Find out more

Find out more

by James Cartlidge
The internet has changed the world in many different and wonderful ways. The news has become a much more major talking point in the office thanks to 24hr updates, and information has become much more accessible – not only that but it has allowed the consumer to be able to purchase or browse goods and services at the click of a mouse, the tap of a screen, or even shouting at your watch, phone or tablet – pretty cool.

But more importantly than that, the Internet has connected the world – we are now a global marketplace, greater than we’ve ever been before!

Since the launch of Universally Apps (www.universallyapps.com) I have been traveling to events around the world, from small community developer events, to global stages. And one thing has really surprised me – the majority of developers and businesses don’t think globally about their product, or project.

Of course the above statement doesn’t apply to lots of global brands, and big businesses – but with the rise of the “indie” or the “start-up” company this is a rather large concern. How else do you expect for your product to be a success if your only focus is on only one market?

So – why should you localise??

That is a very good question. Most companies I have spoken with wrongly assume English is THE “global” language – and in some cases you’re right, it is spoken in the largest number of countries. However, after a simple Google search it trails 3rd, behind Spanish and Chinese for the approximate number of speakers.

  1. Chinese – 1,197,000,000
  2. Spanish – 414,000,000
  3. English – 335,000,000
  4. Hindi – 260,000,000
  5. Arabic – 237,000,000
  6. Portuguese – 203,000,000
  7. Bengali – 193,000,000
  8. Russian – 167,000,000
  9. Japanese – 122,000,000
  10. Javanese – 84,300,000

(source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0775272.html)

Surprised?

50% of the countries on the top 10 list of App downloads and revenue are non-English speaking countries from Europe and East Asia. (source: http://blog.apptopia.com/app-localization/)

56.2% of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price. (source: http://www.gala-global.org/why-localize)

Combine these 2 statements together and you can clearly see that if you create your product only for the English speaking market, then you are ignoring a massive consumer base that could significantly boost your revenue and overall downloads.
After reading the “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” report, published by the Common Sense Advisory in 2014. One quote really stood out to me:

“The basic lesson from this study is that people don’t buy what they can’t understand”
(source: http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/AbstractView.aspx?ArticleID=957)

And this is more so the case than ever for the consumer in the digital age…

How frustrated would you feel if you purchased a product and you couldn’t use it? Or remember the frustration of trying to register for a website form that doesn’t recognise your postal address?

The impact of localisation and translation is huge and I don’t think businesses or companies realise how much of an impact that it could have.

The rise of the interconnected world has encouraged the development more multi-cultural and multi-lingual societies.

According to the aforementioned article, 72.1% of consumers spend most of their time on websites in their own language, and 72.4% say they are more likely to make a purchase if information is available in their native language. And this is not just across countries and their official languages – it’s also the same among communities.

A Linguistic Map of London

A Linguistic Map of London

(source: http://oobrien.com/2014/10/tube-tongues/)

Above is a linguistic map of London. Each colour represents a different language spoken in the city and where they are located in relation to the tube map.

It’s very interesting to see a visual representation of the different languages spoken across the capital. These are second to English; do you feel that your App is marketed to and targets these groups?

In the USA, current research suggests that by 2050 the Hispanic demographic would have increased to 30% of the overall population. It is currently estimated that the Hispanic economy represents $1.5 trillion in buying power – that’s insane! Do you feel an opportunity such as this can be ignored? (source: https://hbr.org/2014/02/will-spanish-help-you-reach-the-u-s-hispanic-market-it-depends)

IN SUMMARY…

When speaking with developers and businesses from around the globe, the common theme I hear is that their App or service is available everywhere – and that it appears they automatically assume that makes it global… However, they have not yet incorporated different languages or, more importantly accommodated to cultures outside of their own. This to me does not support the perception that the App is “available everywhere”.

Embracing languages and cultures is a golden opportunity to expand into new markets and ultimately increase your revenue and market share. A little translation can go a long way.