Translation and Localization Tips for the Retail Industry (Including Common Mistakes to Avoid)

Posted by Dynamic Language on October 17, 2017

ShoppingChina.jpgMany companies are expanding at incredible rates, increasing the importance of being able to launch their products anservices in diverse communities. To stay competitive, brands must be able to target wider audiences at home and in their overseas marketing campaigns. Customers often prefer to shop in their own language, so companies’ profit margins may rely on their ability to create a shopping experience that connects to a consumer across a global platform.

Crucial Study Findings

Many customers prefer to shop in their own language. Common Sense Advisory conducted a study in ten countries throughout Europe, Asia and South America to see how language translates to consumers. The study found that 75 percent of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language. Of the more than 3,000 consumers polled, 60 percent reported that they “never” or “rarely” buy from websites that are in English only.

The study itself was conducted in the official language of consumers of each country. There were geographic variables based on study questions. For example, 70 percent of Japanese consumers reported that they will only buy from websites that use the local language while more than 50 percent of consumers in Turkey made the same statement. Additionally, 56 percent of consumers also reported that they spend more time on sites in their own language than they do on English-only sites.

Best Practices

Once companies realize the importance of professional translation services and localizations, they can begin to implement best practices to reel in these consumers. These best practices include:

Develop a Plan

Create a well-defined plan that establishes measurable goals that you hope to accomplish. This plan should be shared with important stakeholders in the company. Wal-mart wa originally slow to adapt its ultra-successful model to the Chinese market. However, the company slowly became more flexible and also launched corporate social responsibility activities to improve its brand image in the country.

Get Personal

Align your promotions with the targeted countries’ cultural values. For example, emphasize materials that are produced by locals, strong working conditions or other aspects of the product that will appeal to these buyers. Consider working with local marketing specialists who will be familiar with the culture and will be able to connect on a more personal level.

Localize the Right Content

If you are not able to localize all content on the site, try to prioritize these options:

  • Product descriptions
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Product reviews
  • Social media content

Stay Connected

Be sure that you take care of your global customers, too. Provide support in their native language. Make your apps and mobile sites user-friendly with localization. Prioritize localized SEO to ensure your customer base can find you.

Localization Mistakes to Avoid

Some mistakes to avoid when attempting to localize include:

  • Don’t overdo the localization. Some consumers want a different cultural experience.
  • Don’t just translate. You should not be concerned with only translating terms word for word. You may need to modify content to make a new brand story or to emphasize a certain heritage.
  • Don’t forget about culture. Stick to a marketing plan that resonates with your target audience. Starbucks’ approach was met with hostility when it used its topless mermaid insignia in Saudi Arabia. The company rolled back this image and created a new logo that showed a crown on a sea of waves to appeal to its new audience.

Learn More

Dynamic Language works with many Fortune 500 retail brands to implement online digital marketing campaigns and website localization in over 150 languages. Click here for more information.

Topics: Branding, Retail Industry, Global Market, Localization