your target audience to feel valued. It shows them that you’re genuinely providing solutions to their issues in a way that they can understand.
Aside from this, there are several other ways software localization brings growth to your business.
1. Widen Your User Base
With a lot of competition emerging in the market, it’s wise to make a move now and widen your user base. Modifying your software through translation and localization is a significant factor for global expansion.
However, entering a new market doesn’t come without challenges. There will be legal issues, logistical difficulties, and cultural and communication barriers. All of these can cause delays to your growth plan.
While localization can’t help you avoid such things, it can help you overcome cultural barriers. Additionally, you’ll be able to avoid cultural blunders that can harm your brand’s image.
With a solid localization plan in place, you can penetrate local markets more effectively. Customers will be interested to learn more about your software and get the word out within their community.
In return, you’ll receive a dramatic increase in your ROI. Enhancing your customer base is the most cost-effective strategy to boost both sales and total profitability.
2. Meet the Demands of Your Target Market
Software localization transforms content and user interface to the unique characteristics of the local culture. Global corporations invest millions of dollars in the creation and translation of software. However, translation isn’t usually compatible with your target market’s culture, resulting in offensive content and design.
With localization, you can create user-friendly software that caters to a diverse range of consumers. It connects with users on a deeper level than with translation, which boosts customer satisfaction.
A lot of work is placed into being culturally aware throughout the localization process. And this goes a long way with customers.
3. Create Brand Awareness Across the Globe
One of the most important goals for company growth is to increase brand awareness. However, this can be difficult to achieve without localization.
Just imagine how many people you can reach just by translating your content to their native language. Did you know that only 25% of internet users have English as their mother tongue? That’s significantly small if you want your business to succeed in international markets.
Localization can help you obtain a significant competitive edge in your target market. As a result, your business can gain more global brand recognition.
4. Incorporate Yourself in a Local Cultural Landscape
Your status also matters when it comes to entering a new market since it grants you access to symbolic capital. Symbolic capital refers to the resources made accessible to a group based on their status or recognition. It allows you to become a part of a culture, which makes it easier to market your product.
What Can You Expect When You Enter a New Market
Localization doesn’t have to be complex. However, it can be time-consuming if you want to get the process right. Localization not only depends on technical processes such as coding and translating. It also depends on how much you know your target market.
Researching about your target market can be effortful. There are many factors that you need to consider and it’s much more than just their native language. Without a solid localization strategy, the process will overwhelm you, especially if you are a startup.
Before you embark on the localization process, it’s important to know what to expect once you enter a new market.
1. Language Is Only One Aspect of Communication
Translation alone does not capture all of the contextual and visual details that add value to your product. Nonverbal aspects such as symbols promote familiarity and relevance. And this is exactly what today’s consumers want. Personalization is an important factor in selling a product as people will feel an instant connection with your software.
2. Localization Involves a Lot of Time
The problem with many software companies is they want an immediate outcome. That’s why they attempt to speed up the process of preparing for a new market. This can result in poor product quality, risking the chance of making a good impression.
You need to allocate a lot of time to accomplish localization correctly. If done right, localization pays off significantly. You just need to trust the process.
3. Your Design Should Depend on Translation and Vice Versa
Some languages are more verbose than others. For example, the phrase “buy now” translates to “compra ahora” in Spanish. If your software is designed only for the English language, the phrase can run over the edge of the “buy now” button.
4. Cultural Aspects Can Come Into Conflict With Your Brand Voice
If you’re originally based in the US, and you want to expand to the Japanese market, you need to understand their culture.
In the US, conversations are usually warm and informal. In Japan, word choice depends on a person’s status. Without cultural sensitivity, some of your software’s content can offend some people. If your brand voice is highly informal and you want to expand to Japan, you may encounter some issues.
To address such issues, you need to have a thorough understanding of your target’s culture. You can perform your own research or have a localization service provider do the job.
Localizing your software product is a big business decision with a lot of elements to consider and a lot of time and money invested. Unfortunately, some small businesses do not plan for it from the start, relying on rushed translations to save money. This often results in more localization issues, which is more expensive if you look at the bigger picture.
The quickest way to enter international markets is through localization. Efforts to speak their language and understand their culture goes a long way. Once you’ve done that, trust in your brand will follow.
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